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Lavington School

EQUA Trust

French

Subject Leader : Mrs Amy Coates

Year 7

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. (www.pearsonactivelearn.com)
  • 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  www.French-games.net and www.languagesonline.org.uk.

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.

Year 8

What are we studying?

We follow the course “Expo” which consists of a pupil book and audio files. There is also an element of online learning.

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.

How are we assessed?

Students have vocabulary, grammar and spelling 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 4=) once students have responded to their teacher’s feedback and they have made the necessary improvements in green pen.
 
They complete one speaking or writing assessment and one reading or listening assessment 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?

Using both Key Stage 2 data and data from Year 7classwork and assessments, students are put into one of five French groups and will either study the higher or foundation course.  Students in set 6 for English do not study a foreign language and receive additional literacy support. If it becomes clear that a student is in the wrong group during the year, this may be adjusted.  At the end of the year, students may move groups depending on assessment outcomes.

What homework do we do?

  • 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 a 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, writing tasks and speaking practice. They do not normally receive more than one homework task per week, in addition to vocabulary/grammar 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 and grammar 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 www.French-games.net and www.languagesonline.org.uk

Provide students with as much visual and audio stimulus as possible, for example, French magazines, French films, French radio/TV and, if possible, a trip to France.

Year 9

What are we studying?

We begin with the course “Expo” which consists of a pupil book and audio files. There is also an element of online learning. Part way through the year students begin the GCSE course using the AQA Studio book. All students will have a username and password to access their personal online learning account.

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.

How are we assessed?

Students have vocabulary and spelling tests every week, as far as is possible.

They complete at least two written homework tasks per topic, which are graded, in terms of expected progress towards target, as either +, = or -. These tasks are given a level (for example 4=) once students have responded to their teacher’s feedback and they have made the necessary improvements in green pen.

They complete one speaking or writing assessment and one reading or listening assessment 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?

Students are grouped, as far as possible, by language preference (French or Spanish). Using both Key Stage 2 data, CATs data and assessment results from Year 8, they are then set into three French groups  and two Spanish groups. Students in set 6 for English do not study a foreign language and receive additional literacy support. If it becomes clear that a student is in the wrong set for their ability during the year, this may be adjusted. 

What homework do we do?

  • 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. They should also log into their online learning account at least once a week once they begin the GCSE course.
  • Students are also set homework activities consisting of reading, writing tasks and speaking practice. 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  www.French-games.net and www.languagesonline.org.uk and of course the GCSE online learning platform for which they will have a username and password www.pearsonactivelearn.com.


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.

Years 10 and 11

What are we studying?

Students further develop their skills in understanding written and spoken French and in actively using the language to speak and write.  They are expected to have and discuss their opinion on a wide range of current topics in French.

They continue to 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 Studio series, which includes a pupil book, audio files and authentic French videos. Students begin the GCSE course part way through Year 9. Students begin year 10 with a grammar, pronunciation and language learning skills refresher course and then go on to study the following modules:

Year 9/10       

Module 1

Me, my family and friends

(Identity and culture)

Module 2

Free time, leisure and technology

(Identity and culture)

Module 3

everyday life and celebrations, customs and festivals

(Identity and culture)

Module 4

The town and the countryside

(Local, national, international and global areas of interest )

Module 5

Travel and holidays

(Local, national, international and global areas of interest)

 

Skills work, exam-style practice, revision/assessment

 Year 11

Module 6

School

 (Current and future study and employment)

Module 7

Work

(Current and future study and employment)

Module 8

Global issues, environment ethics and politics

(Local, national, international and global areas of interest)

 

Skills work/exam-style practice

 

Revision/exams

 

Revision/exams

How are we assessed?

Students will sit four exams at the end of the two year course. The examination board is AQA. Candidates will be entered for writing, speaking, reading and listening examinations. Each is worth 25%.

There are two exam tiers, Foundation (grades 1-5) and Higher (grades 4- 9).

Students’ progress in all four skills is monitored and supported throughout the course.

How are we grouped?

Students in Year 11 are divided between two mixed ability groups.

Students in Year 10 are set in either group 1 or 2.

There are usually between 20 and 26 students in each group.

What home learning are we expected to do?

  • Students will complete writing tasks, approximately 2-3 per topic, which are graded using the GCSE mark scheme.
  • Students must revise and learn the vocabulary and grammar presented in class and will have learning activities, including vocabulary, grammar and speaking practice.
  • All students will have a username and password for the AQA GCSE Studio online learning programme. www.pearsonsactivelearn.com. This website should be visited at least once a week.

It is much more effective to learn spellings and vocabulary for five minutes every day, rather than 30 minutes the night before a test. Learning in regular intervals drastically improves the chance of the words being stored in the long term memory and improves students’ overall GCSE grades in the final exams. If spelling/vocabulary homework is not set, they can choose ten words or an item of grammar that they found challenging to work on as well as visiting the online learning programme.

AQA GCSE revision workbooks can be purchased from school at a reduced cost of £3, (Free for students who receive Free School Meals) holiday homework will be set from these. We expect students to complete between 1 hour and 1 hour and 30 minutes of home learning per week. 

What can parents do to help?

Discuss your child’s progress with them. They will receive regular written feedback and they will be able to show this to you.

  • Ensure that students learn vocabulary at home every day and support them with making flash cards and learning spellings using the ‘look, cover, write and check’ technique.
  • Candidates make extensive use of bilingual dictionaries throughout the course. It is very beneficial for them to have their own, as they are then familiar with the layout and can find words more easily. Parents could help by providing a dictionary – if possible an “easy learning” dictionary, which contains verb tables in the middle.
  • Direct students to the following websites:
  • Provide students with as much visual and audio stimulus as possible, for example French magazines and films.
  • We are hoping to offer all Year 10 students the opportunity to visit the Opal coast. This will be a residential visit for four nights and students will benefit from a well-organised French immersion course, including a day in a French school.