Bolton School Senior Boys



French is taught to all our pupils in Year 7 in mixed ability form groups. Some of our pupils will have studied some French prior to arriving in the senior school which can be an advantage in the early weeks. We do not however assume any previous knowledge and pupils new to the subject almost always catch up by the end of the autumn term.  In Year 8 pupils may continue with French or choose Spanish at this point along with a second MFL from Russian or German. Those who continue with French remain in mixed ability groups until the end of Year 9. In Year 7 our teaching is based around the new course book Dynamo 1 which also be accessed via Active Teach on the pupils’ iPads. We will be introducing Dynamo 2 into Year 8 in September 2019. Currently, in Years 8 and 9 we use Studio. We study the language through a systematic grammar based work scheme with regular testing of one of the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking at the end of every unit. We conduct our lessons in the target language where it is useful to do so but we are not afraid to explain grammar points or discuss work in English where an awareness of the finer details of language is paramount. All students can use a departmentally produced ITunes U course to reinforce the material taught.

In the GCSE years French is a popular MFL option and students may study several languages if they have an aptitude for them. We currently take the GCSE AQA examination as a linear specification. We use the Studio AQA GCSE French higher (Pearson) for the new specification. We supplement the teaching with our own ITunes U course and other materials.

In Years 12 and 13 we offer A level courses following the AQA specification. We use the text books produced by Oxford specifically for the course supported by online resources which all students have access to. We conduct our own oral examination.

In order to assist our pupils in the examination years we appoint a French assistant through our link with the British Council. The member of staff helps prepare our students for the presentation and general conversation aspects of the GCSE and with the necessary contemporary cultural awareness needed for A level success.

We subscribe to several periodicals including Okapi. The most recent copy is in the senior library and back copies are in the departmental office. Pupils are encouraged to watch TV news broadcasts by logging onto French television websites.

We are continually updating the ICT software provision to our students and students have both a text book and online access of the material to help them with their listening skills independently of the teacher. Individual PCs linked to data projectors/interactive whiteboards have been installed in our classrooms and material complementary to our course books is accessible via pupil iPads.

Departmental Activities

In the final week of Year 7 we offer a five day residential trip to Paris through Dragons International. In recent years we have stayed at the Parc Astérix resort hotel in the outer Paris area. We visit the main sights of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, Montmartre, Notre Dame cathedral and give pupils a boat trip on the Seine and a tour of the Chateau at Versailles. 72 boys participated in the trip to France in 2018.

Our final exchange with Moulins (Central France) for our Year 9 and 10 pupils will be in Summer 2019. Our partner school, Le Collège St.Benoît, is an independent mixed Catholic school. We hope to continue the link through a pen pal and Skype links between specific classes.

Our French assistant runs Le Club Français one lunch time per week for lower school pupils offering games and activities. We have a well established French cinema club for sixth formers giving pupils the opportunity to study and watch films on an informal basis.

Head of Department:

A C Robson BA

Members of the Department:

Mrs J L Cotton BA MA
A I McNeil BA MA
M H J Prentki BA
Miss O M Sullivan BA
Miss H F Torun BA
Mrs M A Lapinskas BA 

Mr D Clauzon (French Assistant)

Paris Trip 2018.jpg

Paris Trip 2018

Spelling Bee final in Cambridge.jpg

Spelling Bee final in Cambridge

A level debating Competition - students now studying French at uni.jpg

A Level debating Competition - both students are now reading French at university

French exchange learning about gothic cathedrals in Bourges.jpg

French Exchange learning about gothic cathedrals in Bourges