The ability to speak, listen, read, and write in a foreign language are skills to be cherished in this world of International travel business. We find that children are keen to engage in French learning as they aren’t as self-conscious as adults. Children are generally much more proficient than their parents as they gain a French accent and know many key words.
At Christ Church Cathedral School, all boys take French from Reception to Year 8. All lessons are taught by French language specialists. The youngest learners are introduced to the language through games and songs. As they progress through the school, boys develop a more thorough and academic understanding of French grammar and vocabulary. In Years 7 and 8, in order to prepare more effectively for their Common Entrance and other exams, boys are set in French according to their linguistic ability.
Our French teachers work closely with other Departments so that cross-curricular projects are engaging. French Christmas carols, French Drama Workshops, the Solar System revised in French, The Bayeux Tapestry illustrated in History, to name a few.
As well as using French during lessons, boys have the opportunities to take part in our whole-school French challenges, watch French Drama shows or enjoy our French themed days. We always try to provide opportunities for the boys to speak in French. It isn't rare to overhear French conversations in the corridors.
We organise local trips for the boys to order food in French, at a 'café, or a 'fromagerie' or hear French stories in the Story Museum. We also arrange an annual trip to France. The boys had a fantastic time in Normandy last year and are looking forward to going to Paris this summer.
Some boys come to Christ Church Cathedral School already fluent, at least orally, in French. We do extension work with them to ensure they receive the advanced teaching they require. Equally, for boys with specific learning difficulties, we work with the Special Educational Needs staff to provide the individual help these boys need to progress. Our philosophy is simple: all boys gain from learning languages, whatever their level, and all boys should be given the chance to fulfil their potential in French.
'To have another language is to possess a second soul', Charlemagne.