The French department believes that all students benefit enormously from learning a language. We strive to give all students the opportunity to attain a solid foundation in French, which they can both use for practical purposes when visiting French-speaking countries, and as a springboard for further formal or informal study. We aim to ensure their wider development is enriched by the experience of learning a language, that students appreciate and enjoy the opportunity to learn a language, and that they acquire skills which they can take with them for life.
Five interlinking strands inform the teaching and learning of French, as outlined below:
Vocabulary is the most essential of core knowledge. Without the correct words to use in a situation, we are unable as humans to communicate our most basic needs, wants and desires. In a second language, a student who does not possess a sufficient vocabulary is not going to be able to make themselves understood.
At the Market Bosworth School, French vocabulary is carefully chosen, relevant both to the purpose of the learning and to other contexts (high-transfer value) and is ambitious. It is presented, wherever possible, in context, rather than in isolation. Vocabulary is explicitly taught, and students are clear which words they need to learn in order to make progress.
Without grammar, it is impossible to form vocabulary into comprehensible structures that can convey meaning.
Grammar is sequenced carefully throughout the curriculum. It is taught explicitly, and, beginning with fundamental concepts, is built up incrementally. It is taught in context, and students are taught how to analyse and manipulate grammar to form their own meanings, rather than language being taught in chunks. Above all, the aim of teaching grammar is to achieve mastery of the structures and patterns by the student, allowing independent use of correct grammar to convey meaning.
Accurate pronunciation is vital in order for the learner to be well understood, to understand others clearly, to have confidence in their own ability, and to be able to begin to decode unknown words in speech.
Phonics, especially in the form of sound-symbol correspondences (SSCs) are taught in a logical sequence, beginning with the function of diacritics in French, followed by an understanding of the pronunciation of letters, and then through a cyclical teaching of the various letter combinations and the sounds they represent. Correct pronunciation is taught explicitly and assessed periodically.
French, like any language, is rooted in its home culture. French life and the French language are inseparable concepts. The French department aims to teach French culture to support an understanding of the language, to communicate the real-life value of speaking French, and to enrich students’ understanding of how communities differ from each other.
In addition, the department teaches an appreciation of the global dimension of French, and the importance of the French language in developing countries, notably in Africa. Through this, we will support the wider curriculum in developing students’ understanding of the world beyond their own community and the problems, challenges and opportunities other communities face.
Learning a language is beneficial for students in a wide range of ways, not least for the opportunity it affords them to move towards autonomy in their learning.
The department teaches students methods, techniques and approaches for self-study of core knowledge throughout both Key Stages. Moreover, the department encourages students to understand the transferability of the skills they acquire learning French to other contexts.
All students in KS3 are taught five lessons of French in Years 7 & 8 with four lessons a fortnight in Year 9. Students wishing to continue studying French at GCSE will then have five lessons of French at KS4.
To challenge and stretch our talented linguistics the languages department also offer the opportunity for students to follow a Latin course in Years 8 & 9 that is delivered in twilight sessions after school.
Exam board specification: Edexcel French
Click here to view the French Curriculum Overview
Beginning in 2023, the Languages department at TMBS is offering an Elective Latin course to our
most able linguists in Year 8, with the aim of providing them with a further challenge, which both
contrasts with and supports their study of French. The course is planned on a three-year model, with
the intention that students sit their GCSE in Year 10. The specification they follow is Eduqas.
As an ancient language, Latin is predominantly studied through reading comprehension, and the
course is based around the Suburani textbook series. Once students have attained a firm grasp of
vocabulary and grammar, they will move on to studying a small selection of Latin literature in
Year 10. The curriculum aims to provide a foundation in linguistic and cultural competence, enabling
learners to gain knowledge and understanding of the Roman world through reading and responding
to its language and literature. Teaching draws explicit parallels with students’ learning in French,
English, History and a range of other subjects.
In particular, this specification enables learners to:
- develop and deploy their knowledge of vocabulary, morphology and syntax in order to read,
understand and interpret straightforward Latin;
- develop their knowledge and understanding of Latin literature and its associated values and
society through the study of original texts, adapted and abridged as appropriate;
- select, analyse and evaluate evidence to draw informed conclusions from the literature
studied to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the historical, literary and cultural
context of a text and identify and appreciate its literary form and impact on the reader;
- develop and apply their critical, analytical and reflective skills to evaluate evidence from a
range of sources;
- develop insights into the relevance of the Latin language, its literature and Roman culture to
the modern world.
It also encourages learners to:
- deploy their knowledge and understanding of the ancient language to deepen their
understanding of English and other languages
- relate their knowledge and understanding of the ancient world to other disciplines
- develop research and analytical skills which will empower them to become independent
students and enquirers, equipping them for further study in arts, humanities and sciences
More information about the specification may be found here:
Click here to view the Latin Curriculum Overview