The aim of the Modern Languages Department is to promote an appreciation of other languages and cultures, and to make language learning exciting and fun. Three year olds in the Pre-Prep are the first to experience French at Cargilfield. From this very early age the children are exposed to a combination of visual, aural and kinaesthetic stimuli, in French. These include: songs, dances and finger puppets. In this way they grow up feeling that an extra language is all part of the learning process at school, and wherever possible, links are made with topics covered in other subjects within that class.
From P2, the school follows the Nelson Thornes course “Rigolo”, in conjunction with material from other sources to enhance the learning. As they move up the school they cover themes including greetings and introductions, families, houses and homes, mealtimes shopping, pets, parts of the body, countries and transport, months days seasons and weather, numbers, the alphabet and colours and clothes.
In the upper school the teaching places an emphasis on how to use French for real purposes. When studying daily routine for example children record a description of their day, it is then uploaded to the departmental website www.theFrenchdepartment.com, where parents can access it. From this website parents can also see the topics covered for that term and download valuable vocabulary lists and revision guides.
By the middle of year five the reading and writing skills begin to assume greater importance, and during this year the children follow the New “Accès Studio” course from Pearson and many topics are revisited and reinforced, with a lively and colourful approach to the language.
The Studio 1 text starts in Year 6 and all four skills are beginning to assume equal weight, and throughout year 7 the focus shifts to exam technique, ensuring written grammar is secure, preparing topics for the oral exam and finally completing the curriculum.
Over the past few years the school has entered the National “Linguatrivia” quiz, entered the “Rencontres Théatrales” competition in which along with six other local schools, Cargilfield performed at Broughton High School. We also have the French café every year at the Summer Fair in which boys and girls are waiters and waitresses taking orders in French of course. Recently the scholars visited “la fleur du del” which is a French restaurant in the city specialising in crêpes. The boys and girls learned the delicate techniques used to create this French “delicacy”.
At Cargilfield we strive to provide the children with the best preparation for Common Entrance and scholarship exams using modern online methodologies in conjunction with traditional teaching methods if and when necessary. Recent results have been excellent. In 2015 there were 11 A’s and 10 B’s out of our CE Candidates.
In 2011 a small office was converted into a language lab with three individual booths for children to use especially to practise their listening and speaking skills.
All revision guides and termly vocab lists for year 6, and 7 can be downloaded from www.thefrenchdepartment.com. Vocab and grammar for the Year 8’s are from the ISEB Common Entrance Vocabulary Book, and for 8D from “The Malvern Guide” which is a little more extensive. A description of The Common Entrance Exam format and listening files are also available from this website.