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French

“To have a second language is to possess a second soul” - Charlemagne

Intent

The Modern Foreign Languages department aims to promote the development of life-long language learning experience.  Our mission, as teachers of Modern Foreign Languages, is to arm our students with the confidence use their linguistic skills and knowledge outside of the classroom, both at home and abroad. We want students to enjoy learning a language and view it as gateway for the discovery of cultures.  We want to give our students the tools to become independent in the true sense of the world, being able to tackle new challenges and be inspired to do so.

Introduction 

The At Prince William School we are very privileged in currently being able to offer French and Spanish from Key Stage 3 through to Key Stage 5 and from September 2019, German in Key Stage 4, focusing on the four key skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking.  Our students have positive experiences in their lessons and we strive to develop a love of foreign languages and culture through exposure to authentic materials and the teaching of the language through a variety of topics relevant to young people in the world today.

Prince William School is fortunate to have highly qualified and experienced staff who are passionate about the languages they teach and the countries in which the languages are spoken.  The staff keep up-to-date with what is going on linguistically, culturally and politically and are therefore able to keep the languages real and relevant for their students in the classroom.

We aim, through our teaching, to develop both linguistic skills in the target language as well as highly sought after employability skills and to equip our students with the wherewithal to step confidently into the outside world in order to allow them to seize every opportunity which is offered to them.

Examples of cross-curricular links

English:

Non-fiction reading – strategies to analyse and extract information from texts and media on a variety of contexts.

Vocabulary strategy – vocabulary lists to learn are set weekly; links to the origin of the words and their commonality with English are made explicit.

Purpose and audience writing – writing is taught to serve a range of purposes, including acquiring information, providing opinions and points of view, and narrate.

Mathematics: When appropriate links with mathematics are highlighted, including: numbers and basic arithmetic, telling the time, date, quantities, measure units and money.
Science: In KS3 links are basic, e.g. weather, while in KS4 they are part of different topics, including education and environmental issues. 
Humanities: These include countries and cities, languages, and the study of the customs of French-speaking countries.

 

Examples of Cultural Capital entitlement from NC

  • Appreciation of usefulness of having a second language
  • Ability to express oneself
  • Appreciation of the history and culture of other countries

Key Stage 3

In KS3 French students learn key skills necessary to foster long-term language learning. They will learn the pronunciation of the language they study, the basic vocabulary and sentence structure and be introduced to the main processes involved in listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating.

Homework is set weekly with these aims in mind.

Feedback covers both literacy aspects which are relevant to both English and Modern Foreign Languages, as well as formative challenges relevant to the language learnt.

 

Year 7

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Hello! (Self, family, likes and dislikes) Hello! School
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Free time Family life Family life
Project: Fairy stories

 

Year 8

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Town Town & Celebrations Celebrations
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
The media and technology Home & away Home and away
Project: Le tour de France

 

Year 9

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Holidays Holidays Work
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Teenage life Sports & Health Sport and health
Project: French-speaking countries

 

Example of skill progression

Basic, key phrases are learnt in year 7 and the complexity of sentence construction is increased in year 8 and year 9 by using connectives, intensifiers, negations and changing tenses.  As an illustration: in year 7 students focus on using the present tense correctly, the near future in year 8 and the preterite tense in year 9.

 

Key Stage 4

At KS4, students build on the skills acquired in KS3 and refine them to obtain a more detailed understanding of the language. Students will continue to work on their pronunciation as before, however the sentence structure will increase both in length and complexity. Students will train to become more proficient in language interactions and translation.

Later on in the course, they will focus on the examination preparation but we will endeavour to provide them with the basis for long-term learning that could stretch further than their examination.

Homework is set weekly with these aims in mind.

Feedback covers both literacy aspects which are relevant to both English and Modern Foreign Languages, as well as formative challenges relevant to the language learnt.

Examination structure

We follow the AQA course over two years. GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (Grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (Grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series. The qualification is linear: i.e. there is no coursework or controlled assessment; 100% of the grade is obtained through a final examination consisting of four papers, each of them being worth 25% of the final grade:

Paper 1 – Listening: the aim is understanding and responding to different types of spoken language. The examination can be taken in two tiers: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier). Each examination includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.

Paper 2 – Speaking: the aim is communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes. 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) or 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time. The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier: a brief role-play, followed by a discussion of a picture, finishing with a free-flowing conversation on two topics. The style of the questions is the same but stimulus questions for the role-play and the materials for the photo-card are different at the Foundation and Higher Tiers. The timing of the general conversation is 3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier, and 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier.

Paper 3 – Reading: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier). The aim is understanding and responding to different types of written language, including a translation from French into English.

Paper 4 – Writing: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), or 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier). The aim is communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes, including a translation from English into French.

Examination Revision and Homework Support Sessions

Tuesdays After School: L3 – GCSE Club
Friday Registration: L3 - Speaking Practice
Drop-In Clinic on request.

Revision materials

All the vocabulary and the key grammar points are also available online via Quizlet in study sets. Listening materials (including questions, transcripts, and answers) are available via Portico (MFL/Year 11 French). AQA GCSE French - Grammar & Translation Workbook is available in L3. Revise AQA GCSE (9-1) French is available in L3.

 

Year 10

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Self, family & friends
Home, town, neighbourhood & region

School: studies
Free time activities
Healthy/unhealthy living
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
School: rules, pressures
Customs and festivals
Travel & tourism Education Post 16
Marriage & partnership

 

Year 11

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Studies, life at school
Healthy/unhealthy living
The environment
Social issues: charity, volutary work
Education Post 16
Career choices & ambitions
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Identity & culture: review Exam techniques & practice  

 

Example of skill progression

Based on the grammar knowledge obtained in KS3 (present tense in year 7, the near future in year 8 and the preterite tense in year 9) students will deepen their understanding by studying four more tenses, verb moods and passive voice.  They also work on sentence construction using different tenses is consolidated and refined, and the complexity of sentences is increased through the addition of subordinate clauses.

Key Stage 5

As a highly regarded facilitating subject, French is undoubtedly a challenging but thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding A Level subject.  The course is a natural evolution from your GCSE as you will continue to work on the same four key skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) as well as translation into and out of French.  You will study many interesting aspects of French-speaking society and the French-speaking world, including technological and social change, diversity and the benefits and challenges it brings, highlights of artistic culture and political life. There are also opportunities to explore theatre and film in the French-speaking world. The full A Level course allows also for independent research in an area of your choice.

Examination structure

Linear Qualification, assessed at the end of year-thirteen.

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing 40% of A Level Course, 2 hours 30 minutes. Assessment of aspects of French speaking society’s current trends and issues, Francophone artistic and political culture and grammar.

Paper 2: Writing 30% of A Level Course, 2 hours. Two c. 300 word essays on each of our studied film (Au revoir les enfants) and text (No et moi).

Paper 3: Speaking 30%, 21-23 minutes.  Presentation and discussion of your individual research project. Discussion of a card on one of the themes from aspects of a French speaking society.

 

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
The changing notion of family Cyber society Charity work
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Film: Au revoir les enfants Contemporary music scene

French heritage
Independent Research Project

 

Example of skill progression

The sentence construction mastered through KS3 and KS4 is developed and enhanced through the use of a far wider and more complex vocabulary.  Colloquial expressions are used to add character and breadth, whilst a wider repertoire of grammar and syntax adds refinement of expression.

Careers and progression

Qualification pathways 

The department has responded to student requirements and expanded the KS5 offer to include French A level.

The GCSE offered at KS4 prepares students perfectly for the A level offered at KS5, which in turn prepares students for further study at degree or employment in related sector such as Interpreter, Translator, Law, Journalism, Tourism, Engineering, Central Government (the Foreign office, Ministry of Defence, MI5 and MI6), Marketing, Retail, Event Management, the Voluntary and Charitable Sector, sporting organisations.

Taking a degree in French will give you the opportunity of spending a year abroad in a French speaking country.  A university graduate of languages is the most employable, after those graduating in Medicine or Law. 

Example of successful progressions

Three students from Y13 progressed to higher education/careers in MFL related area in 2017.  They all studied MFL as a subsidiary subject at university.  Two former GCSE students have also started MFL degrees this year – we’ve been very lucky that Abby Barnes came to PWS and spoke to our current year-eleven students about the opportunities that she was able to access thanks to her subject knowledge.

Examples of links to Gatsby benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) 

The curriculum refers explicitly to careers in the following topics:

Y7: Module 4, Unit on Professions & Work

Y8: Unit on Work & Pocket Money

Y9: Module 10, Future Career Plans

KS4: Theme 3, Topics 3 & 4: Education Post 16 & Job and Career

KS5: Charitable Work

Employability skills

Self-motivation & Self-efficacy, Teamwork, Communication skills (inc. oral presentation & written applications), Problem solving, Creativity, Time management, Research skills.

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