Children can start learning French as early as Pre-Prep and, as they progress through the school, the number of lessons gradually increases from two per week in Lower School to three by Year 6 and four in Year 8.
Cultural awareness is promoted at every opportunity. Throughout their different stages at Pinewood, the children will be given a flavour of both French and Francophile culture, through films, literary extracts, music and songs, projects on famous French people, regions and renowned products or even through recipes. Within the department, the team aims to provide each child with a sound understanding of the basics of French language and culture, relative to his or her ability.
The department is continually evolving and, in recent years, computers have become an important tool in assisting with learning. School subscriptions to platforms such as Quizlet, Linguascope and Kahoot help us, not just in the classroom, but encourage independent learning at home. We consider sound grammar an essential aspect of preparation for a successful Common Entrance or Scholarship exam, and the French department has had the highest rate of success within the school for many years.
In Year 7 we extend the flavour of French to France itself, when pupils go on a trip to Le Château du Broutel in Picardy. Pupils experience educational and cultural activities, such as visiting the battlefields of the Somme, going to the local market, making their own mayonnaise or trying frogs legs and snails!
In Year 8, after their Scholarship and Common Entrance exams, pupils have taster sessions of another modern language and their foundations of French allow them to both enjoy and appreciate other languages.