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Over 650 Number of pupils who currently study at Newton Preparatory School 1991 The year that Newton Prep opened
Newton Prep children are focused and motivated to succeed in their academic studies.
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French

Over 650 Number of pupils who currently study at Newton Preparatory School 1991 The year that Newton Prep opened
Newton Prep children are focused and motivated to succeed in their academic studies.
Newton Prep Parent

The aims of the French Department are to expose children to a foreign language and to promote a cultural interest, as well as to develop good foreign language learning habits, which will build a strong academic foundation for further studies.

At Newton, every child from Reception to Year 8 is taught French because we believe that it gives our pupils a good opportunity to acquire language learning skills from the earliest schooling age. Pupils first follow Key stage Level 2, and then progress to Level 3. By the time they leave Newton at the age of 13, they are equipped with a solid linguistic structure upon which they can study for their GCSE with ease and they are often capable of taking it one year earlier.

During the introductory stage, in the Lower School, the language is taught orally through songs and games, with the emphasis being very much on fun-based activities.

The Reception children learn simple topics such as numbers, colours, greetings, animals and food and drinks. In Years I and 2, we introduce some simple phrases and easy grammatical concepts like action verbs and negatives, for example. The time allocation is thirty minutes per week and it is with a firm knowledge base in the language and a growing familiarity with French culture that pupils enter the Upper School. As the contact time increases  to two 40 minute  lessons    weekly in Year 3  and  Year 4 and then to three times in Years 5 and 6, we are able to incorporate ICT on a regular basis, an activity well loved by all children, which allows us to accommodate higher ability pupils on more challenging programs and to support weaker children simultaneously.

By the time pupils reach Years 7 and 8 they are receiving four French lessons per week in the run-up to the 13+ Common Entrance and scholarship examinations.

Pupils are encouraged to communicate in French during the lessons and the assessment of their oral performance is on-going. The department also tests vocabulary acquisition on a regular basis and every topic, once completed, is systematically evaluated by means of a Block Test. In Years 7 and 8, Common Entrance past papers are incorporated in the syllabus to ensure greater success.

As pupils are set from Year 5 to 8, the tests and exams are differentiated accordingly. Native speakers are given scholarship papers when appropriate. Whenever we assess pupils, we firmly believe that it is essential to evaluate their progress in the four language skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing, as laid out in the Common Entrance and Scholarship ISEB papers.

The pupils in Year 5 sometimes visit the Christmas market in Lille, in Northern France at the end of the Autumn term. For one day they experience the atmosphere of a French town and are given the chance to practise their French as well as enjoy the seasonal spirit of the fair. and the market stalls. Year 7 pupils all take part in "Le grand défi", a national competition organised by Linguascope. Furthermore, we encourage all our pupils to prepare some assemblies in French, to present their work to the rest of the school and to produce some small role-plays and scenes acted in French

Whenever possible, Year 8 pupils are also taken to the Institut Français in South Kensington to view a film in a French cultural environment.

Over 650 Number of pupils who currently study at Newton Preparatory School 1991 The year that Newton Prep opened
Newton Prep children are focused and motivated to succeed in their academic studies.
Newton Prep Parent