The overarching Mission Statement for MFL is:
Live, Love, Learn Languages
Our mission is to:
Increase young people’s cultural awareness and linguistic competence, thereby enabling them to view the world with an open and enquiring mind and to develop the transferable skills required to compete in an ever-changing, competitive world.
- To equip learners with the skills required to live and work in a French-speaking country
- To foster a positive attitude towards lifelong language learning
- To instil a curiosity for other languages and cultures
- To develop transferable skills that open doors to a range of opportunities that are linked to learning a language
Our curriculum intent is founded on the notion of ‘languages for all’. Everybody can learn a foreign language and in an ever-changing world, having a knowledge of another language is essential, especially one which is spoken by more than 300 million people and is the second most widely learned foreign language worldwide.
French at The Piggott School equips all learners with the basics of the language and encourages them to explore the similarities with their own language as well as the differences between the languages. Students learn about how cultural idiosyncrasies create unique learning opportunities through the medium of food, music, sport, customs, festivals etc.
Learning French enables all students to move away from the idea of monolingualism and towards a bilingual approach to life, thereby enabling them to live and work in a French-speaking country in the future. We offer students the chance to put their language skills into practice by participating in our successful French exchange programme in Year 10. Year 12 students are also given the opportunity to increase their proficiency and confidence in the language by undertaking a week’s work experience in a French pre-school or primary school. We hope that the experience of living and interacting with a family in another country, and reciprocating that relationship will broaden our learners’ experiences and understanding, as well as allowing the possibility of creating life-long friendships.
As well as improving their language, learners develop their confidence in a range of other transferable skills. They will become more proficient in speaking and expressing opinions, leading to an increased ability to defend and justify those opinions. With time, their memory skills will improve, they begin to recognise patterns, enhancing their analytical and problem-solving skills to create a broader perspective when looking at the world.
How is French taught at The Piggott School?
- French is taught to all students in Years 7 and 8 and then to students who choose the subject for GCSE and A level.
- Students in Year 7 receive 3 hours per fortnight and this increases to 4 hours in Years 8-10. Year 11 students receive 5 hours per fortnight. In the Sixth Form, students receive 9 hours per fortnight.
- Edexcel GCSE French allows students to become more familiar with France’s language and culture, as well as participating in our French Exchange.
- AQA A Level French is part of the Sixth Form provision at The Piggott School and allows students to become fluent speakers of the language.
- We have begun to adopt an approach that encourages the use of Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI), which repeatedly exposes the learner to language in a number of different contexts and scenarios, thus “input flooding” and improving confidence.
- The new French curriculum is sequenced in a way that allows students to recycle and deepen the key concepts of the grammar and language over the 5 years towards GCSE and beyond into A level.
- The curriculum provides a rich range of topics, all designed to give learners practical ways to apply their learning in French-speaking contexts.
- Grammar is built into all modules and develops students’ awareness over the years, with learners in Year 11 able to identify and apply a range of different verb tenses, as well as becoming familiar with more idiomatic phrases. In this way, students are able to become increasingly creative with the language, which forms the springboard from which to launch into A level.
- In the compulsory language-learning phase in Years 7 and 8, students study the basics of French, building up their confidence with grammar and use of three different time frames (past, present and future). The different topics are designed to develop and recycle language and continually offer opportunities to identify cultural and linguistic differences, as well as similarities.
- Students have access to a wide range of professional resources, such as the Studio Edexcel GCSE and AQA A Level French textbooks, which also provide many supporting documents and resources online for both staff and students. In addition to this, we encourage independent language learning and improvement through a number of online platforms, including Quizlet and Memrise for vocabulary, Thisislanguage for listening, and Language-gym, Languagesonline and Duolingo for grammar and skills practice.
French Learning Journey