French Department

Welcome to the French Department Homepage.


We, as a department, believe that the learning of a foreign language has an important contribution to make to the whole school curriculum, enabling pupils to enhance their general skills in communication and providing opportunities for their cultural and social development.


The foundation of the work of the department may be outlined under the following principal aims:


  • To develop an awareness of language and how it works;
  • To develop the ability to understand and use French effectively for purposes of practical communication;
  • To form a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure;
  • To compare and offer insights into the culture and civilisation of French speaking countries;
  • To encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures;
  • To develop transferable skills of a general nature enabling pupils to work effectively with others, to demonstrate creativity and initiative, to manage information and to think flexibly and critically;
  • To provide enjoyment, intellectual stimulation and a sense of achievement.


Key Stage 3
Currently all pupils in Years 8 – 10 have a timetable allocation of four 30/35 minute periods of French per week.


During this time we follow the Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum, giving pupils opportunities to develop as individuals, as contributors to society and as contributors to the economy and the environment.


We use a wide variety of teaching strategies and resources endeavouring to cater for the pupils’ individual learning styles.  We seek to develop the pupils’ competence in the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing across a range of topics which include family life, hobbies and interests, school life, food and shopping and the environment.


Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
Presently pupils who choose to continue to study French at Key Stage 4 are allocated five 30/35 minute periods per week and follow the Northern Ireland Curriculum Programme of Study.


The subject content is divided into four contexts with associated topics:


  • Myself and Other;
  • My Locality;
  • Travel and Holidays;
  • Work and Continuing Education


There are two tiers of entry, Foundation and Higher, and in each of the four skill areas (listening, speaking, reading and writing) candidates can enter the tier appropriate to their level of ability.


Candidates entering for the Foundation Tier are eligible for the award of Grades C – G while the Higher Tier is intended for candidates in the Grade range A* - D.


Each week, integral to their course of study, GCSE pupils are afforded the opportunity to work, individually or in groups, with a modern language assistant who is employed by the school for approximately three hours per week.


Each year we are happy to welcome native speakers to work within the department and they have proved to be invaluable in enhancing the authentic dimension in the learning of French.  The assistant works in liaison with the Head of Department and with pupils in all year groups and across the ability range. 


The pupils look forward, and respond enthusiastically, to the arrival of the assistant each year and are keen to learn about France and its culture and traditions and to make comparisons between the French way of life and their own.