French & Modern Languages
We teach French and other modern languages to allow boys to understand how languages work and to give them new perspectives on their own and others’ cultures.
Initially we focus on speaking and listening by singing songs and doing walking and talking activities. This gives boys the best chance of tuning their ears to the sound of the language and developing good accents as well as the confidence to simply stand up and talk.
In year 5, boys begin to develop an understanding of key underlying grammatical principles, such as conjugating verbs. This learning is consolidated through writing.
By year 8, boys have achieved a good GCSE standard. They are able to write accurately on themes of everyday life using all main tenses and to speak with a degree of fluency.
French is taught in large part through interactive activities in which language is used for a practical purpose. The subject is brought to life through the use of authentic video and through the exchange of letters with our partner school in France.
One of the biggest challenges of learning a language, learning vocabulary, is made easier through the use of flashcards and the technique known as spaced repetition, in which vocabulary reoccurs at initially short and then, if the vocabulary is retained, slightly longer intervals.
The school has a large proportion of bilingual students which reinforces the boys understanding that languages are vital and relevant.