French

At St. Bernard’s Prep School, children start their learning of French from Pre-Prep and Early Years. Language learning at this age involves much repetition and children relish playing games. They learn songs, finger rhymes and take part in activities, all linked to the Early Years curriculum.

The teaching of French in Early Years 2 is based on La Jolie Ronde’s “La ronde des petits.” During the first term, puppets Leo and Lulu play a key role in engaging the children in activities, songs and rhymes. The second term’s activities are based around story books, whilst the third term focuses on mini-beasts.

Since September 2014, La Jolie Ronde’s award-winning, structured course for prep schools has been introduced into KS1 and KS2. It is based on real communication situations suited to the interest, experience and social intellectual development of each age group. The programme contains a lot of stories, action chants, songs and games so that children learn the language in a similar way to French children. Vocabulary and structures are continually recycled throughout the course, ensuring development and progression between academic year groups and key stages.

KS1 pupils follow Les Aventures de Minou et Trottine programme, which closely follows the seasons and contains simple stories, action chants, games and songs. A fun and motivational pupil activity workbook accompanies this programme.

Lower Transition and Transition pupils follow the Bonjour La France programme. It contains role-plays, listening, reading and writing activities, songs, grammar and is linked in with the geography and culture of France.

Upper Transition and Remove pupils follow the Mon tour de France programme. More complex linguistic structures are introduced, new vocabulary is met and topic areas extended. There are extended role plays and an increasing emphasis is put on the creative use of language in speaking and writing. The Tour de France theme adds an element of sporting and cultural interest, whilst improving pupils’ knowledge of the geography of France.

Each KS2 pupil has their own interesting, attractive and well-planned workbook, which contains a huge and varied amount of activities, covering all four skill areas of French: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. Each unit is constantly revisiting and developing previously learnt language, giving the pupils a sense of satisfaction and progression. The course effectively fulfils the requirements of the new KS2 Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum, particularly in the development of writing skills. The new curriculum also highlights the ability to use a bilingual dictionary. Each KS2 pupil has a copy of the Collins Primary Illustrated French Dictionary. This user-friendly dictionary is well-suited to this age group and enhances pupils’ language learning in class.

Here are some useful websites, which pupils can use to support and extend their language learning in the classroom. Many of them offer interactive games and fun activities, which encourage and motivate your child to learn French.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/primarylanguages/french has a good variety of activities.

 www.zut.org.uk  ®  Zut Junior ®  Junior Beginner  ®  Exercises. This also has sound files under  ‘vocabulary and pronunciation’. This website is ONLY FREE WEEKENDS and AFTER 4PM WEEKDAYS.

 http://www.french-games.net/ is a topic-based vocabulary with lessons and games, which include sound files. It has French games and a parents' page with advice on supporting your child’s French learning.

www.languagesonline.org.uk   ®  Français  ®   Primary does not have sound files, but has some very good activities.

www.memrise.com  is recommended by some pupils.

www.duolingo.com   has 'bite-sized' French lessons. Learn French for 5 minutes a day. You receive a reminder if you forget to practise! It is also available as a phone app.

Remove pupils have the opportunity to spend an exciting week in Picardie at the Chateau du Broutel on a French adventure experience. This trip consolidates the children’s language learning and includes both cultural and historic visits to the Somme battlefields, Nausicaa Sea Life Centre and a snail farm.