Loreto College - Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland
Loreto Crest


Academic year 2017-2018

Head of Department:
Mrs S Mullan

Teaching Staff:
Mrs A McCambridge
Mrs F Simpson
Mrs T Loughrey


The foundation of the work of the French department may be outlined under the heading of the following aims
- To develop the ability to use French for purposes of practical communication
- To develop a sound foundation of the language skills and attitudes required for further study work and leisure.
- To make French an enjoyable, intellectually stimulating and successful experience and thus encourage positive attitudes to French.
- To develop an awareness, understanding and appreciation of French culture and civilisation and in so doing develop a better understanding of oneself and one’s own country.
- To foster sympathetic and positive attitudes to speakers of French.
- To develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning in general.
- To develop transferable skills of a more general nature (e.g. analysis, aural discrimination, memorising, drawing of inferences )
- To encourage the perception of foreign language learning as a means of improving geographical and occupational mobility.

In meeting the above aims, the teaching and learning of French reflects the broad aims of the school’s curriculum by promoting the personal and social development of the pupils and by incorporating the cross-curricular themes.

The delivery of French is effected by one full French teacher and three part French  teachers.  A French language assistant is employed with a view to offering conversation classes at AS and A2 level and team-teaching of Junior and GCSE classes.  Four classrooms have been designated for the teaching of French.  All classrooms are equipped with digital technology which greatly assists the learning and teaching of French at all levels.

Course & Content:
Years  8, 9 & 10 students focus on four key-skills ; listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Each skill has an equal weighting of 25% in in-house exams.  The main topics taught in year 8 are : personal details, family, description of self and others, alphabet, numbers 1-31, colours, school and classroom objects and pets.  The main items taught in year 9 are : home-town/region, house, time, buildings, directions, daily routine, school, food & drink, hobbies & holidays.  Year 10 pupils follow the specification for the  CCEA   Online Language Assessment(OLA)  level 1 French.  The main topics taught in year 10 are home life & daily routine, health, getting around , public services, shopping, holidays, accommodation, going out, weather, the environment, dining out, work & continuing education, school, hobbies & interests.

The French department enters students for CCEA at GCSE.
The contexts for learning are:
1. The individual
2. Citizenship
3. Employability

The main topics to be assessed are: Relationships, families and friends, Local environment : advantages and disadvantages; Activities : daily routine and leisure activities; health & lifestyle : diet, exercise and illness; social issues : problems in society and equality; travel and tourism : destination and choices; environmental issues : attitudes to and responsibilities for litter, transport, energy, conservation and recycling ; media and communications ; celebrations : festivals and customs; school life; part-time jobs : advantages and disadvantages and future plans.

Controlled assessment (Year 12)
The skills of speaking (30%) and writing (30%) are examined through controlled assessment.  Preparation for this is ongoing throughout the course and is facilitated under the controlled supervision of the class teacher.

Year 12 Students sit two papers worth 20% each.  The key-skills of listening and reading are assessed.  Each skill area is offered at two tiers, foundation and higher.  A mixed tier of entry is possible i.e. some papers may be taken at foundation and others at higher. Year 11 students sit 4 externally assessed papers worth 25 % each.  These papers assess the key skills of listening, speaking reading & writing.

Skills developed at GCSE:
1. Information handling.
2. Oral and written communication.
3. Understanding and responding to written and spoken language.
4. Delivering an oral presentation on a chosen subject.

Students are required to study the CEA course for AS and A2.

AS course:
Module 1: Speaking.  This unit is in two parts... Presentation: the candidate prepares a presentation in French.  Conversation.  The candidate conducts and engages in a conversation in French with the examiner.
Module 2:  Listening, reading and use of language.  This unit is in three parts.
Listening – the candidate answers two questions based on two passages recorded on individual CD’s. In recording 1 students respond in French and in recording 2 students respond in English.
Reading: Students answer one set of questions in French based on one passage and translate a passage from French into English.
Use of Language: Questions 1-4 involve a series of short grammatical and lexical exercises.  In question 5 students translate short sentences from English into French.
Module 3: Extended writing: this is a written essay response in French based on a set film.

Module 1 (30%) 15 minutes preparation and 11 minutes exam with a visiting examiner
Module 2 (40%) Listening – 40 minutes + Reading – 50 minutes.  Use of language - 30 minutes.

AS  topics:
For modules 1 & 2 students will need to have studied the following topic areas: different family structures, roles, responsibilities and relationships within families. Challenges for families, inter-generational issues, influences on young people physical well-being, diet/exercise, consequences for risk-taking behaviour, dealing with stress and challenges, hobbies and interests, the arts, film fashion and dseign, social media and new technology and holidays, festivals and tourism.

A2 Course:
Module 1: Speaking - this module is in two parts:
a.) discussion based on an individual research project  based on a cultural aspect of a French-speaking country, a historical period from the twentieth century or a region of a French speaking country or community.
b.)  conversation.
Module 2: Listening & reading - this module has three parts:
a.)  listening – students answer two questions based on two passages recorded on individual student CD’s.  Questions will vary year on year and will be a mixture of objective type tasks, questions and answers in the target language and questions and answers in English.
b.)  reading - Students answer two sets of questions and complete one summary exercise and one translation exercise.
Module 3: Writing - Students write one essay in French in response to a set literary text.

Module 1 (18%): Speaking - 15 minutes preparation time and 15 minutes exam with a visiting examiner.  Module 2 (24%): Listening – 45 minutes – reading - 2 hours.
Module 3 (18%): Writing 1 hour.

A2 topics:
For modules 1 and 2 students will need to have studied the topics of equality and inequality, achieving equality in society, discrimination and prejudice – causes and consequences, dealing with discrimination and prejudice, poverty causes and consequences, eradicating poverty locally and globally, multicultural society challenges and pressures, immigration and emigration causes, benefits and related issues, understanding cultural differences, development of local and global democracy, causes and consequences of conflict, ending conflict,sustainable living and environmental issues, part-time jobs, education and emloyment, career planning, European citizenship, societal attitudes and young people. The areas within these topics studied at A2 are an extension of the AS topics and students are expected to deal with much more complex issues.

Skills developed at AS/A2:
1. Listening, speaking, reading and writing.
2. Understanding the contemporary society and culture of France.
3. Understanding and applying grammar.
4. Transferring meaning from French into English and vice-versa.
5. Analysing, evaluating and arguing a case- presenting viewpoints in speech and writing.

A level French is particularly useful for the following careers : law, European law, business studies and any career in which the person wishes to work in Europe.  The presentation and general conversation aspect of the A level provides useful practice in interpersonal skills which are essential for any career involving personal relations.