Girls in Years 7-11 have the opportunity to take French to GCSE.
The Year 7 course caters for complete beginners as well as those who have already learnt some French at primary school. It is delivered via the medium of the Michel Thomas method together with the Studio 1 Textbook. Girls who have chosen to continue with French in Years 8 and 9 follow the Studio 2 and 3 courses. All girls have access via their iPad to both the digital book and the ActiveLearn platform which enables them to complete interactive exercises.
We promote all four skills and offer a good grounding in grammar. Girls are also encouraged to work independently and complete tasks from their independent passports on a regular basis. All girls study cultural aspects in order to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the French-speaking world.
From Year 10 onwards, girls have weekly lessons individually or in small groups with the French Assistant who also runs the weekly Year 7 French club, Café français, with the help of girls from the Sixth Form.
We follow the AQA specifications at both GCSE and A Level.
At AS and A2, the emphasis is on learning about modern French life, culture and institutions as well as continuing to build up linguistic skills. As such girls study the current trends and issues of the French-speaking society (such as the changing nature of family, the place of voluntary work, positive aspects of a diverse society, how criminals are treated…) as well as aspects of its cultural and political life (contemporary francophone music, the right to vote and political engagement of teenagers…). Students also study a film and a novel and have individual weekly conversations with our French Assistant. We encourage students to develop their skills through independent study and research and by borrowing from our extensive stock of films, books and magazines and using the interactive and online activities which form part of the course.
Above all we aim to encourage enjoyment and confidence in the use of the language both inside and outside the classroom. Students in Years 9 and 10 have the opportunity to take part in our long-standing Exchange visit to Moulins, which is run jointly with the Boys' Division. We recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. In the Sixth form, girls are encouraged to undertake work experience in France.
Recent extra-curricular activities have included a visit from a Theatre company, after school film evenings and a Journée française organised for our Sixth Form linguists. Girls take part in the annual competition run by Oxford university for which one of our Year 7 pupils was awarded a special commendation. Each year a team of Year 13 students also take part in the regional debating competition held at Cheadle Hulme School. Year 7 take part in the annual school competition Francovision, based on the Eurovision song contest. In addition to our weekly Year 7 French club, other clubs are on offer: Table Ronde (for girls in Years 10 and 11) and Cercle français (for girls in the Sixth Form).