MFL – French


Head of Department: Mrs J Lemee-Wright
Faculty Staff:   Miss L Hawthorne, Miss B Carr, Miss Galloway, Mrs Edwards
Level of teaching: Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 at The New Sixth

Through learning a language you gain a better understanding of how people in another country live – their customs and attitudes, how they do things.  The more we understand and respect people in other countries, the greater the hope for world peace.

Despite Britain’s departure from the European Community, command of a language has become more useful than ever in a variety of fields e.g. commerce, industry, science and technology, and travel.

Studying a language also helps to develop your general mental ability – it demands of you to listen carefully, to think exactly and to examine things in detail.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

All groups do Spanish as their first language. In addition, only the top four groups study French or German.

In Years 8 and 9, the four first fast-pace groups study two languages, Spanish and either German or French. The two slower pace groups keep French.

Students study a broad and varied language curriculum, which is assessed in the form of the end of module tests.  Other tests may be undertaken as and when considered appropriate for example to ensure vocabulary has been learned. Assessments information is used by staff to monitor progress and to inform planning. By the end of KS3, students will learn how to write and speak in at least three tenses.

We aim to nurture a love of languages by incorporating a variety of cultural aspects in to our teaching as well as creative lessons such as practising songs in the Target Language (TL).

At the end of Year 9 an overall level is given for each student. This is based on performance in end of module assessments, other on-going teacher assessment and a new summative end of key stage assessment undertaken by all students.

All of Year 7 and Year 8 also sit a summative end of Key Stage assessment.

Year 7 (half the year group do French from September to February while the others to German then we swap from March to July)

Terms 1,2 & 3/4, 5 &6

  • Talking about brothers and sisters and introducing with names
  • Talking about pets (including names)
  • Giving information about family members
  • Saying how old you are and others
  • Greetings (hello/goodbye)
  • Saying how you are today
  • The Alphabet and how to spell
  • Using to be and to have with all pronouns
  • Saying when your birthday is
  • Days, months of the year (date)
  • Numbers 0 to 100
  • Talking about birthday
  • Giving information about family members and pets: personality/character description of self and family members
  • Using intensifiers with adjectives
  • Introduce opinions and reasons (re-using adjectives) to give preferences/opinions on family member/pet
  • Develop opinions with A mon avis/ je pense que)
  • ER verbs but also irregular verb aller and faire

Year 8

Terms 1 & 2

  • Where do you live : countries
  • Furniture, prepositions
  • Places in town & directions
  • Weather and some activities
  • Depuis and present tense 

Terms 3 & 4

  • Study the past tense and revise the present tense
  • Talking about sports you do/did
  • Talking about what you do/did in your freetime
  • Saying what other people are doing in their freetime
  • Saying how often you do/did things
  • Re-use the weather to say what and when

Terms 5 & 6

  • Talking about clothes and say what style you like
  • What you wear, wore and going to wear: revise present and past and look at near future
  • Express opinions and reasons (extend expressions: a mon avis, je crois que, je pense que, selon moi)
  • Saying what you wear and when (occasions and weather) and again use the near future
  • Talking about prices
  • Discussion in a shop and invitation
  • Talking about food and drink
  • Explaining what you drink and eat for different meal
  • Talking about quantities/ prices
  • Eating at a restaurant & taking part in a dialogue
  • Explain using the 3 tenses, what you eat/ate/will eat using time phrases and opinions

Year 9

Terms 1 & 2

  • Learn about different type of books
  • Learn about different programs on TV and different sorts of films at the cinema
  • Giving opinions and justifications about films / books/ tv programs
  • Use tenses to discuss past, present and near future plans in terms of TV and cinema
  • Talking about what you read (sort of books), read, are going to read
  • Talking about music you listen to /listened/are going to
  • Talking about future plan using the simple future.
  • Talking about predictions about their future
  • Talking in the future about self and others
  • Discuss future career
  • Understand the importance of languages in the future.

Term 3

  • Talking about what you used to do: study the Imperfect
  • Compare with now
  • Develop listening skills
  • Discuss life now, past, and future

Terms 4 & 5

  • Talking about parts of the body and where it hurts
  • Talking about illnesses and more injuries
  • Discuss how you got those problems
  • Talking about remedies
  • Giving advice and understand them
  • Discussion at the doctor
  • Talking about healthy living
  • Talking about sport (now, before and in the future
  • Expressing opinions and justifications about healthy living
  • Discuss in the past, present and future what do you do to be healthy
  • Talking about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes/ addictions

Term 6

  • Focus on Grammar:
  • revision of all tenses in French (present, 2 futures, conditional, imperfect, past perfect, imperative)
  • Gender, adjectives and adverbs
  • Modal verbs
  • Reflexive verbs

Key Stage 4 (Year 10 ONLY)

Course Code: GCSE French AQA 8658
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658

Students are required to sit the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing in June of Year 11.

The new AQA GCSE French course is divided into 3 main subject areas called themes. Each theme is divided into 4 topics.  So the GCSE is made up of 12 topics altogether to be studied over Years 10 and 11 and is examined in 4 exams which take place at the end of the course.

Themes and Topics:

Identity and culture

  1. Me, my family and friends
  2. Technology in everyday life
  3. Free-time activities
  4. Customs and festivals

Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  1. Home town, neighbourhood and region
  2. Social issues
  3. Global issues
  4. Travel and tourism

Current and future study and employment

  1. My studies
  2. Life at school / college
  3. Education post-16
  4. Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Each skill (listening, speaking, reading and writing) is now worth 25%

Two tiers of examination are offered: Foundation and Higher. Candidates can only be entered for one tier.


Key Stage 4 (Year 11 ONLY)

Course Code: GCSE French Edexl 2FR01
Exam Board Specification: http://www.edexcel.com/migrationdocuments/GCSE%20New%20GCSE/GCSE%20French%20spec%20Issue%203%20UG025111_090112.pdf

Students are required to reach set levels of attainment in four skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.

A wide range of topic areas will be taught; for listening and reading these topics are:-

  1. Out and about
  2. Customer service and transactions
  3. Personal information
  4. Future plans, education and work

The themes for controlled assessment – speaking and writing are:

  1. Media and culture
  2. Sport and leisure
  3. Travel and tourism
  4. Business, work and employment

Assessment Method:

  • Listening 20%
  • Reading 20%
  • Speaking 30%
  • Writing 30%

Two tiers of examination are offered, foundation and higher and candidates may be entered for different tiers of assessment in different attainment targets.  Students have two speaking assessments and two written assessments over two years (Years 10 & 11) – only reading and listening are taken at the end of Year 11.


Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13)

Course Code: A Level French AQA
Exam Board Specification: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/french/a-level/french-2650

This course is a radical and exciting departure from the GCSE specifications. Far higher levels of independent study and research skills are required. A more rigorous approach to grammar is a prerequisite to achieving true mastery of the language. Students are strongly advised to read foreign newspapers as well as visiting French-speaking countries.

Students will gain a lasting appreciation of language and learning, an ability to comprehend a modern foreign language in a wide range of contexts, an ability to communicate readily for a variety of purposes, a useful knowledge of and insights into cultures (both contemporary and historic) and valuable skills for foreign travel, further education and employment.

For more information on A Level French, click here.

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