We have an established, well-resourced French department with three full-time specialist members of staff who are all French nationals. All KS3 pupils are taught the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing and are taught 4 hours a fortnight. French is a GCSE option and we encourage boys to choose it at KS4 as a Modern Foreign Language is a great advantage to have on their CV and application to Sixth Form. A pass grade in a Modern Foreign Language is also required for the eBacc certification.
In Year 7, pupils learn to talk about themselves, their family and pets and their school. Pupils are also introduced to classroom commands and equipment in French. They are taught to use a French/English dictionary and are taught grammar concepts and terminology. All pupils are assessed every term with Key Pieces in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
In Year 8, pupils learn to talk about food and drink, visiting a French town and learn to talk about the weather and the clothes they wear. They are encouraged to further respond in French during class activities, and to explore more grammar constructions. All pupils are assessed every term with Key Pieces in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
In Year 9, pupils learn about discussing going on holiday and travel, sports and leisure activities, and daily routine in their country and other countries - topics for which they are required to use different verb tenses, more complex grammar structures and more sophisticated vocabulary and syntax. All pupils are assessed every term with Key Pieces in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
In Year 10, pupils who have opted for French as a GCSE Option start a two-year GCSE course.
Pupils study 6 topics: Me, my family and friends; Technology in everyday life; Free-time activities; Customs and festivals; Home, town, neighbourhood and region; Social issues.
In Year 11, pupils study another 6 topics: Global issues, Travel and tourism, My studies, Life at school and college; Education post-16; Jobs, career choices and ambitions.
Pupils are taught at Foundation or Higher level with differentiated textbooks and they are internally assessed every term with Key Pieces in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
In May/June of Year 11, pupils sit their official GCSE exams with AQA on all twelve topics studied throughout the two years. Pupils are entered for either the Foundation Tier (grades 5-1) or the Higher Tier (grades 9-3).
At KS3 and KS4, teaching and learning are enhanced by the use of songs, games, video clips, films and access to ICT rooms. We use the website Vocab Express to consolidate the boys’ learning. Each French classroom is equipped with a Smart Interactive Whiteboard and access to the Internet.
Heads of Year often choose to run trips to France during Enrichment Week in July. The French Department runs a yearly cross-curricular day trip to the Somme in France for KS3 pupils. AT KS4, staff have organised day trips to Central London, local schools or universities to attend GCSE conferences and linguistic events. French Theatre Companies also come to Hurstmere School to perform plays in French for whole year groups.
Some pupils come to us already fluent in a second language. Provided they are competent in the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, these boys are encouraged to take an additional GCSE in Year 9 or Year 10. In recent years, excellent results were achieved in Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Turkish.