French is the language of culture, opening the door to art, literature, music, dance, fashion, cuisine and cinema. It is a language of business, technology and medicine.
At Stormont, our aim is that French should be stimulating, challenging and fun for girls of all abilities, promoting self-esteem. Teaching takes place as much as is practicable in the target language and combines a communicative approach with clear grammatical progression, enabling the girls to communicate confidently, with accurate accent, intonation and pronunciation. We focus on practical language to help the girls cope in everyday situations in a French-speaking country.
French is important because it develops an understanding of native-speakers throughout the world and a positive attitude towards them. Speaking French develops the girls’ critical and creative thinking, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, and a love of languages is aroused and sustained.
French begins in Reception with songs, games, movement, finger rhymes and emphasis on speaking and listening, with reading and writing assuming greater importance as the girls grow older. By the time the girls leave Year 6, they will have a core vocabulary for topics that will lead to GCSE and will have completed tasks in all four skills, at the same level they will find as they move on to secondary school. The girls are taught in half class groups of twelve and have two lessons per week. Throughout the course, cultural background, including historical and geographical information along with customs and traditions, enhances and complements learning. As they progress through the school, the girls experience a number of special events that enrich their learning, such as the French Breakfast (where the Year 6 girls act as ‘serveuses’), performing French carols in the Nativity and Carol Service, dedicated French days, a visit from a French theatre company, and the Year 6 trip to the Château du Broutel in Picardie.