At West Lodge, children from Nursery up to Year 6 are encouraged to speak “le français” from day one. They have a wonderful opportunity to imitate an authentic accent in weekly lessons given by an experienced specialist teacher.

In Nursery and Reception, they learn through rhymes and songs, identifying and naming games using realia, colouring activities and reading stories.

Engaging oral activities are at the heart of the French lesson in Year 1 and 2 classes, with the introduction of short exchanges of conversation between the children and a French puppet named Pierre. They will play many games to learn the vocabulary, covering a wide range of topics. Some single-word reading is introduced in Year 2.

KS2 pupils learn the language through fun educational activities such as songs, poems, chants and games, with dialogues and role-play, reading and writing activities that enable them to discover and reflect on the differences between spoken and written word. They are encouraged to listen carefully to the language used by genuine French children in video-clips in various settings, to identify known phrases and increase their vocabulary. In addition, Year 5 and 6 learners will endeavour to create their own material for role-play, using a dictionary and applying their knowledge of some basic rules of grammar to present their ideas. They are beginning to gain an awareness of the cultural differences existing in French-speaking countries and encouraged to make comparisons with English customs. Whenever possible, the children may get a real “feel” for France by tasting typical foods linked with celebrations.

The French club sessions at West Lodge enhance the Curriculum teaching and are currently available to pupils in KS1. They offer extension activities ranging from games to colouring activities in special projects lasting several weeks and stimulate the children’s interest, enthusiasm and confidence further, increasing their knowledge of French culture and vocabulary on the topics covered.