Unlocking a culture by learning a language

In a world of rapid global communication, an ability to communicate in French, the language of our nearest neighbour, is a useful skill as well as the key to understanding a rich and unique culture.

French is taught from Year 1 onwards, ensuring that the language is consolidated and extended year on year. It also allows children entering the school at any stage to find an appropriate level.

In the Pre-Prep and Junior departments, pride of place is given to the spoken language with much use being made of games and songs to help children acquire good pronunciation and an “ear” for the sounds of French. Courses directed towards CE and scholarship begin in Year 5 with an equal emphasis on the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

In the Pre-Prep, children in Years 1 and 2 have a weekly lesson with the Head of the Pre – Prep. This allows the language to be integrated into the daily routine of the class. From Year 3, it is taught by a team of subject specialists. Children learn in their own form and then in sets, grouped by ability, in Years 6-8.

A major feature of the French curriculum is that all children in Year 6 have the opportunity to take part in a cross-curricular residential visit to Normandy to practise the language and experience French culture at first hand.