At Hillcrest we have very high expectations of our students. Great emphasis is placed on hard work, achievement and high standards of behaviour.




All students follow a topic-based curriculum with engaging topics relevant to students’ interests and the world around them. The curriculum is designed to develop the skills in the new KS3 curriculum and to support students in developing an understanding of themselves as part of a global society.

We aim to develop strong language skills, the ability to work independently and to communicate effectively in a group and of course a love of language learning combined with a positive attitude towards speakers of other languages. Our curriculum supports the transition from Key Stage 2 and increasingly develops the examination skills required for the GCSE examination.  We also encourage and support speakers of other languages to value those skills and where possible to take early entry GCSEs in their home languages.

We promote high standards by ensuring that students have a strong understanding of grammar and structure to enable them to understand and communicate successfully and independently. There is a strong emphasis on using the foreign language as a means of communication within the classroom and developing the skills necessary for effective communication.

We strongly believe that learning a foreign language also support students’ literacy skills in English, through the development of their understanding of sentence structure, grammar, vocabulary, and communication skills and ensure that students are able to transfer these skills to other subjects.  In addition, fortnightly lessons in IT rooms using Active-Learn enable students to develop their listening and reading skills independently, the booth in school and at home.

Students are assessed regularly throughout the year through a mixture of teacher assessments, classroom-based activities and formal assessments in speaking, listening, reading and writing. These assessments increasingly mimic the GCSE style of assessment so that they are fully prepared for GCSE requirements.


Year 7
Term 11. Qui suis-je? ( Who am I ) – Students develop a good understanding of French phonetics and begin to be able to understand and communicate ideas about themselves and others in the world. They understand the basic building blocks of French grammar in order to begin to express themselves confidently and independently. In November they undertake an assessment, the results of which will support us in setting students in ability groups from December.
Term 22a. ‘Léducation autour du monde ( Education around the World) – Students learn about education in other countries, including timetables, subjects, the school day uniform and school rules. They understand more about verb formation and how to express simple opinions and link ideas. They begin to use resources more independently. 2b. Les Jeux Olympiques ( The Olympic games)– Students learn about the origins and aims of the Olympics, and Olympic sports. They become more familiar with present tense verb formation, the use of prepositions and time phrases and develop their ability to extend sentences and express opinions.
Term 33a Les Jeux Olympiques – Students consider the lives of athletes and plan a visit to the Olympic games. They learn how to construct longer paragraphs fluently and to use the near future tense. 3b. Une visite en France ( A visit to France ) – Students learn some of the transactional language which will support the day trip to Boulogne. They learn how to buy food, drink and other items and about tourist attractions in France.

Year 8
Term 11a. Une visite dans l’espace ( A visit to space )– Students imagine that they have met an alien on Earth. They learn how to describe him/her, ask questions for an interview and plan a visit to his/her planet. They also learn facts about other planets and develop their ability to understand scientific texts in French. 1b. Paris je t’adore (Paris I love you) – students imagine they have been on a visit to Paris. They learn about the city and begin to learn how to use the past tense to describe what they have done, their opinions and travel.
Term 22a. Paris je t’adore (Paris I love you) 2b. La vie quotidienne (daily life) – The topics here are leisure activities such as TV, the cinema, reading and family relationships. Students reinforce their knowledge of all types of present tenses verbs, personal pronouns and express detailed opinion
Term 33. La mode (Fashion) – Students explore how to describe clothes and discuss their attitudes to fashion. They focus on the use of adjectives, qualifiers and extending opinions. They learn about French fashion designers and in particular the life of Coco Chanel through the film Coco avant Chanel. They begin to use a wider range of perfect tense verbs to describe the life of the designers and learn how to structure their writing

Key Stage 4 Curriculum




Exam Board Website:

Course Content

GCSE French continues to build on what you have learned at KS3. You will continue to develop your listening, reading, speaking, writing and translation skills so that you can communicate more fluently and effectively. You will develop your ability to speak spontaneously, understand authentic texts including literary texts, translated into French and English and apply new language and structures independently.

The following topics are studied:

  • Identity and culture.
  • The local area, holiday and travel.
  • School
  • Future aspirations, study, and work.
  • International and global issues and events.

Assessment Details

Examinations can be taken at Higher or Foundation level. You must take the same level in all the papers.

There are 4 papers:

  • Listening,
  • Reading,
  • Speaking
  • Writing.

Each paper is worth 25% of the total grade.

Why Study This Course?

Developing your communication skills in both French and English, becoming an independent learner and learning about other cultures.  Linguists are highly valued in almost every career as every company requires articulate employees with good communication skills. In addition, most companies work with organisations abroad and/or speakers of other languages in this country. Languages are particularly useful in Business, Management, Law, Marketing, Administration, Medical careers, and Journalism. Britain has a national shortage of employees at all levels with language skills.

Please note: Universities are increasingly insisting on a GCSE in a language as an entry requirement. Languages are compulsory in primary schools and, therefore, an essential skill for anyone considering such a career. You must study French at GCSE if you want to study it at ‘A’ Level