“A man who knows two languages is worth two men.” – French Proverb
At Kingswood House pupils learn French from Reception through to Year 11. We are a highly motivated and committed department of specialist language teachers, which strives to instil a love of the language inside and outside of the classroom. We teach language skills and cultural awareness in order that our pupils will have the confidence to communicate with our European neighbours and appreciate their similarities and differences. We encourage pupils to break away from the British concept that “everyone should speak English”, and believe that communication between individuals from different countries is both rewarding and essential in the current global climate. With lessons involving a mixture of the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, we believe a language holds something for everyone. We encourage authentic pronunciation by teaching French phonics from the Prep-Prep upwards, and a clear understanding of everyday language by speaking as much French as possible in the classroom and around the school, creating a mini-France within our already small, friendly environment. In Early Years and Key Stage 1 the emphasis is on “active learning”. Sentence patterns for communication are learnt largely through songs, finger mimes, activity games, repetition, dialogue and story. In Key Stage 2 pupils continue building vocabulary and learn basic French grammar in the form of games, colouring, singing and role-plays, using a variety of resources. These include a text book from Year 5 to ensure that pupils’ reading and writing skills reach the same level as their speaking and listening skills. In Key Stage 3 topics covered extend into the wider world and we take pupils on a trip to Northern France to give them a greater understanding of the language and culture. In Year 9 pupils research and give a presentation to the class on any aspect of France or a French-speaking country. Pupils may sit Common Entrance French or continue into Key Stage 4. In Key Stage 4 pupils can opt to sit GCSE French (AQA). We are developing initiatives to increase experience of the language including a Year 10 study visit or exchange to France, a virtual Pen Friend programme and conversational sessions with a French Assistante which may be introduced over the coming terms.
Read what our Year 7 boys reported after their recent visit to France
In order to “bring the country into the classroom” we organise as many fun events as possible such as a weekly French Boulangerie, a day spent celebrating the European Day of Languages and an entertaining and understandable play performed by native French actors. Pupils also have the opportunity to subscribe to a French language magazine aimed at their level.
“You live a new life for every new language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.” ‒ Czech proverb