At Wetherby, every boy from Little Wetherby to Year 3 is taught French because we believe that it gives our pupils a good opportunity to acquire language learning skills from the earliest schooling age. By the time they leave Wetherby, they have a solid linguistic structure upon which they can build.
During the introductory stage, the language is taught orally through songs and games, with the emphasis being very much on fun-based activities.
Reception children learn simple topics such as numbers, colours, greetings, animals and food and drinks. In Years 1 and 2, we introduce some simple phrases and easy grammatical concepts like action verbs and negatives, for example. The time allocated to French lessons is thirty minutes per week, during which the boys have the opportunity to acquire a knowledge base in the language and a growing familiarity with French culture. In all years, we are able to incorporate ICT on a regular basis, an activity loved by all the boys, which allows us to accommodate higher ability pupils on more challenging programs and to support weaker children simultaneously.
By the time pupils reach Years 3, the boys are able to understand and respond to simple questions about the weather, food and drinks, sports, clothes, classroom equipment as well as being able to give their opinions about their likes and dislikes.
Pupils are encouraged to communicate in French during the lessons and the assessment of their oral and written performances is on-going. The pupils in Year 3 have been sending and receiving letters from their French counterparts.