Subject Leader: Mrs Amy Coates

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What are we studying?

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.

We follow the course “Studio” which consists of a pupil book, audio and video files as well as an online learning package.  Students study five or six different topic areas and each topic covers a wide range of vocabulary, culture and several elements of grammar. All students begin the year with an access unit that covers basic vocabulary and grammar. This access unit builds on language studied at primary school and fills in any gaps for students who have not studied French before.

How are we assessed?

Students have regular vocabulary, spelling and grammar 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 3=) once students have responded to their teacher’s feedback and they have made the necessary improvements.

Students complete one speaking or writing assessment as well as reading and listening assessments 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?

Groupings in Year 7 are initially based on the SATs scores and data from primary schools. Students are placed into one of 2 bands accordingly to ability. Each band has three groups. Our maximum class size is 32 but groups are often slightly smaller than this.

These groups are reviewed and adjusted throughout the year and anyone clearly very misplaced is moved as soon as possible. Set changes during the course of Year 7 need to be agreed by all subjects affected by a timetable change. Therefore, it is often the case that set movements do not take place until the end of the year. These movements are based on assessments and work completed during the course of Year 7.

Students in set 6 for English do not study a foreign language and receive additional literacy support.

What homework are we expected to do?

  • All students are given a username and password for their Studio online learning account and they should log-on at least once a week. (
  • 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 the 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, speaking practice and writing tasks. They do not normally receive more than one homework task per week, in addition to vocabulary 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 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 film, French radio/TV and, if possible, a trip to France.


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