At Sompting Abbotts, the French Department aims to make learning French interactive and fun throughout the school. French is taught from Year 1 to Year 8. In the Pre-Prep, French is introduced through songs, games and various activities and basic vocabulary is introduced via the Skoldo range of books. This is reinforced in the Main School as pupils are introduced to the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Cooking of French recipes, a range of competitions, productions of French plays for Years 3 to 7, a yearly school French poetry competition involving every pupil in the school and a trip to Normandy for the seniors broaden their range of vocabulary and self-expression.
From Year 5 onwards each member of the class asks the rest of the class questions at the start of every lesson. In the Summer Term, Year 5 host Year 2 in a “Petite France” experience in the main school where the Year 5 pupils man various shops, services and a café. The event is concluded with games and a treasure hunt. At lunchtime, the pupils say the grace once a week in French and the French table requests their food in French rounded off with “brain gym”. In Year 7 and 8, the seniors write an illustrated “autobiographie” which covers the topics for Common Entrance, Scholarship and GCSE. These pupils record their “dossier sonore” in the language lab. and self- assess their work against exam criteria.