French

The French Department aims to support the whole curriculum, whilst still providing opportunities for French as a subject in its own right. We aim to teach in a meaningful context, providing pupils with experiences of using French creatively and with confidence.

SPECIFIC AIMS OF THE FRENCH DEPARTMENT

The French Department aims to:

  • foster pupils’ knowledge and appreciation of the French language and culture;
  • provide an enjoyable environment which allows pupils to develop a suitable level of competence in spoken and written French;
  • encourage pupils to develop personal qualities, such as self-confidence, independence and effective communication;
  • develop pupils’ ability to comprehend and present information effectively through the medium of French; and
  • enable pupils to develop transferable communication skills that can be used in a series of situations and across various subjects.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 3 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, French is delivered over four lessons per fortnight.

YEAR 8 CURRICULUM

In Year 8, pupils study the following topics:

  • Describing Self
  • Family
  • Hobbies
  • Animals
  • Food and Drink
  • School Items
  • My Country
  • Weather

YEAR 9 CURRICULUM

In Year 9, pupils study the following topics:

  • School
  • Food
  • Time
  • Hobbies
  • Directions
  • Daily Routine
  • Where You Live

YEAR 10 CURRICULUM

In Year 10, pupils study the following topics:

  • Employability (Ma Boisson)
  • TV
  • Cinema
  • Reading
  • Technology
  • Holidays

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 4, the French Department offers French at GCSE Level. Pupils follow the CCEA specification. French is delivered over six lessons per fortnight.

Pupils will be examined on their knowledge of the language within the following contexts for learning:

  • Context 1: The Individual
  • Context 2: Citizenship
  • Context 3: Employability

Pupils will be assessed in the four main skill areas of: Speaking, Writing, Listening and Reading.

Unit 1: Speaking (30%)

This unit aims to develop pupils’ confidence with the spoken language and to increase their vocabulary in French.

In this unit, pupils are required to engage meaningfully with the preparation of the task and practice pronunciation regularly in class and at home.

This unit is assessed in the form of two oral pieces of Controlled Assessment. Pupils will have 3-4 hours to prepare for the task in school and 4-6 minutes to complete the final assessment for this unit. Pupils will complete one piece in Year 11 and another piece in Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

Unit 2: Writing (30%)

This unit aims to enhance pupils’ written ability in French and to increase their awareness of grammar and structures.

In this unit, pupils are required to embrace key grammatical issues and to focus on developing their vocabulary. Pupils are also encouraged to present justified opinions and to write for a particular purpose or audience.

This unit is assessed in the form of two written pieces of Controlled Assessment. Pupils will have 5-6 hours to prepare for the task and 1 hour to complete the assessment for this unit. Pupils will complete one piece in Year 11 and another piece in Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 3: Listening (20%)

This unit aims to enable pupils to understand gist, identify main points and detail, recognise points of view, attitudes and emotions, and draw conclusions.

In this unit, pupils are required to engage in a range of listening exercises during the two year course, as well as actively seeking out further opportunities outside of the classroom on the internet, TV, radio or language apps.

This unit is assessed in the form of a Listening exam. Pupils will have 45 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: Reading (20%)

This unit aims to provide pupils with a variety of items of stimulus material in French and develop their ability to respond to comprehension activities.

In this unit, pupils are required to engage meaningfully with the written language on a regular basis and, under exam conditions, respond to exercises involving gap filling, vocabulary selection or answering in French/English.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Pupils will have 50 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 5, the French Department offers French at AS and A2 Level. Students follow the CCEA specification. At AS and A2 Level, French is delivered over ten periods per fortnight.

At AS Level, students must successfully complete two modules. A further two modules must be successfully completed at A2 Level.

AS FRENCH

At AS Level, students should have the opportunity to understand and explore a range of issues in Irish within the following three contexts:

  • Context 1: Relationships
  • Context 2: Health and Lifestyle
  • Context 3: Young People in Society

Unit 1: Speaking (35%)

This unit aims to empower students to:

  • understand, infer meaning and draw conclusions from a varietyof spoken sources covering different contexts, registers, styles and genres;
  • express information, facts and ideas and justify opinions in spoken French;
  • understand and apply accurately the grammatical system and a range of structures as detailed in the AS specification; and
  • adapt spoken and written language appropriately for different situations and purposes.

In this unit, students are required to complete a three minute presentation on a topic of their choosing, answer a selection of questions on this, and then engage in a conversation on a variety of topics such as: Myself, Family, School, Hobbies, University and France or a Francophone country.

This unit is assessed in the form of an oral exam. Students will have 13 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Listening, Reading and Writing (65%)

This unit aims to empower students to:

  • understand, infer meaning and draw conclusions from a variety of spoken sources covering different contexts, registers, styles and genres;
  • adapt spoken and written language appropriately for different situations and purposes;
  • understand, infer meaning and draw conclusions from a variety of written texts (including authentic sources) covering different contexts, registers, styles and genres;
  • transfer meaning from French into English;
  • express information, facts and ideas and justify opinions in written French; and
  • understand and apply accurately the grammatical system and a range of structures as detailed in the AS specification.

In this unit, students are required to complete a selection of gap fill exercises and comprehension tasks, translate a passage from French to English and write a critical essay based on a selection of issues from the contexts studied throughout the year.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 FRENCH

At A2 Level, students should have the opportunity to understand and explore a range of issues in French within the following two contexts:

  • Context 4: Local and Global Citizenship
  • Context 5: Environmental Awareness

Unit 3: Speaking (35%)

This unit aims to empower students to:

  • understand, infer meaning and draw conclusions from a variety of spoken sources covering different contexts, registers, styles and genres;
  • express information, facts and ideas and justify opinions in spoken French;
  • understand and apply accurately the grammatical system and a range of structures as detailed in the A Level specification; and
  • adapt spoken and written language appropriately for different situations and purposes.

In this unit, students are required to complete a five minute discussion on the region of Provence and follow this up with a ten minute conversation on a range of topics including: Future Plans, Locality, Employment, Holidays etc.

This unit is assessed in the form of an oral exam. Students will have 15 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: Listening, Reading and Writing (65%)

This unit aims to empower students to:

  • understand, infer meaning and draw conclusions from a variety of spoken sources covering different contexts, registers, styles and genres;
  • adapt spoken and written language appropriately for different situations and purposes;
  • understand, infer meaning and draw conclusions from a variety of written texts (including authentic sources) covering different contexts, registers, styles and genres;
  • transfer meaning from English into French;
  • develop arguments, analyse, evaluate, compare and contrast in written French; and
  • understand and apply accurately the grammatical system and a range of structures as detailed in the A Level specification.

In this unit, students are required to complete a selection of gap fill exercises and comprehension tasks, translate a passage from English to Irish and write a critical essay based on André Gide’s “La Symphonie Pastorale”.

This unit is assessed in the form of a written examination. Students will have 3 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

EXTRA-CURRICULAR PROVISION

The French Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular activities include:

  • French Club (KS3)
  • French Coffee Club
  • Educational Visit to Paris (GCSE and A-Level)
  • Educational Visit to Provence (A-Level)

FACILITIES AND RESOURCES

The French Department has three classrooms fully equipped with Promethean interactive whiteboards and Dell PCs. Each teacher within the department also has an i-Pad. Senior school pupils are also supported by a Language Assistant who offers linguistic support to small focused groups.

CAREERS INFORMATION

Students who choose to study French at A Level typically fall into one of two categories: those who wish to pursue French to degree level and seek employment or those whose interest is such that they enjoy the study of the language and recognise its value as a high-end academic subject to assist with entry into University to pursue their course of interest.

To that end, pupils from the French Department may continue to pursue the following careers:

  • Teaching/ Lecturing
  • Translation (EU Opportunities)
  • Media
  • Sound/Visual Engineering
  • Business Management
  • Web Design
  • Legal Profession
  • Banking

The French language is prominent in a global context and students may wish to consider studies/modules in this international context. French language degrees will generally involve spending an academic year in a French speaking country also.