Sunday Times Prep School of the Year 2013-14

French

At Holy Cross our aim is to foster positive attitudes towards language learning by giving all pupils opportunities to actively participate and achieve while learning French.

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Children’s innate curiosity and enthusiasm for language learning is harnessed from the very beginning at Holy Cross and all pupils are timetabled French lessons from Reception. At this young age they are receptive to language and involved in a programme of lively listening and speaking activities - developing language learning skills through rhyme, song, story and role-play.

As our girls progress through the school and into Key Stage 2 learning, basic spoken language skills are revised with an increasing emphasis on reading and writing. They use their language with growing confidence and competence to understand what they hear and read, and to express themselves in speech and writing. This forms a sound basis for further study at senior school level and beyond.

A stimulating, language learning environment in school is promoted through a series of language themed events throughout the year. Year 6 ‘host’ a French breakfast for their little girls in Reception, at which the older speakers converse and serve off a French menu to the delight of the younger ones enjoying pain au chocolat and jus-d’orange! There are also performances of songs and plays in French from all pupils.

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A highlight for our year 6 girls is to meet their French pen pals on the annual residential trip to Burgundy, France in the summer term. The trip enhances the girls’ cultural awareness and provides the perfect daily opportunity to practise their language skills in situ.

Despite French being taught throughout the school, constant reference is made to the many other languages the girls speak at Holy Cross as we enjoy and celebrate our rich, international diversity.

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