Starting in Year 1 (5-year-olds & above), pupils study French two half-days a week, following the French national curriculum in language and literature. Students for whom French is a second language follow a specific curriculum according to their level.
Students in Year 6 have an additional half-day of French classes per week, during which time they study Mathematics and History in French.
French is an essential part of our curriculum, which enables students to qualify for future enrolment in French schools with high academic standards. International students also obtain a good knowledge of French language and culture in our program.
Malherbe International School takes pride in offering its pupils a bilingual education with a strong French component without hindering the acquisition of key attainment targets laid out by the British National Education Plan.
Students begin their formal instruction in French at age 5, the equivalent of the Grande Section de Maternelle class. At this age, the focus in on pre-reading skills, phonetic awareness and developing recognition and familiarity with French cursive writing. The children will read many stories and participate in whole-class discussions to develop their oral fluency and theme-specific vocabulary.
Starting at age 6, or Cours Préparatoire, students will begin to formally learn how to read in French. They will study the more complex French sounds, and pronunciation rules, while refining their cursive writing. The acquisition of reading in French is usually helped by the reading fluency acquired over the previous year in English.
In following grades, the program will continue to encompass French grammar rules, conjugation, reading comprehension and writing skills following the requirements of the French national curriculum.
Our native French program is designed to ensure that our students reach the attainment levels expected within the French national education system. Through learning synergies with the English curriculum and individualized attention, our pupils reach a high level of French language skills, in speaking, reading and writing.
Our French language learners benefit from an adapted course content designed to reinforce their confidence in using the French language in speaking, reading, and writing. Students in Year 1 and 2 (ages 5 and 6 years old) are taught alongside our native French students to provide maximal exposure to the language, while those in Year 3 and above are taught within a separate group in which they will learn the foundation of the French language, study key vocabulary and grammar structures, and develop their proficiency in all areas of the language. Our aim is for our French language learners to be ready to transition to the mainstream French classroom in a period of 2 years.
French Language Learners also strongly benefit from weekly music lessons which are taught in French. This provides them with an opportunity to practice their foreign language skills in a less formal setting.