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We believe that learning a language is one of the most exciting things that you can do at secondary school as it opens doors for students. It is our ambition that King Alfred’s students become adaptable global citizens and increasingly confident linguists.   We celebrate our core principles of  tolerance and respect as we encourage students to learn more about cultures other than their own, and how these may be both different and similar to what they are used to growing up in and around Wantage.

Curriculum overview

All students learn French (along with Spanish) throughout years 7 and 8. Students then have the option of choosing to continue one or both languages into Year 9. They can then opt again to continue with either one or both languages for GCSE. We also offer both French and Spanish at A Level with individual conversation practice with native speakers available to all A level learners.

The teaching of languages at King Alfred’s is delivered through a bespoke curriculum rooted in carefully designed ‘WAGOLLs’ (What a Good One Looks Like’ – known as parallel texts in some schools) and Knowledge Organisers. These are designed to provide clear scaffolds and chunk learning for all students at the same time as stretching highly able linguists.

Year 7 topics

Terms 1 and 2 Introducing yourself and your family
Looking at key characteristics of the French language, introducing key core vocabulary including opinions and adjectives.

Terms 3 and 4 Describing your school
Exploring the similarities and differences between the French and English school system, introducing vocabulary to be express an opinion about subjects your school

Terms 5 and 6 Talking about leisure and activities
Exploring what French young people do in their free time developing opinion phrases and introducing key irregular verbs. Developing an understanding of the wider French-speaking community.

Year 8 topics

Terms 1 and 2 Food and Healthy lifestyle

Looking at the importance of food in the French culture and thinking about what and when we eat, using the past tense. Exploring the different famous French food and dishes and how to eat healthier.

Terms 3 and 4 New Technology
Exploring the pros and cons of social media and technology in everyday life using three tenses to describe your use of social media and technology.

Terms 5 and 6 Travel and Tourism

Describing where and what you did on holiday using three tenses Looking at the importance of Paris as a tourist destination in France.

Year 9 topics

Terms 1 and 2 Family and who is your hero

Describing people’s appearance and personality and talking about what makes a good friend and who our everyday heroes are. Consolidating verbs in the present tense.

Term 3 Talking about celebrations in the French speaking world

Being about to recognise key celebrations in France. Practising asking questions and key verbs in the past tenses.

Term 4 and 5 Free time and leisure activities including music, TV programmes and films

Talking about leisure activities and those specific to France (Pétanque and handball).  Consolidating using key verbs in the past and future/conditional tenses and understanding opinions.

Term 6 Talking about the importance of having routines

Describing your daily routine and saying why it is important to have a routine. Using more complex grammatical structures and expressions.

Year 10 topics

Terms 1 and 2 Where you live
Exploring the pros and cons of living in the countryside or in a town including in a “cité”. Practising question words and negatives.

Terms 3 and 4 Holidays
Describing where and what you did on holiday using the past tense. Talking about ideal holidays in a French- speaking country using the conditional. Talking about why holidays are important.

Term 5 School
Talking about current and future study and employment. Comparing the French and English schooling systems and routines.

Term 6 Revision and Mock exams
Preparation for the mock exams including speaking exams and looking at exam strategy in preparation for exams and reflection post mock exams.

Year 11 topics

Term 1 Healthy lifestyle
Exploring what makes people healthy, their issues and choices using a range of tenses and expressions. Consolidating the speaking skills.

Term 2 future career
Exploring young people professional aspirations and thinking of pros and cons of some employments. Developing and improving knowledge and use of different tenses.

Term 3 Global Problems

Exploring the impact of the environment and considering what can be done to protect the world we live in. Using a wide range of tenses to answer in complex structures.

Term 4 Revision and Exam strategy

Term 5 Revision and Speaking exam