St Columb's College
Aim: To instil in our pupils a love of the French language through a pupil-centred teaching approach which enables pupils to take an active role in their learning, understand the language and communicate effectively in a variety of different situations.
At Key Stage 3, the members of the French Department use the Dynamo series of textbooks and workbooks as their principal teaching resources. They also have access to a digital service called ActiveLearn, a very well thought out online teaching and Learning tool. The Dynamo materials enable pupils to develop their Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing skills through a range of exercises promoting active learning. Other materials, such as Boardworks, TES French teaching and learning resources, Microsoft PowerPoint and Word as well as various websites such as Languages Online, Kahoot, Blooket facilitate active learning and a pupil-centred teaching approach. These materials also enable teachers to cater for a range of pupil abilities, interests and learning styles. Pupils are given opportunities in class to work in pairs and groups, as well as present their work to their peers, thereby developing their Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities.
At Key Stage 4, pupils have the opportunity to study one language at GCSE Level and may opt to continue to learn French. Pupils study the CCEA specification at GCSE and at A-level.
GCSE pupils study three Contexts for learning that provide plenty of variety and scope for investigating, understanding, describing, discussing and giving opinions. The contexts are: Identity, Lifestyle and Culture; Local, National, International and Global areas of Interest as well as School Life, Studies and the World of Work.
There is an external examination for each of the specificationâ€™s four assessment units (Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking), each worth 25% of the overall mark.
At A-level, students develop knowledge and understanding by studying themes relating to the society and culture, past and present, of a country or community where the French language is spoken.
This course has six units: three at AS level and three at A2. This section sets out the content and learning outcomes for each unit. GCE French gives students the opportunity to explore two broad areas of interest.
These are: Social Trends and Issues; and either Political Culture, Intellectual Culture or Artistic Culture.
Students explore the areas of interest by studying four themes: Relationships (AS); Culture and Lifestyle (AS); Young People in Society (A2); and Our Place in a Changing World (A2).
Increasingly, employers are seeking students who can offer good interpersonal skills; these can be developed through the French Programmes of Study. Research has shown that the majority of students who can offer a second language work in business-related areas, such as finance, language services, pharmaceuticals, technology, the media, engineering, social and civil services, customer support services, education, transport and distribution and travel and tourism.
Universities are now offering courses which combine the study of French with another subject, such as Law, Music, Business Studies, or even a Science subject. There are many interesting combinations available, as employers and students alike realize that the study of a language provides invaluable communication and interpersonal skills, which can ultimately lead to fulfilling and successful careers.
- Ms M Lubbeke
- Mr X Prigent (Acting Head)
- Mrs K Duddy