piechartAround half of all the UK’s overseas trade is with Europe, and France is in the top 5 of the world’s countries which import products from the UK, making French one of the most important foreign languages to learn! Language skills are vital for our country and particularly for our students who are destined to become our future workforce. However, learning a language is not only important for the world of work, it is also a wonderful life-enriching skill which gives you confidence to travel and explore the world.

At Barlby we offer French to Year 7, building on knowledge they have gained in primary school. In Year 8, half of the year group continues to study French, so that at the end of Key Stage 3 they are able to make clear and informed choices about learning languages in Key Stage 4. Our students can study GCSE French in years 10 and 11, using a lively and relevant curriculum appropriate for today’s young people.


Skills are developed, cultural awareness increased and knowledge gained through various topics. The key objectives are:

Listening identifying gist and detail interpreting intonation and tone coping with unfamiliar language
Reading different text types context main points and detail text features
Speaking social and classroom language using intonation and tone presenting using prompts expression/non-verbal techniques
Writing sentences and texts as models building text different text types writing creatively building structure using varied vocabulary
Language & Grammar negatives questions high-frequency words present tense verbs letters and sounds

gender and plurals

sentence formation

set phrases about the past

modal verbs

set phrases about the future

Developing Strategies reading aloud memorising evaluating and improving using reference materials recognising patterns

working out meaning

planning and preparing

SMSC young people: interests and opinions differences and similarities between countries/cultures challenging stereotypes aspects of everyday life


The curriculum is broad and learning takes place through practical, relevant learning to encourage a love of the language.  Areas covered are:

At home and abroad – holidays, lost & found and vocabulary.

Education, training and employment – clubs, future plans, schools, jobs, rules, uniform, timetable, work experience and subjects.

Free time, media and youth culture – books, cinema, comparatives & superlatives, future tense, perfect tense, question formation, invitations, time, shopping, hobbies, going out, music and opinions.

Grammar – verbs, adjectives, tense, superlatives & comparatives, meaning, pronouns, irregular verbs, tense and possessives.

Home, local area and environment – town or country, descriptive language and tourist information centres.

House, home and daily routine – chores, family, marriage, descriptions and daily jobs.

Relationships, family and choices – physical descriptions, future plans, internships and strengths & weaknesses.

Social activities, fitness and health – body parts, food & drink, healthy living, illness, injuries, sports and hobbies.

We strive to strengthen our links with primary schools and hold language days every year to make the transition in language learning from Key Stage 2 into secondary school smoother for younger students.

For many years we have run overseas visits for year 9 students to Le Château du Broutel in Northern France for a 4-day visit, during which they become immersed in French culture and language. We also visit the Somme battlefields and war memorials to enable the students to widen their knowledge of our historical links with France.

We aim to make the learning of languages an enjoyable experience and emphasise communicative competence, active learning and cultural awareness. Many of our students go on to take French at ‘A’ level in college and some continue as linguists at University. This gives them a great advantage when they join the world of work.  If studied at a higher level future career paths can include interpreter, writer, banking, media, lawyer and logistics.