For more information – please click here where our Arabic and French Department have developed some awesome resources!
At DESS, we offer French from Year 3 for one hour a week. Children also have the possibility to attend our popular French Club. During lessons, our teaching approach relies on active learning, using movement, music and drama to support vocabulary retention. Children very quickly build sentences and write connected paragraphs from Year 4. We focus on talk for writing techniques, believing that if children can say a sentence, they can also write it.
Willing to get away from phrase-book teaching, grammar (‘doing things with words’) is at the core of our learning. We teach grammar through five colour-coded strands which show children how to progress according to the level of difficulty.
1. Using verbs (using all pronouns and aiming to use past, present and future by Year 6)
2. Adding information (e.g. colour, size, possession, etc.)
3. Placing the action (in time or place)
4. Connecting sentences (to make complex sentences and paragraphs)
5. Building questions
Each of these strands contains a series of incremental steps that can be tracked by the teacher and the child to show progress – below. (Click here to download)A-lhotel-Year-6-grammar-skills-big-picture
We also encourage self and peer-assessment according to success criteria so children are aware of their achievements and know their next steps. The emphasis is on FUN and CREATIVITY. In speaking for instance, we encourage children to step away from writing prompts and improvise sentences with the bank of words and grammar skills they have available in mind. We encourage children to feel safe to make mistakes and prefer that they make their own sentences to communicate, as if they were in a real life situation.
Our curriculum is anchored in real-life themes such as (to name but a few):
Year 3: My Family
Year 4: Surviving the French Classroom
Year 5: My Everyday Life
Year 6: Food and Family
These broad themes provide a framework for child centered learning, where children choose what they want to learn. We make extensive use of the website Linguascope.com for vocabulary input and revision. Children are advised to spend a little time every week revising the words covered in class through playing the games on the site. We will communicate the new password to you as soon as it is updated. Until the end of September, the username is dessfrench and password is hibou.