Subject Leader: Mrs A. Coates

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What are we studying?

We follow the course “Expo” which consists of a pupil book and audio files. There is also an element of online learning.

Students develop skills in understanding written and spoken French and in actively using the language to speak and write.  They develop a wide range of language learning techniques, which will aid them in learning across the curriculum and with any language they may choose or need to study in the future.

How are we assessed?

Students have vocabulary, grammar and spelling tests.

They complete at least two written tasks per topic, which are graded, in terms of expected progress towards target, as either +, = or -. These tasks are given a level (for example 4=) once students have responded to their teacher’s feedback and they have made the necessary improvements in green pen.
They complete one speaking or writing assessment and one reading or listening assessment at the end of each topic, this is usually four times a year.  These assessments are completed in class in test conditions. For each assessment students will be given a level and this will be compared to their target level to measure progress and performance.

How are we grouped?

Using both Key Stage 2 data and data from Year 7classwork and assessments, students are put into one of five French groups and will either study the higher or foundation course.  Students in set 6 for English do not study a foreign language and receive additional literacy support. If it becomes clear that a student is in the wrong group during the year, this may be adjusted.  At the end of the year, students may move groups depending on assessment outcomes.

What homework do we do?

  • Students need to learn vocabulary and spellings every day. Spelling and vocabulary tests give teachers a good indication of whether a student is completing their homework but it should be remembered that the purpose of these activities is to build students’ French vocabulary. It is much more effective to learn spellings and vocabulary for five minutes every day, rather than 30 minutes the night before a test. Learning in regular intervals drastically improves the chance of the words being stored in the long-term memory. If spelling/vocabulary homework is not set they can choose ten words or an item of grammar that they found challenging to work on.
  • Students are also set homework activities consisting of reading, grammar practice, writing tasks and speaking practice. They do not normally receive more than one homework task per week, in addition to vocabulary/grammar learning. At the end of each topic, students need to learn and revise thoroughly for the end of topic assessments.

What can parents do to help?

Review exercise book regularly. Discuss your child’s progress with him/her.

Ensure that students learn vocabulary and grammar at home for at least 5 minutes every day. Support them with making flash cards and/or using the ‘look, cover, write and check’ method to learn spellings. If spelling/vocabulary homework is not set they can choose ten words or an item of grammar that they found challenging to work on.

Provide an “easy learning” bi-lingual dictionary and encourage your child to use it when completing written homework.

Direct students to vocabulary building and grammar practice websites such as and

Provide students with as much visual and audio stimulus as possible, for example, French magazines, French films, French radio/TV and, if possible, a trip to France.

pdf iconMore information on levels