We aim to instill a love of the French language, culture, thought and history.
French at City
At City we use a creative and communicative approach to teaching, and we aim not only to attain linguistic proficiency but also to instil a genuine love of the French language and Francophone culture by exposing students to literature, current affairs, music and art from year 7 onwards.
Why study French at City?
Languages contribute to the cultural and linguistic richness of our society, through personal fulfilment, mutual understanding, commercial success and international trade, and global citizenship. At City, we use a creative and communicative approach to teaching which is supported by an embedded use of technology in the classroom. We aim to cultivate a love of the French language and culture and we therefore go beyond the textbook using a variety of authentic resources from French film, literature, song, and current affairs to enhance students’ understanding.
Trips to France are an integral part of the learning and from year 10 to year 13 students benefit from personalised tutorials with language assistants. We aim to teach learners to communicate effectively and confidently in French with an emphasis on pronunciation and accuracy. They engage in discussions of both personal and global significance, requiring great commitment to detail, a wide range of lexis, and complex grammatical structures.
"I would recommend studying French at GCSE because the teaching is excellent. The oral examination can be what students feel most apprehensive about, but the department's language assistants are available both during and outside of lesson time which ensures that by the end of the course each student's French speaking ability and confidence have improved significantly."
Beyond the curriculum
Year 8 students usually join a successful five-day trip to Normandy in June, visiting places such as the Normandy D-Day landing beaches and Bayeux, home to the famous tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England.
Year 10 students attend a language course combined with cultural activities at the Centre International d’Antibes and stay with host families.
Our year 12 students visit Lyon to enhance their linguistic expertise, attending language lessons and exploring this fantastic city full of history and culture.
In addition, students usually organise trips for themselves, whether it be for courses or work experience. Past pupils have studied in Nice, Montpellier and worked in Paris.
We strongly encourage students to experience the French culture on offer in London by going to exhibitions, concerts, and talks. Year 12 and 13 students have recently attended a study day dedicated to Truffaut and the New Wave at the BFI.
Students’ creativity and talent is able to shine in a wide range of national competitions, such as the Flash fiction and ISMLA Writing competitions, or the Institut Français organised Pop video competition. In addition, our in-house Galette des rois or Crêpes competitions are highly regarded.
KS3 students have the opportunity to watch a French play directed by the drama company Onatti every year.
French Politics club
What I like the most about attending French politics club is that we aren’t learning about British politics in French, but learning about France’s political situation and culture around their politics. This really fascinates me because I have only ever been surrounded by my own country’s politics and have not had much time to investigate other countries. I find this very intriguing and fascinating especially with the French presidential election coming up! – Year 10 student
French Debating club
It is such a great opportunity to widen your knowledge on current affairs both in France and in the Francophone world. It has been really fascinating to hear differing opinions on a range of topics, all the while having the opportunity to interact with other year groups. The experience has been highly enjoyable and has also considerably improved our French speaking skills. We would recommend this to anyone interested in French and discussing unresolved issues that are relevant today. – French student
We also have a mentor system to help younger pupils who are learning French and require support. The French clinic runs twice weekly – on Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes – to support students who wish to get extra help.
DELF B2 COURSE
Finally, we are offering the DELF B2 course with the aim of students gaining the globally recognised qualification by the end of year 12. This is an official title certifying a degree of competence and mastery of the French language, granted by France’s Ministry of Education, which demonstrates the French language proficiency of foreign students.