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Newstead Wood School

Newstead Wood School

Year 12 French

Guidance for parents

What will students be learning in French this year?

2015 sees the start of the final year of the current AS/ A2 specification. We use the WJEC exam board specifications. There are 2 broad topic areas: The Individual and society and Leisure and Lifestyles.

The AS exam at the end of Y12 consists of:  one written paper comprising listening and reading comprehension and a 250 word essay which accounts for 60% of the AS grade and one 15 minute oral examination accounting for 40% of  the final grade . A feature of the course is the use of authentic materials to give an up to the minute view of the different topics.

Expectations of students in French

There will be four one hour lessons a week and regular homework. During Y12 students will be learning to manage their time: it is important that they do not expect to be able to complete all their homework in study periods, leaving the evenings and weekends free!  In addition to homework set by the teacher, they should be regularly reviewing their lessons, consolidating vocabulary and grammar and reading and listening to French materials on the topics covered. Advice will be given on suitable websites, the schools computers and there are library materials for further practice and research. The students will need to take an active part in lessons, especially speaking French as much as possible. They will have one individual session a week with the French Language assistant, Vanessa Simpson and they must attend this session as it is invaluable support for the oral exam and an integral part of the French AS course. In order to improve their oral confidence, the students will be set homework to prepare for these conversation classes and it is essential that they make notes and improve/correct their work following the advice given by our experienced native speaker. She will conduct oral assessments regularly and give the students detailed feedback on their progress.

What are the major assessments this year?

Students will be set regular learning, grammar practice, written and reading comprehension tasks throughout the year. They will be introduced to practice exam papers in late Autumn term. The mock exams will be in January. If students are in danger of not meeting their target grade, they will be given an individualised Action Plan and have review sessions with teachers.

What will the current performance grade be based on and what does it mean?

A target minimum grade in the range A-C will  be calculated at the start of the year. This is based on average GCSE performance. Students will be assessed against these grades each term and will have the opportunity to review their achievements and their areas for development in a learning conversation their teacher.

What should my son/daughter do if they feel they're struggling in the subject?

First of all, they should not panic. It is natural to encounter difficulties sometimes, especially when adjusting to the different way and level of learning in the sixth form. It is important to let the teacher know if they are having problems, so that appropriate support can be given. Both subject teachers and the language assistant are always happy to advise and support students both inside and outside of lessons.

How can I support my son/daughter in Y 12?

The main way parents can help at this stage is by encouraging their son/ daughter to talk about what they are doing and making sure they have the right environment for studying at home. It is not necessary to buy extra materials. Do encourage them to take part in any extra activities on offer, for example the French Exchange and work experience trips organised by Halsbury

What kind of independent work should my son/daughter be completing?

As indicated above, it's important that work is not confined to the bare minimum of homework tasks, students who do well tend to be those who have undertaken independent learning: whether it be extra practice targeted at specific vocabulary, grammar and exam topics, or more widely learning more about  the language and culture through films, music, news and factual material. As mentioned above we have a wide range of resources in the school library and can recommend websites.

Whom can I contact for further advice and I formation?

Please feel free to contact the head of French, Mrs Casey at