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French

We believe that learning a language is a privilege that should be afforded to every child.

We have built a passionate, warm and inclusive French department, which provides all students with the opportunities, and skills they need to exceed even their own expectations. Learning a language builds self-belief, enhances curiosity and opens up the wider world by taking students beyond their everyday experiences.

Students usually join us with little or no knowledge about the French language so we have constructed our curriculum from the ground up. This means students begin their language learning journey together; from letters and sounds to spontaneous speech and complex and creative writing. 

This curriculum is delivered by an energetic team of compassionate and driven teachers who are committed to the art of teaching and learning. We deliver an inclusive curriculum ensuring students with low prior attainment and special education needs are championed in the classroom. 

Our curriculum gifts us plentiful opportunities to explore social, moral and cultural issues with our students. Students are taught to discuss personal, local and global issues such as teenage relationships, modern families, future aspirations and global warming. Language lessons provide a safe, welcoming space where students are encouraged to share and justify opinions, challenge ideas and think creatively both about their own ideas and the way in which they express them.

Outside the classroom we offer annual trips to France where students take what they have learnt into the real world. Chaucer students have navigated the streets of Montmartre, kayaked down the Ardèche in a thunderstorm and thrown themselves into rushing canyons. It is this sense of courage and self-belief which we aim to nurture and celebrate with our students.  

Key Stage 3 Curriculum Content

Year 7.

In the first term of language learning at Chaucer students learn how to describe themselves, their family and their pets. After Christmas, students learn how to give and justify their opinion on their school, their teachers and their lessons. Finally, in the summer term, students learn how to talk about their hobbies.

By the end of the year not only will students be able to read short paragraphs in French but they will be able to write them too. Progress is fast and the challenge is high but students will be given lots of support.

Year 8.

In the second year of learning French we start by recapping some of the core skills learnt in Year 7. Students start the year by learning how to write about their home and local area. They are encouraged to be creative and will learn lots of new adjectives. They will then start to learn about how to find their way around a French high street by learning words for different shops. After Christmas, students start to learn how to tell a story when we learn about ‘holidays’. In the summer term we learn all about food. Students learn how to order from a French menu and how to give advice on healthy choices.

Year 9.

In Year 9 we start the year exploring relationships and friendships. This allows students to revisit lots of useful vocabulary and introduces comparatives and superlatives. After that we move on to learn how to give complex opinions about school rules and school uniform, this is a chance for students to design their dream school (whilst learning how to form the conditional tense and how to use those tricky Si+ clauses).  After Christmas we get a real treat as we start to explore French music, TV and film. Students will learn how to discuss various songs, films and shows with their classmates. We end Key Stage 3 by learning about French festivals. It is a fantastic way to celebrate all the skills  that have been learnt and gives students the opportunity to show off the range of their French vocabulary.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum Content

Learning a language at GCSE is rewarding and challenging. The new style GCSE gives students the opportunity to work towards spontaneity and fluency. It prepares students to go on to extend their study of French, or gives them the skills to go and learn a new language. Having a second language is a life-long investment and one that is recognised both by employers and by higher education institutions.

At Chaucer we follow the AQA GCSE French syllabus as outlined below.

Key Themes:

  • Identity and Culture

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends, Relationships with family and friends, Marriage/Partnership
Topic 2: Technology in every day life, Social Media, Mobile technology
Topic 3: Free-time activities, Music, Cinema and TV, Food and eating out, Sport
Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries / communities.

  • Local, National, International and Global areas of Interest

Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region 
Topic 2: Social issues, Charity / voluntary work, Healthy/unhealthy living
Topic 3: Global issues, The environment, Poverty / homelessness
Topic 4: Travel & Tourism.

  • Current and future study and employment 

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