Our main emphasis at the start is on fun, communication and developing of a love of languages.

At KS3 all pupils study French from Year 7.  We aim to build on and extend the language skills acquired in primary school with topics such as family, pets and school.

As pupils gain confidence, key grammar points are incorporated such as gender and tenses. The emphasis here continues to be on communication and collaboration with paired and group activities as well as interactive games and more formal written work.  As KS3 develops, so do our pupils and their ability to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. 

All pupils make good use of a wide variety of original texts, French literature (poetry and short stories) as well as music.  We believe that these stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand an understanding of French language and culture.

Our lessons develop the breadth and depth of pupils’ competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary. They practice speaking and listening skills to be able to initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address.

Every September, one of the first activities that our new Year 7s take part in is a traditional French breakfast.

Year 8 pupils are offered the opportunity to go to France in the spring for a five day language and activity trip, usually to Normandy. Activities on offer have included archery, zip wire, visits to local historic places.

We celebrate the European Day of Languages with cross-curricular activities, language workshops and quizzes (in the past these have included Russian, Spanish, German and Urdu).

We work in close partnership with neighbouring schools to access different language days, theatre productions and competitions.

We also attend prestigious languages events at both Birmingham and Aston Universities.

French at KS4

GCSE French is offered to all pupils in KS4. We follow the Edexcel GCSE course which is 100% examination based (reading, listening, speaking and writing). 

The Edexcel GCSE in French qualification requires pupils to:

  • listen and respond to different types of spoken language
  • communicate in speech for a variety of purposes
  • read and respond to different types of written language
  • communicate in writing for a variety of purposes
  • use and understand a range of vocabulary and structures
  • understand and apply the grammar of the language, as detailed in the specification.

Some of the themes that pupils may study include:

  • Media and culture: music / film / reading / fashion / celebrities / religion / blogs / internet
  • Sport and leisure: hobbies / interests / sporting events / lifestyle choices
  • Travel and tourism: holidays / accommodation / eating / food / drink
  • Business, work and employment: work experience / part-time jobs / product or service information
TermYear 9Year 10Year 11
Autumn​Qui suis-je?
Who am I?
De la ville à la campagne
Local area
Bon travail
Work / future aspirations
SpringLe temps des loisirs
Free time
​Le grand large
Holidays 
Un œil sur le monde / revision
World affairs
SummerJours ordinaires, jours de fêtes
Routine and special occasions
​Au collège
School 
​Revision/exam

Beyond Northfield School for Girls and Career Opportunities

A foreign language qualification is highly regarded by colleges and universities as so few pupils currently study a foreign language nationally. It is, for example, a shortage subject in teaching. It is useful in all sorts of business environments from banking to engineering.

Why French?

  • 76.8 million people have French as their first language, and it is spoken in 60 countries around the world. 
  • French and English are the only two global languages. 
  • French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents.
  • France is the world’s largest manufacturer of television sets (HDTV was invented in France).
  • France is the fourth largest producer of cars in the world.
  • France is the European leader in aerospace.
  • French, along with English, is the official working language of:- The United Nations, The International Olympic Committee, The International Red Cross, The Council of Europe, The European Court of Justice.

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