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French is the language currently taught at Ormiston Sandwell Academy, and it is a compulsory subject for the first three years. In Year 8, students are able to opt to take the GCSE exam.
The focus of the MFL department is on developing ability to communicate in French, so that our students are able to express what they want to say, both orally and in writing, using the language confidently, independently and creatively.
All students are encouraged to develop an appreciation of French culture and the benefits of language learning, through fun activities and events.
In years 8-9, pupils study for the FCSE (Foundation Certificate of Secondary Education) exam. Topics covered include Leisure, Relationships, Familly and Friends, Local area and community, Health and fitness, Education and future plans, and Holidays. Pupils are generally expected to reach National Curriculum Levels 5 or 6 and will have a basic grasp of grammar principles, as well as exam techniques and communication skills.
Students can opt to study AQA GCSE French. The course has a topic-based approached, incorporating the required GCSE topic areas and pupils are prepared for the four language skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. The written and spoken components are examined using controlled coursework in class, whilst the final exams cover the listening and reading.
The department uses a wide range of resources to deliver the French curriculum, including new technology, text books, and websites to help ensure pupils develop the skills and knowledge they need to become independent language learners. There are opportunities for students to engage in exciting real-life situations, and the department offers extra-curricular activities designed to extend students’ language skills and enrich their knowledge of French culture.
Groups of learners are encouraged to speak with good intonation and pronunciation, and to develop a strong awareness of the culture of the countries where French is spoken, through routine use of French in class and exposure to authentic French materials.
This year the department is piloting a video-conferencing project using Skype, and setting up dedicated class blogs (in addition to the department blog) to promote good learning, evidence progression in learning, and to provide targeted support in the ongoing development of student independence and ability in all the four language skills.