We believe that it is of great importance for all people to master at least one other language. Our view is that learning a language should start early and that it should be fun. We have been offering French lessons for pupils in Years 2 to 6 for a considerable time now and, from September 2015, we introduced one additional lesson per week to older pupils in Key Stage 2. So pupils in Years 5 and 6 had two half hour French lessons a week. In addition, all Key Stage 2 pupils attended a weekly assembly that was entirely in French – no English was spoken at all. On this occasion they heard a familiar story containing a repetitive structure and are helped by the use of many clear visual images. Our lessons involve plenty of speaking and listening, lots of opportunities to role play simple scenes and the use of the Rigolo animation programme. Our oldest pupils, in Upper Key Stage 2, also do a small amount of writing.
When Madame Caffrey went on maternity leave we continued to teach French, but had to reduce the number of lessons older pupils in Upper Key Stage 2 were offered. Madame Caffrey is returning to work in the second half of the Spring Term 2017. We will confirm whether we can reinstate these additional lessons by the end of February 2017.
An overview of our French curriculum is available by clicking here. Feedback about French lessons from the pupils - obtained through semi-structured small group interviews during our cyclical internal reviews - is extremely positive. To improve pupils’ French we also host a couple of French student teachers for a four week period in the Spring Term. In addition, French is one of the many community languages that is heard in our annual House Reading in a Language other than English competition which is held in the Spring Term. There are also after school French clubs. We have two skilled French teachers: Madame Caffrey and Helen Leissle . Both of them really enjoy teaching French. Madame Caffrey used to work in a secondary school modern foreign languages department and is a subject specialist. Watch two clips of our Year 6 pupils – in full costume – purchasing items at a shop.