Languages

One language sets you in a corridor for life, two languages opens every door along the way
Frank Smith

French is taught by Miss Cartwright from Pre-school upwards. The children also have the opportunity to learn French in the Nursery. In the Senior School, pupils can continue with French through to GCSE level taught by Mr. Davis. They will also be given the opportunity to learn German from Year 7. 

French at Key Stage 1

French at Key Stage 1 is a fun, yet educational, programme introducing French to the children in a happy atmosphere, through the telling of familiar stories using puppets, songs, books, ICT, games, role-play, food tasting and crafts. The children are encouraged to participate as much as possible during the lessons and present little plays of the stories they have covered.

French at Key Stage 2

French at Key Stage 2 continues to build on the foundation of key vocabulary learnt in Key Stage 1 but introducing the ability to also write and read in the target language. The use of drama, puppets, craft, games, songs and ICT still play a large role in aiding language acquisition.  The lessons incorporate an introduction to French daily life, traditions and culture through up-to-date clips on events in France, food-tasting and the celebration of important festivities in the French calendar.

MFL Senior School

The two modern languages taught at Beech Hall are French and German. The majority of pupils take both languages from Year 7 to Year 9, after which a language is an optional GCSE subject.

Our approach to language learning emphasises communicative ability but also values comprehension, written accuracy and grammatical understanding. To enable a higher level of communication, pupils are encouraged to talk as much as possible in the target language during lessons, as well as learning vocabulary to assist their communicative powers.

Most, but not all, pupils entering Year 7 will already have studied French to some extent, and the course starts from the basics of communication but soon moves on to a higher linguistic level, where the ability to use the Present Tense of regular and common irregular verbs is vital. German covers the same topics and similar range of grammar but with the understanding that almost all pupils will be complete beginners. It is, however, expected that by the end of Year 7 their linguistic skills in German will have reached a similar level to their French.

Year 8 sees a continued expansion of language knowledge, and includes the learning of the Past Perfect Tense in both languages. By the end of Year 8, pupils are expected to be able to communicate in writing and orally with reasonable accuracy and some fluency.

The Year 9 course leads to the award of FCSE in each language at the end of the year. This involves pupils studying three major themes (for example, self, family and friends; holidays, travel and transport; healthy living) and undertaking regular tests in class in all four language skills, each of which contributes to the overall award.

In Years 10 and 11 we follow the AQA French specification, in which all four skills are again assessed, reading and listening comprehension through examination and writing and speaking currently though controlled assessments. By the end of the GCSE course in either language, pupils are expected to be able to understand texts from a variety of media, and to provide information and opinions either in writing or orally on a very broad range of topics, from hobbies and pastimes through to environmental and social problems. Pupils are currently able to enter the examinations at either Foundation or Higher Level, while controlled assessments are single tier.