Welcome to the French Department

Bienvenue à tous!

The French Department is a well-resourced department and the classrooms are located in the newest part of the school, creating an ideal learning environment for our students. Our teachers are very experienced (one is a native French speaker), hard-working and dedicated to their students.

The French Department at Bryntirion offers a curriculum designed to provide learners with a suitable basis for further study and practical use of the language. We believe that learning a language is a long, yet rewarding process and that every student should be entitled to develop their language skills. We encourage learners to recognise that linguistic knowledge, understanding and skills could help them to take their place in a multilingual global society. Our partnership with a French school, through the Town Twinning Committee of Bridgend, enhances our students’ learning by allowing them to put their French into practice during the French Exchange visit.

We are proud of the progress our students have made over the years and our results are consistently high at both GCSE and A Level.  We are supportive of all of our students and celebrate their achievements whilst also giving them the extra help that they sometimes require.

Overall, our aim is to enable our students to develop the ability to communicate effectively in French but equally to stimulate interest and enjoyment in the learning of a foreign language. We encourage positive attitudes to language learning and to speakers of foreign languages, and a sympathetic approach to other cultures.

Key Stage 3

All pupils are taught French from Year 7 to Year 8 and the French Schemes of Work follow National Curriculum guidelines. 

Emphasis is put on grammar from the very beginning in order to equip students with the exam requirements later on in their learning. Students are taught a range of topics throughout the Key Stage and encounter common French vocabulary.

Literacy skills are enhanced through language learning and our wide range of activities and resources aims to develop students’ oracy, reading and writing skills. Time is also set aside to develop the students’ cultural awareness. ICT is regularly used to enhance learning and a variety of language games helps to stimulate interest and enjoyment.

Pupils are assessed regularly throughout the Key Stage and are awarded a National Curriculum Level at the end of Year 8, based on teacher assessment. 


Key Stage 4

The French Department is following the WJEC Specification for GCSE at KS4. The qualification is made up of four units:

Unit 1 - Spoken Non-Exam Assessment

Unit 2 - Listening Examination

Unit 3 - Reading Examination

Unit 4 - Written Examination

The context for learning the language is organised under three broad themes:

1. Identity and Culture

2. Wales and the World - Areas of Interest

3. Current and Future Study and Employment

Students who opt for GCSE French have the opportunity to take part in the Exchange programme with Villenave D’Ornon (near Bordeaux). The exchange is an extremely valuable experience. It has been in place for more than 10 years and it never fails to motivate our students with their learning of French. It also gives them an exclusive insight into the French culture, as they are fully immersed in a French family for a week. Strong links are created and many of our students and French partners maintain their friendship long after the visit. A “once in a lifetime experience!” , to quote one of our students…

Key Stage 5

The Department follows the WJEC specification at AS and A2.

Classes are traditionally small, which allows rapid progress for every student. The course is rigorous and based on a secure understanding of grammatical concepts. The lessons are conducted in French, for the most part. The topics studied are current and enable our students to discuss and express their opinions on a variety of issues such as education, health, environment, immigration, exclusion and terrorism.

In Year 13, students study two French films to prepare for the oral and written examinations. They always thoroughly enjoy this part of the course!

It is fair to say that after 7 years of dedicated language learning, our students leave Bryntirion with excellent language skills: they are close to fluent in French and the extra skill that they have gained is a real asset for their university applications.