All pupils and students at Hagley Catholic High School follow a taught course of French. The Department is made up by four specialist teachers who are fully committed to the education of the pupils;
Most students (over 2/3) study French to GCSE at Hagley Catholic High School. From the beginning of Year 7 and throughout KS3, students are taught grammatical skills necessary to manipulate the language accurately, as well as the relevant topic-related vocabulary. One of the ways that we ensure students have the prior knowledge required to start the GCSE course is by making a very good use of the resources provided by Active Learn which cater for the needs of all students from Year 7 to Year 11. We also use this online platform to set homework tasks that will enable students to deepen their understanding and practise the skills taught in lessons.
Knowledge and skills gained in each year: Students learn to use a variety of regular and irregular verbs in the present tense and they are taught how to use the near future. Giving personal opinions and reasons are also a key part of the course and they are practising this skill to talk about themselves, their town, their hobbies and holidays
Knowledge and skills gained in each year: One of the main aspects of this course is the use of 3 tenses to talk about their identity and personality, celebrations and festivals, and the use of technology. There is also a big emphasis on the perfect tense and how to use it with a variety of verbs.
Knowledge and skills gained in each year: This course introduces students to more complex grammar, such as modal verbs, the simple future, the imperfect and the conditional. The topics of healthy lifestyle, future career plans, ideal holidays and personal priorities allow students to develop descriptive and argumentative skills, which are needed to achieve higher grades in Speaking and Writing at GCSE.
Knowledge and skills gained in each year: Students revisit a range of topics such as family relationships, leisure activities, celebrations, local area and holidays. The grammar skills taught at KS3 are reviewed and developed further with the introduction to more complex items of grammar such as negatives, comparatives and superlatives (Foundation and Higher tiers), and the use of pronouns and present participles (Higher).
Knowledge and skills gained in each year: The last modules of the GCSE course cover the topics of school, further education, career plans and the environment. The grammar skills reviewed as part of those topics are the use of multiple tenses, impersonal phrases and modal verbs (Foundation and Higher). At higher tier, students are taught more complex items to enable them to reach grades 8-9 such as the subjunctive, the passive voice and verbs followed by a preposition. The last few weeks of the year are spent on practising skills around exam papers.
Every student is assessed in at least 3 of the 4 skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) at the end of each module. We aim at covering 5 modules per year with the exception of Year 11. To prepare for those assessments, students are provided with vocabulary lists, which they must learn section by section throughout each module (directed by the teachers). Although progress varies according to students’ own abilities, the course allows them to reach grade 1-3 by the end of Year 7, 2-4 by the end of Year 8 and 3-5 by the end of Year 9 (on average). At KS4, the content of the Foundation course prepares students for exam papers reaching up to grade 5 and the Higher course stretches to grade 9.
The French department provides weekly lunchtime support sessions run by the teachers and covering a variety of skills (grammar, translation, listening, etc.). We encourage KS4 students to attend those sessions as often as possible, particularly Year 11 students in the run up to the exams.
We have run a trip to Paris several years in a row, which has always been a success as it has enabled students to practise speaking the target language and to experience the French culture in the capital. We are hoping to start running this trip again in the very near future.