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At Guru Nanak Sikh Academy, the prime objective of the French department is to develop students’ fluency and ability to interact in a foreign language. During the three timetabled lessons per week they are immersed in the language, and everything we create is used to this end, from the layout of the classrooms to the use of authentic French resources such as newspapers, magazines and films. We also hope, in the near future, to introduce access to French TV channels to give students further experience of native speakers.

Culturally, we focus on many countries as well as France in order to help to develop our students’ interest in, and curiosity about, the world.  In Year 9 we also run successful residential trips to the continent in collaboration with other departments, and are planning to offer one-day trips such as a French Christmas market for lower year groups in the near future. Other innovative ideas include inter-house competitions such as French X Factor (Year 7), a French quiz (Year 8) and a series of French plays performed to a departing Year 11 as a farewell celebration.

Our aim is to make the experience of learning French dynamic, interactive and enjoyable for students across all key stages, and it gives us great pleasure to see our students understanding and communicating fluently in French by the time they reach Year 11.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, students are introduced to a range of topics including:

  • Physical description
  • Family
  • School
  • Hobbies
  • Places In Town

The skills learned in Year 7 are developed further in Year 8. Topics include:

  • Personality
  • Daily Routine
  • Comparison of People And Events
  • Referring To The Past
  • Talking About The Future

In year 9, students continue to develop their skills and are encouraged to become more independent in their work. Topics include:

  • Local Area
  • Home and Life At Home
  • Sports
  • Healthy Living
  • Environment

Key Stage 4

GCSE French

The GCSE syllabus is introduced throughout the year to prepare students for the final exam.

Formal assessments take place half-termly and individual targets are set for each student to progress. In addition, students are encouraged, through detailed holiday homework, to develop their literacy, grammar, speaking and writing skills.

In year 10, students study 13 out of the 20 topics in depth that make up the GCSE course in both listening and reading  They will also prepare and sit the two controlled assessments which are part of the writing component of the GCSE.

In year 11, students study in depth the last 7 of 20 topics that they started to cover in year 10 and which cover the GCSE exam for both the listening and the reading papers.

They also prepare and sit 2 speaking controlled assessments which are part of the speaking component of the GCSE.


Listening – 20% (for which 20 topics are covered)

The test will be pre-recorded using native speakers. Students’ comprehension will be tested by a range of question types, normally requiring non-verbal responses or responses in English. Students will be expected to understand discussion of a wide range of issues. They will also need to understand gist and detail, identify and extract main points, use context and other clues to interpret meaning, draw conclusions and summarise what they have heard.

Reading – 20% (for which 20 topics are covered)

Students’ comprehension will be tested by a range of question types, normally requiring non-verbal responses or responses in English. The test will contain items which will include some complex, unfamiliar language in a range of registers, together with non-factual and imaginative material including narrative. Students will be expected to use their knowledge of grammar and structure to demonstrate understanding of specific points and of gist/the main message. They will also be expected to recognise points of view, attitudes and emotions and to draw conclusions.

Speaking – 30 % 

Students will complete two controlled assessment tasks. These tasks are untiered.  Both tasks will be in the form of a dialogue which will demonstrate the ability of the student to sustain a conversation in another language. They will also be expected to cope with a certain degree of unpredictability

Writing – 30 %

Students will complete two controlled assessment tasks. They will be expected, as they progress linguistically, to:

  • cope with a greater degree of unpredictability
  • deal with a widening range of potential problems
  • understand and use more accurately a widening range of vocabulary and structures, including some unfamiliar language
  • understand issues and opinions
  • discuss issues and give opinions
  • give full descriptions and accounts