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"Impossible n’est pas français." Napoléon

Head of Department: Ms A Mparia

Teachers: Miss A Bourin, Ms M Cobbett, Ms S Neudert, Mr P Ninkovic

We want students to:

  • Manipulate and own the French language.
  • Be active in their own learning.
  • Be curious about the way the language works.
  • Develop a cultural awareness of France and the French-speaking world.
  • Develop spontaneity while speaking French.
  • Develop resilience while tackling difficult language.
  • Enjoy their learning and participate in a range of extra-curricular activities.
  •  Achieve the best results possible by trying their hardest.
  •  Continue to speak French beyond the national exams.

As staff we aim to:

  • Extend their knowledge of French and the French-speaking world beyond the curriculum.
  • Give students a solid foundation in French with the goal to become fluent.
  • Inspire students to react naturally while speaking French.
  • Aspire for them to be ambitious about their learning.
  • Embed grammar in lessons in a creative way.
  • Use authentic materials.
  • Organise trips to France.
  • Give students opportunities to speaking French with French students.

The French curriculum at the Latymer School is designed so that pupils will learn how to:

  • Recognise patterns in sound and in written words.
  • Understand and respond to authentic written and audio texts.
  • Express themselves clearly and fluently, both orally and in writing.
  • Translate from French to English and English to French.
  • Gain and apply a deep understanding of the grammar underlying the language.
  • Understand and appreciate other cultures and people through exploring their cultural traditions.
  • Work collaboratively and participate effectively in pair work and group discussions.
  • Use online resources effectively and develop presentation skills.
  • Discuss and analyse A Level literature and film in a logical and coherent way.
  • Paraphrase what they read in French in their own words.
  • Follow and discuss current affairs in French.
  • Research A Level topics beyond the syllabus.
  • Present and defend arguments in compelling ways.


Most pupils have no previous knowledge of French and enjoy the fact that everyone starts from scratch learning the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing with every theme we study. Our Key Stage 3 syllabus is engaging and inspiring as we study a wide range of topics using a great variety of teaching methods (whole class discussion, pair and group work, independent learning via online resources, one-to-one sessions, games, songs, penfriends, exchanges, extra-curricular activities, celebrating traditions, etc). Emphasis on grammar plays an important role in our teaching from the very start, so that pupils learn how the language works and how they can adapt previous learning to new topics.

Year 7 + 8 (2nd language)

  • Family and pets
  • Free time and hobbies
  • School and subjects
  • My town and shops
  • Traditions

Year 8 (1st & 2nd language)

  • Personality & relationship
  • Music & clothes
  • Your area & food
  • Rules and routines
  • Traditions & regions            

Year 9

  • Technology
  • Music & going out
  • Sport & healthy life
  •  Jobs & future plans
  • GCSE - Theme1 Festivals


Our Key Stage 4 students follow the AQA French GCSE course, developing the four skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing) across a wide range of topics. We have designed our curriculum so that pupils can read and write extensively. We believe that it is only in immersing young people in rich reading material that they begin to develop their own language capacities - the depth of their vocabulary, their handling of grammatical structures, their comprehension skills, their ability to write in a range of voices, and with confidence and genuine expertise.

Theme 1 – Identity and culture

  • Family and relationships
  • Marriage and partnership
  • Social media
  • Mobile technology
  • Music, cinema, TV
  • Food and eating out
  • Sport
  • French and customs
  • Festivals in French-speaking countries

Theme 2 – Local, national and global areas of interest

  • Home
  • Where you live
  • Charity and voluntary work
  • Healthy/unhealthy living
  • Environment
  • Poverty/homelessness
  • Holiday preferences
  • Talking about visiting different places

Theme 3 – Current and future study and employment

  • School and subjects
  • Life at school
  • University or work?
  • Choice of careers


French is a very popular subject choice at A Level. We follow the AQA A Level French specification which offers the pupils a broad, engaging, and challenging passage through the study of French.

We are extremely proud of our lessons at A Level and pupils are well-prepared for both the AS and A Level examination which are all taught by native speakers. Students in Years 12 and 13 also have a 20-minute one-to-one session every week with our French Assistant who prepares them thoroughly to their speaking exam.

The curriculum explores texts from a wide range of social, historical, and cultural contexts and seeks to develop the skills of reading, listening, grammar skills, speaking as well as critical thinking in a wide range of contexts. Finally, we are constantly discussing French and French-speaking countries’ current affairs while using French news articles.

Film studied at A Level in Years 12 and 13: La Haine by Matthieu Kassovitz.

Book studied in Year 13: Boule de Suif by Maupassant.

Theme 1 - Aspects of French-speaking society & current trends: La famille en voie de changement; la Cybersociété; le rôle du bénévolat.

Theme 2 - Artistic culture in French-speaking world: Une culture fière de son patrimoine; la musique francophone contemporaine; Cinéma - le septième art.

Theme 3 - Aspects of French-speaking society & current issues: Les aspects positifs d’une société diverse; quelle vie pour les marginalisés?; comment traiter les criminels.

Theme 4 - Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world: Les ados, le droit de vote et l’engagement politique; Manifestations et grèves - à qui le pouvoir?; La politique et l’immigration.


At the Latymer School, we offer a wide range of all things French:

  • Key stage 3: breakfast club every Tuesday before school, Year 9 French play visiting the school in the Spring term.
  • Key stage 4: school exchange with a partner school in Tour, penpal exchange with our partner schools in France and virtual exchange with our partner school in Lyon.
  • Key stage 5: French trip to Toulouse in Year 12, virtual exchange in Years 12 and 13 and day trip to the French Institute in London.


At Latymer, A Level French is a popular and thriving subject and many of our students continue their interest and enthusiasm for the subject at degree level and beyond. Some also decide to go and study in France or even take a gap year in France while exploring the language and the culture.

We strongly encourage our students to continue speaking French regardless of what they decide to do in the future and beyond national examinations.

Photo by Francais a Londres on Unsplash