Why learn French?

Primarily, because it is a beautiful language and France is the world’s most popular tourist destination with 79 million visitors per year.  It is the largest country in Western Europe and our closest neighbour.  Over 200 million people speak French internationally across 28 countries.  It is the only language other than English spoken in five continents.  Along with English, it is the official working language of the United Nations, NATO, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Olympic Committee, the 31 member Council of Europe, the European Community, the International Red Cross and many more organisations.

South Kensington has fast become London’s French Quarter with approximately 40,000 natives living in the vicinity.  We are based next to the French Institute and we are able to utilise a wealth of teaching resources.

How is French taught?

Above all else, we aim to make it fun!  Role plays, presentations, recitals, choral repetition, group work and singing are activities performed during lessons, assemblies and concerts to improve oral skills and boost self confidence.  All teaching is conducted in the Target Language and pupils are strongly encouraged to communicate in French at all times during lessons. Our schemes of work are compiled in conjunction with the Latin, English, History, Geography, Economics and English departments in order to promote the ethos of cross curricular teaching and learning.

Writing and grammar are practised through a series of dictations, interactive websites, short essays and weekly vocabulary tests.

To further enhance listening skills, pupils are encouraged to watch classic films and attend cinema soirées at the French Institute.

There are examinations in all four key language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) at the end of every term and the results are published in school reports.


Trips and school exchanges are an essential part of learning a language.  They enable pupils to practise their skills and experience the culture first hand.


Classes are divided into three groups; Section Européene, Section Bleue and Section Rouge.

Section Européene

These pupils follow a fast track program and sit the Cambridge IGCSE in IVth form.  They complete the AQA AS examination in the Vth form and the A2 in UVth form.

Sections Bleues and Rouges

These groups follow the National Curriculum and complete the AQA GCSE and A Level.

Lower School

Year Topics Grammar

(Year 7)

Greetings, classroom instructions, family, pets, festivals, weather, school life, food/drink, leisure activities, places in a town and telling the time.
A cross curricular study of the ‘Bayeux Tapestry’ in Normandy with the History department.
Masculine/Feminine nouns, numbers up to 100, possessive adjectives, partitive articles, negatives, the use of à and en for towns and countries.
Introduction to verbs, subjects, conjugation and the mechanics of the Present, immediate future, distant future, conditional, imperfect and perfect tenses in conjunction with the Latin and English departments.
LIVth (Year 8)                             Describing friends and family, talking about computers, towns, transport, leisure activities, education, future plans, lifestyle, holidays, Francophone countries and the environment. Adjective/noun agreements, reflexive verbs, the perfect tense with être and avoir, imperative, imperfect and future tenses, negatives and pronouns.
IVth (Year 9)                                  French shops and what they sell, numbers, money, countries (mainly in Europe), travelling, education, family, food, fashion, organising and events. Verbs and tenses, negatives, prepositions, making comparisons, conjunctions, direct object pronouns, imperatives.


The GCSE course expands pupils’ vocabulary to enable them to deal with a variety of circumstances. During the course, pupils will be effectively prepared for all skills necessary for the GCSE examinations.

Topics studied at GCSE level include:

  • Lifestyles
  • Leisure
  • Home and environment
  • Local communities, towns, neighbourhoods and regions
  • Work and education

A Level

A Level will develop the pupil’s language skills still further and by the end of the course, they should be able to discuss a variety of topical issues. The topics considered are at a National, European and International level and pupils will develop a deep insight into French cultural identity and France’s position in the global community.

They will be able to express their opinions and justify their points of view effectively.

A Level topics include:

  • Media
  • Popular culture
  • Healthy living & lifestyle
  • Family & relationships
  • Environment
  • Multi-culturalism
  • Contemporary social issues
  • Cultural topic: presently, pupils study l’Etranger d’Albert Camus and the student rebellion of 1968.