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City of London

School for girls

The French Department acknowledges that the ability to understand and communicate in other languages is increasingly important in our society and in the global economy. Languages contribute to the cultural and linguistic richness of our society, through personal fulfilment, mutual understanding, commercial success and international trade and global citizenship.

We therefore aim to:

  • instil in students a love for languages and an appreciation of their importance in an increasingly globalized society
  • teach students to communicate effectively and confidently in French
  • give students a thorough grammar base
  • develop in students an understanding of cultural aspects of France and Francophone countries
  • extend students' learning experiences beyond the textbook through the use of authentic materials and extra-curricular activities
  • inspire pupils to extend and pursue language-learning outside the classroom

At Sixth Form level we aim to help students to communicate confidently, clearly, accurately and imaginatively in French and to develop critical insights into contemporary French society, culture, politics, history and literature. Students develop a broad knowledge of contemporary French society and vastly improve their communication skills. They also develop a very sound knowledge of French grammar through regular grammar lessons. They engage in in-depth discussion of questions of both personal and global significance requiring great commitment to detail, vocabulary and grammar.


We use the communicative method in our approach to teaching and learning in French. We make good use of technology in the classroom. Trips to France are much enjoyed by our students especially our two week immersion exchange. Year 11-13 students have access to our two French assistants.


YEARS 7 - 9

We study such topics as Sport and Leisure, Clothes and Fashion, Family and Friends and Holidays. We insist on a rigorous approach to grammar, tackling such grammar points as past, present and future tenses, negation, adjectives, comparatives and superlatives.

YEARS 10 and 11

Students prepare for the AQA GCSE exam in Writing, Speaking, Reading and Listening. Topics covered include Healthy/Unhealthy Lifestyles, Technology, Environment, Pressures at School and The World of Work. Grammar plays a significant role at GCSE with, for example, all the main tenses covered (present, perfect, imperfect, near future, future and conditional) plus some more obscure ones such as the pluperfect and conditional perfect.

Year 10 Scheme of Work
Year 11 Scheme of Work


Students will develop their knowledge and understanding by studying both the language and themes relating to the contemporary and historical society and culture of the French-speaking world. The four themes are:

Theme 1: Les changements dans la société française (set in the context of France only)

  • Les changements dans les structures familiales
  • L’éducation
  • Le monde du travail

Theme 2: La culture politique et artistique dans les pays Francophones (set in the context of francophone countries and communities)

  • La musique
  • Les médias
  • Les festivals et les traditions

Theme 3: L’immigration et la société multiculturelle française (set in the context of France only)

  • L’intégration et le multiculturalisme
  • La montée de l’extrême droite

Theme 4: L’Occupation et la Résistance (set in the context of France only)

  • L’Occupation
  • La Résistance

Cinema/Literature: Students will also study a film in Year 12 and a work of literature in Year 13.


A Level: Edexcel


For some years now we have been taking around 40 Year 8 students on a five day trip to Normandy, visitng such places as the Normandy landing beaches and Bayeux. In Year 9 students have the opportunity of spending two weeks at our partner school, Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, in Rouen. This is a two-week unaccompanied "immersion exchange" which often takes place at various dates throughout Year 9. Students receive their French partner who will spend two weeks at City. Our Year 12 students organise trips for themseleves, whether it be for courses or work experience. Past students have studied in Nice and worked in a boutique in Paris.

"At A Level you already know all the basic grammar and vocab so for the first time you get a chance to play around with the language and express yourself and your opinions. We also study French cinema, literature, history, politics and other Francophone countries. It’s really satisfying and I have enjoyed the course a lot. The topics are interesting and challenging….and you get to know and love the subjunctive!" Lucy

Head of Department: Mme N Signeux