French & Latin

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At St Olave’s, French is taught to all pupils from Reception to Year 6 as we believe children benefit from language learning from the earliest schooling age. Enjoyment and confidence are key and the emphasis is above all on oral skills.

In the Lower School, French is taught through songs and games using authentic material in order to offer pupils a real insight into French culture and way of life. By the end of Year 2, pupils have acquired a good amount of vocabulary on topics such as numbers, colours, greetings, animals or food and their accent is remarkably good. They are ready to enter Upper School where French provision is increased from two 20 minutes sessions a week to two 40 minutes sessions a week.

In the Upper School, more importance is gradually given to meeting the written element so that, by the end of Year 6, pupils have a good basic grounding in the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. This is demonstrated by Year 6 pupils passing the entry level of the Diplome d’Etudes en Langues Françaises, DELF A1.1 (with the most able pupils passing the DELF A1).

ICT and yearly educational trips are used to strengthen and support French learning at St Olave’s and allow us to accommodate higher ability pupils on more challenging programs while simultaneously supporting weaker children.

Finally, the introduction of Latin in Year 6 allows us to deepen pupils’ grammatical and linguistic understanding of both English and European languages and build a strong academic foundation for further foreign language studies at secondary school.

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