Learning a language develops learners’ understanding of themselves and their own culture and creates an awareness of the nature of language and language learning.
The French curriculum is a very important element of students’ cultural capital, equipping them with a deeper understanding of their own language and its Latin and Norman roots as well as the cultural uniqueness of target language countries across the globe. For example, encountering Francophone music, film, festivals and current events are an integral part of our provision so that students can see life in target language countries from a distance.
By learning French at Berwick Academy, students can contribute to their local community where tourism and many export-led businesses are based as well as globally through their ability to communicate with the Francophone world.
Our Academy principles of Friendship, Learning and Respect are relevant within the classroom as students work together in pairs and groups regularly to practice speaking and listening French cooperatively. We also promote these values with respect to other countries and cultures, learning about similarities and differences.
Enrichment opportunities include film, conversation club and a visit to France.
We recognise that students need multiple opportunities to encounter language in different contexts so that knowledge is retained over time. Through a curriculum that has integral distributed practice and frequent knowledge retrieval opportunities we maximise students’ opportunities to secure language into long-term memory.
In French we use ‘input flooding’ and ‘extensive processing’ techniques to give students repeated exposure to new vocabulary and structures so that language is more likely to embedded into long-term memory. Language is often introduced in chunks rather than single lexical items as research has shown that this has a similar cognitive load for the learner and is therefore more efficient. Student texts contain between 95% and 100% of familiar language/target structures so that they can comprehend texts that they are given.
Students who choose French in Key Stage 4 are entered for a GCSE in the subject.
For more detailed information about French please make reference to the following curriculum plan(s). Please note, curriculum plans are developed on an ongoing basis.