Chaucer Subject Intent - 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. The curriculum is logically sequenced in a way that exposes students to an increasingly broad range of topics whilst allowing for a coherent development of linguistic skills. Our units of work are cyclical; starting with the introduction of a bank of challenging unit specific vocabulary and ending in students writing an extended piece of text. Each unit is carefully planned to both introduce new language structures and to reactivate previous learning.

This curriculum is delivered by an energetic team of compassionate and driven teachers who are committed to the art of teaching and learning. Transparency and integrity are values we all share and ones that we believe have a lasting impact on our students. We are a research led department and are constantly looking for ways to make languages both engaging and relevant. We teach using ‘the Conti method’ and have seen a significant increase in the quality of the language used by students following the introduction of sentence builders, direct instruction, drilling and comprehensible input. We seek to motivate students through rigour, support and success. 

We deliver an inclusive curriculum ensuring students with low prior attainment and special education needs are championed in the classroom. We do this through careful consideration around cognitive load, planned pre-teaching of complex vocabulary in English and by making scaffolds accessible and flexible. In year eight we have secured increased curriculum time in order to spend one hour a week enhancing the literacy skills of students who need additional support. We shape these lessons according to individual needs with a view to boosting reading and writing skills and ultimately to enable students to access the French curriculum with more confidence.

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.  

Curriculum description

Year 7.

In your first term of language learning at Chaucer you learn how to describe yourself, your family and your pets. After Christmas, you learn how to give and justify your opinion on your school, your teachers and your lessons. Finally, in the summer term, you learn how to talk about your hobbies. By the end of the year not only will you be able to read short paragraphs in French but you will be able to write them too. Progress is fast and the challenge is high but you will be given lots of support.

Year 8.

In your second year of learning French we start by recapping some of the core skills you learnt in Year 7. You start the year by learning how to write about your home and your local area. You are encouraged to be creative and will learn lots of new adjectives. You will then start to learn about how to find your way around a French high street by learning words for different shops. You will even take part in a role-play where you are looking for a Christmas present for a loved one. After Christmas, you start to learn how to tell a story when we learn about ‘holidays’. You and your classmates learn how to talk about different types of holidays and invent your own ‘dream escape’. In the summer term we learn all about food. You 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 you 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 your chance to design your 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. You will learn how to discuss various songs, films and shows with your classmates. We end KS3 by learning about French festivals. It is a fantastic way to celebrate all the skills you have learnt and gives you the opportunity to show off the range of your French vocabulary.

KS4

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

3.1.1 Theme 1: Identity and culture  

Topic 1: 

Me, my family and friends 

Relationships with family and friends

Marriage/partnership

Topic 2: 

Technology in everyday 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

3.1.2 Theme 2: 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 and tourism 

3.1.3 Theme 3: 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

 

Skills

Listening: understand and respond to spoken language 

Students are expected to be able to:

  • demonstrate general and specific understanding of different types of spoken language
  • follow and understand clear standard speech using familiar language across a range of specified contexts
  • identify the overall message, key points, details and opinions in a variety of short and longer spoken passages, involving some more complex language, recognising the relationship between past, present and future events
  • deduce meaning from a variety of short and longer spoken texts, involving some complex language and more abstract material, including short narratives and authentic material addressing a wide range of contemporary and cultural themes
  • recognise and respond to key information, important themes and ideas in more extended spoken text, including authentic sources, adapted and abridged, as appropriate, by being able to answer questions, extract information, evaluate and draw conclusions.

Speaking: communicate and interact in speech 

Students are expected to be able to:

  • communicate and interact effectively in speech for a variety of purposes across a range of specified contexts
  • take part in a short conversation, asking and answering questions, and exchanging opinions
  • convey information and narrate events coherently and confidently, using and adapting language for new purposes
  • speak spontaneously, responding to unexpected questions, points of view or situations, sustaining communication by using rephrasing or repair strategies, as appropriate
  • initiate and develop conversations and discussion, producing extended sequences of speech
  • make appropriate and accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, with reference to past, present and future events
  • make creative and more complex use of the language, as appropriate, to express and justify their own thoughts and points of view
  • use accurate pronunciation and intonation to be understood by a native speaker.

Reading: understand and respond to written language 

Students are expected to be able to:

  • understand and respond to different types of written language
  • understand general and specific details within texts using high frequency familiar language across a range of contexts
  • identify the overall message, key points, details and opinions in a variety of short and longer written passages, involving some more complex language and recognising the relationship between past, present and future events
  • deduce meaning from a variety of short and longer written texts from a range of specified contexts, including authentic sources involving some complex language and unfamiliar material, as well as short narratives and authentic material addressing relevant contemporary and cultural themes
  • recognise and respond to key information, important themes and ideas in more extended written text and authentic sources, including some extracts from relevant abridged or adapted literary texts
  • demonstrate understanding by being able to scan for particular information, organise and present relevant details, draw inferences in context and recognise implicit meaning where appropriate
  • translate a short passage from French into English.

Writing: communicate in writing 

Students are expected to be able to:

  • communicate effectively in writing for a variety of purposes across a range of specified contexts
  • write short texts, using simple sentences and familiar language accurately to convey meaning and exchange information
  • produce clear and coherent text of extended length to present facts and express ideas and opinions appropriately for different purposes and in different settings
  • make accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms, to describe and narrate with reference to past, present and future events
  • manipulate the language, using and adapting a variety of structures and vocabulary with increasing accuracy and fluency for new purposes, including using appropriate style and register
  • make independent, creative and more complex use of the language, as appropriate, to note down key points, express and justify individual thoughts and points of view, in order to interest, inform or convince
  • translate sentences and short texts from English into French to convey key messages accurately and to apply grammatical knowledge of language and structures in context.

 

Grammatical Concepts

Foundation Tier  

Nouns  

gender singular and plural forms

Adjectives  agreement

position

Articles  

definite, indefinite and partitive, (including use of de after negatives)

comparative and superlative: regular and meilleur

demonstrative (ce, cet, cette, ces)

indefinite (chaque, quelque)

possessive

interrogative (quel, quelle)

Adverbs  

comparative and superlative

regular

interrogative (comment, quand)

adverbs of time and place (aujourd’hui, demain, ici, là-bas)

common adverbial phrases

Quantifiers/intensifiers  

très, assez, beaucoup, peu, trop

Pronouns  

personal: all subjects, including on

reflexive

relative: qui

relative: que (R)

object: direct (R) and indirect (R)

position and order of object pronouns (R)

disjunctive/emphatic

demonstrative (ça, cela)

indefinite (quelqu’un)

interrogative (qui, que)

use of y, en (R)

Verbs  

regular and irregular verbs, including reflexive verbs

all persons of the verb, singular and plural

negative forms

interrogative forms

modes of address: tu, vous

impersonal verbs (il faut)

verbs followed by an infinitive, with or without a preposition

Tenses:  

present

perfect

imperfect: avoir, être and faire

other common verbs in the imperfect tense (R)

immediate future

future (R)

conditional: vouloir and aimer

pluperfect (R)

passive voice: present tense (R)

imperative

present participle.

Prepositions  

common prepositions eg à, au, à l', à la, aux; de, du, de l', de la, des; après; avant; avec; chez; contre; dans; depuis; derrière; devant; entre; pendant; pour; sans; sur; sous; vers

common compound prepositions eg à côté de; près de; en face de, à cause de; au lieu de

Conjunctions  

common coordinating conjunctions eg car; donc; ensuite; et; mais; ou, ou bien, puis

common subordinating conjunctions eg comme; lorsque; parce que; puisque; quand; que; si

Number, quantity, dates and time  

including use of depuis with present tense

 

Higher Tier  

Adjectives  

comparative and superlative, including meilleur, pire

Adverbs  

comparative and superlative, including mieux, le mieux

Pronouns  

use of y, en

relative: que

relative: dont (R)

object: direct and indirect

position and order of object pronouns

demonstrative (celui) (R)

possessive (le mien) (R)

Verbs / Tenses

future

imperfect

conditional

pluperfect

passive voice: future, imperfect and perfect tenses (R)

perfect infinitive

present participle, including use after en

subjunctive mood: present, in commonly used expressions (R).

Time  

including use of depuis with imperfect tense.