At Thomas More Catholic School pupils are introduced to learning French in year 7. French is compulsory until year 9 when many pupils choose to continue French to GCSE or A Level. French forms part of the new ‘baccalaureate’ qualification and is very popular.
We are a well-equipped department with: new textbooks and homework books this year purpusfully created for the new GCSE standards by our exam board AQA (also available online –Kerboodle- for all pupils to have access to the manual at home without the extra weight of it in their bags). We are also equipped with data projectors and software programmes for use in the ICT suite with headphones or at home on the internet using our Doddle and Kerboodle password.
We aim for pupils to reach grade 3, where they can start using at least 2 tenses, in producing skills such as speaking and writing as soon as possible as well as grade 4 in understanding skills such as reading and listening, focusing on pronunciation and the speed of language when listeing.
With our Assessment for Learning policy, we regularly assess how students are progressing, either with simple vocabulary tests, by isolating one skill or working on all of them for termly test. All students have a target for the year and a challenge target designed to stretch the more able.
We cater well for all students and provide differentiated work for different abilities.
We have an extensive enrichment programme. We are very lucky to be part of not one but two Erasmus + programmes which enable our department to offer numerous trips (week long exchanges) to a variety of European countries such as France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Danmark and Finland. These programmes are partially founded by the European Union and are an amazing opportunity for our pupils to discover different countries, cultures and create long term friendship across Europe.
At the end of year 8 when students choose their options, we are pleased that French is a very popular choice. We use a brand new textbook AQA GCSE French (1-9), we have both foundation books and higher to enable all our pupils to work to the best of their abilities and being able to find adequate resources to their target grade.
We are still in touch with many of the students who studied French. Their career choices include teacher, investment banker, lawyer and doctor.
Our department has been awarded the International School Award which recognises excellence in providing international opportunities for all pupils. In addition to this, our department has been awarded European Union funding from the Erasmus Plus programme. We can take up to 30 pupils to European exchanges.
We run two after school revision clubs every Wednesdays: one for our year 10 and another for our year 11 pupils. They are created as workshops for pupils and a time table of all the different workshops is given at the start of every half-term so pupils can sign up in advance for the workshops that interest them.