FRENCH

The Pate’s French curriculum has been created with a focus on language for life. For us as a department, this means teaching language in a way that enables students to lay down life-long language learning skills, but also grants students real insight into the culture and day to day life of French-speaking countries around the globe. Students start in Year 7 with very varied experience of French. On arrival, they complete an entry questionnaire so as to inform us about their prior knowledge and experience. This information helps shape how we support, stretch and challenge them as they progress through the Lower School curriculum. We assess students in Years 7 and 8 in relation to three key strands: communication, comprehension, and grammatical understanding and application. Students will develop transferable skills that will support them in their learning of another language at GCSE and A Level, will gain an understanding of the French-speaking world, and will collate a practical ‘toolkit’ of language which can be used in many real-world situations in France and beyond.

In Year 9, the French curriculum builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in Years 7 and 8. It is also designed to provide strong foundations for the transition to the study of French at GCSE. Wherever possible, students in Years 9 and 10 are offered the opportunity to take part in the French exchange with partner schools from Cheltenham’s twin town of Annecy in the idyllic Haute-Savoie region of France.

The Pate’s GCSE (Key Stage 4) French curriculum is shaped around the requirements of the AQA GCSE French specification, and consciously builds on the skills and knowledge acquired in Years 7, 8 and 9. Students entering Year 10 have amassed a wealth of relevant vocabulary, grammatical structures, and communicative and comprehension skills, and these are drawn upon in the GCSE course. Although many students continue to take their French studies on to A Level, for those whose French journey will stop after Year 11, we aim to provide transferable skills that will help them in their learning of another language at A Level, or that will give them cultural insight and linguistic competency that will enable them to live and work in the French-speaking world outside of Pate’s. We always seek to overlap with current affairs and topics studied in Humanities, English, and Science.

The Pate’s A Level (Key Stage 5) French curriculum is shaped around the requirements of the AQA GCE French A Level specification. We again make conscious reference to the foundational skills and knowledge that students have gained over Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. Students entering Year 12 have at their disposal a wide range of relevant vocabulary, grammatical structures, and communicative and comprehension skills, and these are built upon in the A Level course. We are, however, aware that there are sometimes gaps in grammatical understanding and application at the beginning of Year 12, and we seek to address this through our ‘skills’ test and intensive grammar course which runs alongside core topic work over the course of the first year of the A Level. The AQA course covered in Year 12 enables students to reuse and recycle vocabulary and structures from GCSE, but rapidly encourages and requires them to think about the context of the French-speaking world and the persuasiveness of the language they are using. By the end of the course, we aim to give students the transferable skills, cultural insight, and linguistic competency that will enable them to live and work in the French-speaking world. Many of our students are inspired to continue French at university and beyond, often combining French with other languages or a wide variety of other programs of study.

Year 7 French Curriculum Year 8 French Curriculum Year 9 French Curriculum Year 10 French Curriculum Year 11 French Curriculum Year 12 French Curriculum Year 13 French Curriculum