Confidential Access

The French Department

Department Aims and Vision

As more than 200 million people speak French on the five continents, in the French Department we want to share with pupils our passion for French and the French-speaking world. In a globalised world where French is the second most widely learned language after English, the ability to speak French is an advantage on the international job market. Right from the outset, we encourage our pupils to begin communicating with confidence and enthusiasm. In our lessons, we challenge pupils to communicate with one another in French, to read authentic materials, to understand native speakers and to write extended pieces to express themselves. As French is the international language of Cooking, Fashion, Theatre, the Visual Arts and Dance, we provide as many opportunities as possible for our students to experience French culture and to understand the importance of French outside the classroom.

Extra-curricular Activities

The Year 12 students studying French help to organise and run a language Club for year 7 at lunchtime every week where they have fun playing games, practise their language skills and experience a little bit of the foreign country's culture.

At the end of June, Year 8 students are invited to take part in a four-day trip to the Opal Coast. The visit comprises language work in local towns and cultural excursions, including a visit to a snail farm, an educational working farm, Aqualud water park and the Nausicaa Sealife Centre. The trip provides the girl with an excellent opportunity to gain confidence in their speaking skills.

Additionally, there is an annual French Exchange offered to pupils in Years 9, 10 and 12 (joined by boys from Richard Hale School) when pupils travel to Nantes in November to spend a week with French families. Excursions during the day include visits to Vannes, Guérande, Les Marais Salants, Nantes castle and Les Machines de l’Ile in Nantes. In March, our pupils then welcome their French exchange partners to England for the return leg of the exchange.

Our sixth form students also help run a weekly language surgery for our Year 11 French pupils, helping them to prepare for their GCSE and IGCSE French exams. Additionally, they offer support to our pupils in their French classes.

Click on the links in the left hand menu to view information about Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.