Modern languages


Introduction to the subject


A cœur vaillant rien d’impossible.

Literal meaning:   For a brave heart, nothing is impossible.

Idiomatic translation: Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.


C'est en forgeant qu'on devient forgeron.

Literal meaning: By dint of forging one becomes a blacksmith.

Idiomatic translation: Practice makes perfect.


French can be a rewarding subject which with hard work and commitment will see you push language barriers you never realised you could!


Meet our department

The French department is working hard to provide a positive language learning experience for all.  We do our best to ensure that your proficiency in French is developed through challenging and enjoyable lessons.


Mrs Crawford BA in Modern Languages

Miss Oumelaz BA in Modern Languages


Both teachers are native speakers so pupils will hear authentic pronunciation and accents, with an extra je ne sais quoi.


Learning in French

French courses at KS3 develop a range of vocabulary in preparation for the KS4 Edexcel syllabus. Pupils will study a variety of topics ranging from personal identification, hobbies and education, to holidays and future plans, following the guidelines of the National Curriculum.


The four skills:  listening, speaking, reading and writing are given equal emphasis and are thoroughly practised using a variety of resources, including authentic material where appropriate.





In Year 7 the course is divided into six modules and we work on developing pupils’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening within the target language. Pupils will complete listening and reading assessments to demonstrate the progress made, along with end of unit questions to monitor their written language.


In Year 7, in the Autumn term, the first module will cover name, age, the alphabet, school equipment and colours. The second module will introduce countries and nationalities, physical and personality descriptions, and brothers, sisters and pets.


In the Spring term, pupils will learn about their school in their third module. They will describe their school subjects, learn the time, talk about a typical day and describe their uniform. They will start to give and justify opinions, which will enable them to reach a level 4. The fourth module is about sports and free time. Pupils will learn to describe the sports they do, like and dislike, what other activities they do at the weekend, and to link activities with the weather. More work will be done on opinions and reasons.


Topics covered in the Summer term continue to extend and develop pupils’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening within the target language. The fifth module describes where they live, their house and their bedroom. The sixth module explores where they will go on holiday, describe what they do on holiday and deals with directions and purchasing items whilst out and about.


In Year 8, the course is divided in five topics and concentrates on young people’ interests. In the Autumn term in module one, pupils learn about television, cinema, music and technology, and the past tense is also introduced. Module two is set in Paris. The past tense is revisited and used to describe what they did during a city break in Paris, how they travelled and what it was like.


In the Spring term, in module three, pupils learn to describe and compare their house, family and friends; they learn about clothes and fashion and the future tense is introduced.


In the Summer term, module four introduces food and drink, shopping for food and ordering food. Module 5 considers personal talent and ambition, future plans and wishes, and introduces the use of superlative adjectives.



The course offers assessment at two levels, foundation and higher, for the listening and reading examinations taken at the end of the three year course according to pupils’ ability. Those planning to study the language beyond GCSE level are advised to take the higher papers. The written coursework is spread over the duration of the course and represents 30% of the final GCSE mark. Two oral examinations lasting between four and six minutes worth 30% of the final GCSE grade will also take place during the two year course. The course covers eight modules.


Over the course of the three years, pupils will study  a module on family, friends and people. They learn about personal relationships and famous sports people; they use the perfect tense to describe past events and they describe their main hobbies. Module two continues with hobbies and focuses on discussing TV, cinema and new technology, arranging to go out, understanding information about a special event and the imperfect tense is introduced to describe what they used to do.


The third module deals with tourism. Pupils learn about the weather, holiday destinations, accommodation and transports. They use the future tense to describe holiday plans, the perfect and imperfect tenses to describe a past holidays and the conditional tense to describe what they could order/eat while on holidays.


Pupils will also study a module on the environment and learn to discuss world issues, to talk about problems in their local area, to present solutions to environmental issues and to understand news stories on specific environmental problems. Negatives, direct object pronouns, modal verbs and the passive form are the main points of grammar covered in this topic.


Another module deals with education; pupils learn to describe their timetable and their school day; to compare the English and French education systems; to describe school rules and pressure; to mention future plans. The main points of grammar covered are; the revision of present, past and future tenses, and reflexive verbs in present and past tenses.


The following module studied, focuses on healthy eating and living. Pupils will talk about food and drink, learn about a healthy lifestyle, discuss addiction and other problems, and describe health related problems. The main points of grammar covered are adverbs, impersonal verbs, and expressions with avoir.


Pupils will then move on to study a module on the world of work and learn about household chores, pocket money and part-time jobs; they will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different jobs, and the potential problems in the work place. They will practise formal language to apply for a job and describe their work experience.


The main points of grammar in this module are the use of indirect pronouns, forming questions, and contrasting the perfect and imperfect tenses.


The next module focuses on towns, countryside and regions. Pupils learn to describe the location of a place and find their way round in a town; to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of where they live; to compare living in the countryside and living in a town; to compare where they used to live and where they live now; to describe a town/region: what there is to do and see. The main points of grammar covered in this topic are prepositions, imperatives, superlatives, difficult adjectives, and the revision of the imperfect tense.


By the end of Year 10, pupils will have completed two oral exams and two pieces of written coursework. In December, GCSE practice papers will also be studied in preparation of the mock examinations. Finally in the Summer term of Year 11, pupils will follow a revision program and practise GCSE papers to be well-prepared for the final listening and reading examinations which usually take place during the second week in May.


Intervention and support

We expect all pupils to attend the GCSE revision classes throughout the academic year. These will be offered prior to coursework and oral assessments but also ahead of final reading and listening exams. Parents and guardians will be made aware of these sessions and regularly updated on the progress of their son/daughter via email.


Applying your knowledge

We recommend that pupils take every opportunity to immerse themselves in the language and culture.  Pupils are encouraged to watch French television (available online, through some satellite providers and also a language option on some DVDs), listen to French radio/music and read independently in their chosen language.  Visits to a French speaking country would also be of great benefit to pupils.


Carreer Paths

Languages open many doors for your future; particularly for those pupils planning to attend University as they are considered an academic and challenging subject. Career paths extend far beyond that of a language teacher and an interpreter! They can prove essential for business, travel and everyday life.


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