English Corner

A warm welcome to the Lycée’s Primary English Department!

 

 

 

 

► Maternelle Classes (MS and GS)

 

The Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle has exemption from the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. In line with the French National Curriculum, the formal teaching of reading and writing is delayed compared to the English National Curriculum. Pupils learn to read in French in CP (Year 2) and in English either part-way through CP or at the beginning of CE1 (Year 3). The decision is at the discretion of each school.

 

The English programme for MS (Reception) and GS (Year 1) is an oral/aural-based programme, taking into consideration the relevant communication and language goals from the Early Years Foundation Stage and from the French National Curriculum. In addition, certain objectives have been included to cater for a bilingual French/English audience living on British soil.

 

Pupils joining the Lycée from English schools or who have learnt to read/write in English outside of school are encouraged to read aloud to the class on occasion or to write short sentences to accompany their work. However, reading and writing are not formally taught in MS, GS and, in some cases, in CP. An accelerated English programme is in place from CE1 to CM2 (Year 3 to Year 6) to allow learners to reach their full potential in all areas of English by the end of their time in Primary.

 

Parents are advised that if their child already knows how to read or write in English, that a little practice should be maintained at home to avoid regression. However the focal point should really be on ensuring French language skills and vocabulary are on a par with pupils who have been in the French system since PS (Nursery).

 

Pupils have three hours of English per week in MS and in GS. Depending on the school, pupils are taught as a whole class, in half class groups, or a mixture of both. Work is usually based around a book or topic being studied. English teachers work closely with their French counterpart to choose topics and activities that can be explored in both languages. Teachers ensure that pupils acquire vocabulary in a variety of useful, everyday topics including colours, numbers, shapes, days, dates and seasons, animals, food and drink, parts of the body and face, clothes, transport, nature, people who help us and professions.

 

English lesson content includes:

 

·         songs, rhymes, raps and poems with actions and interaction

·         listening to stories – traditional and contemporary. Discussing themes, predicting, recapping what happened, sequencing, story sacks

·         looking at non-fictional books; giving opinions, sharing knowledge, exchanging ideas

·         acting out stories with simple dialogues and props

·         educational games (with physical manipulation or with the interactive whiteboard)

·         use of flash cards and pictures to extend vocabulary

·         daily routines (register, weather, date, birthdays, special events, etc)

·         exploring and expanding vocabulary on a given topic

·         exploring simple grammatical structures orally

·         problem solving and project planning

·         educational visits and welcoming visitors linked to themes being studied

 

For suggestions on what to read with your child, please click on the recommended reading lists for the relevant year group.

 

MS/GS Recommended Reading List

 

 

► Cycle 2 Classes (CP, CE1 and CE2)

 

Pupils continue to work predominantly on their oral/aural skills in CP (Year 2). At the discretion of the school, teachers may start to introduce the foundations of reading and phonics in English during this year once sufficient French foundations have been established. Other schools may prefer to wait until the beginning of CE1 (Year 3) to introduce reading and phonics in a more intensive way and to quickly transfer skills acquired from French in CP.

 

All three year groups in Cycle 2 have one hour a week of ‘DNL’ and British Culture. (Discipline Non-Linguistique; content from the French Curriculum such as Geography, History, Science, Art or Sport but taught through the medium of English.) In addition to this, CP pupils have two hours per week of English language teaching, CE1 have at least 2 hours 15 minutes, and CE2 have three hours.

 

British Culture in Cycle 2 includes learning about some important periods of history, London, the royal family, the Union Jack flag and currency. Often pupils will visit a museum or watch a performance at a London theatre. Pupils are introduced to Shakespeare in a simplified format.

 

From CE1 onwards, the programme covers all aspects of language: reading, comprehension, phonics, writing for a variety of purposes, spelling, grammar, listening and speaking and broadening vocabulary. The English National Curriculum has been adapted to ensure there are no key gaps despite starting later, particularly in the areas of phonics, reading and spelling.

 

Key elements from the French National Curriculum for language have also been added where relevant, as have elements typically seen in EAL programmes.

 

During CE1 and CE2, pupils are exposed to many types of writing genres including diary writing, letter writing, writing a recipe, a set of instructions, a dialogue, a fact sheet and simple stories and poems.

 

By the end of CE2, pupils should be able to read fairly confidently in English and should have acquired a good knowledge of basic spelling, including high frequency words and key sound patterns.

 

From CE1, pupils are set homework in English on a regular basis. This will involve reading and spelling and sometimes also short grammar or writing exercises. Regular reading at home in English is also expected. With limited hours of teaching time for English, it is vital for pupils to complete homework thoroughly and on time.

 

For suggestions on what to read with your child, please click on the recommended reading lists for the relevant year group. Where possible, we ask parents to avoid choosing the books from our class reader list until the end of the relevant academic year to allow children to discover these texts in school time.

 

CP/CE1/CE2 Recommended Reading List

 

 

► Primary level Cycle 3 Classes (CM1 and CM2)

 

Pupils continue to work on all aspects of language: reading, comprehension, writing for a variety of purposes, grammar, listening and speaking and broadening vocabulary. The English National Curriculum continues to be adapted for the purposes of our accelerated learning programme from CE1 to CM2 in English (Year 3 to Year 6), particularly in the areas of spelling and phonics, to ensure there are no key gaps, despite pupils having started to read and write later.

 

Pupils continue to have four hours a week of English in CM1 (Year 5) and CM2 (Year 6). Three hours of this is devoted to language and literature studies and the additional hour continues to be used for DNL (Discipline Non-Linguistique) and British Culture. At Cycle 3 level, DNL lessons are predominantly on Science, Geography and History topics.

 

In British Culture, each year group learns about important periods or events in history and famous individuals linked to these times. Often pupils will visit a museum or watch a performance at a London theatre. Pupils study Shakespeare in an abridged format.

 

Elements of the French language programme continue to be included where relevant, as well as elements from programmes more traditionally seen in EAL (English as an Additional Language) to support non-native speakers for whom it is not possible to rely on what “sounds right”. Much of this is centred around verb endings and tenses.

 

During CM1 and CM2, pupils learn to write in many different genres, including formal and informal letters, newspaper reports, persuasive writing, diary writing, writing first person narratives, writing to inform, biographies and autobiographies and descriptive writing. They explore many types of creative writing such as sci-fi, adventure, myths and legends and stories from other cultures. They also learn how to embellish and summarise texts.

 

Pupils are set homework in English on a regular basis. This will involve reading, spelling and also grammar or writing exercises. With only three hours a week of teaching time for English, it is vital for pupils to complete homework thoroughly and on time.

 

Pupils who have been in the main language class throughout Cycle 2 and 3 should leave CM2 as confident readers, writers and speakers with a thorough grasp of grammar, a wide range of vocabulary and a good awareness of spelling rules and exceptions.

 

For suggestions on good quality reading material that will stretch your child, please click on the recommended reading lists for the relevant year group. Where possible, we ask parents to avoid choosing the books from our class reader list until the end of the relevant academic year to allow children to discover these texts in school time.

 

CM1/CM2 Recommended Reading List

 

 

Beginner and Intermediate Level English Teaching

 

For pupils who are new to English or who have not yet reached an advanced level in  order to cope with the main English class, we aim, where possible, to put in place EAL support. At South Kensington and at Marie d’Orliac, we have a designated, full-time EAL teacher who takes pupils from CE1 to CM2 in small groups during the English slot on the timetable. This continues for as long as necessary depending on how quickly the child progresses. Usually, the older the child entering the EAL class, the longer it will take for the child to transfer to the main English class.

 

For younger pupils at South Kensington and at Marie d’Orliac and for primary pupils at André Malraux and at Wix, we aim to put small group EAL support in place when it is possible on the timetable.

 

Our EAL programme follows the French Curriculum for teaching foreign languages for Cycles 2 and 3 and covers the core skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Pupils are informally assessed on a regular basis to monitor their progress and to determine when a transfer to the main English class is right for them.

 

It is absolutely vital that parents ensure their children are exposed to English outside of school hours too in order to ensure their progress is as rapid as possible. This can be done through enrolling children in English-speaking after-school clubs, watching TV in English, reading bedtime stories in English and organising play dates with English-speaking children. Parents should also be prepared to support their children with any homework set such as reading practice, learning vocabulary and spellings, or completing exercises to consolidate class learning.

 

Assessment and feedback in Primary for English

 

All pupils are formally tested in English in the first and last half term of each academic year. For the younger classes, this takes the format of an oral activity where fluency, breadth of vocabulary, pronunciation and grammatical accuracy are assessed.

 

When children begin reading in English (either part-way through the CP year or in CE1 depending on the school’s choice) their reading level and progress are carefully monitored.

 

From CE2 to CM2, pupils are formally tested in reading comprehension and in writing at the beginning and end of each academic year. (In CE1, the vast majority is assessed orally at the beginning of the year, however, if some pupils are already readers, they will also be tested in reading comprehension and writing in the first half term.

 

Teachers continuously assess pupils’ progress regarding spelling, reading fluency and intonation and their understanding of different grammar points and writing styles covered. They also assess pupils in the DNL* topics covered in English. This continuous assessment feeds into the detailed termly report comments.

 

Should a teacher have concerns about a child’s level, s/he will contact the parents to arrange a meeting to establish how the child can be best supported at school and at home. Where possible with timetabling, we try to offer small group support to address these concerns during the English slot. English teachers will contact the families they feel it is important to see for the annual Parent-Teacher meeting day.

 

Pupils in the EAL class are also formally tested at the beginning and end of each year, but EAL teachers assess continuously and will suggest transferring a pupil into the main English group when they feel a pupil is ready. Often this will involve a trial period for 2-3 weeks to see how the pupil copes before a final decision is made between both teachers. It is extremely important that a child is not moved before they are ready so that they will be confident with work set in the main class and will not have significant gaps in their knowledge which would hinder their progress in the long term.

 

At the end of CM2, all pupils are rigorously tested in English. This is explained in more detail in the next section.

 

*Discipline Non-Linguistique (This can be part of the Geography, History, Science, Art or PE programme and depends on the school and year group.)

 

 

► Entry into 6ème (Year 7)

 

At the end of CM2, all pupils take a series of tests to assess their level of English. Pupils will either take the A1/A2 level tests (beginner and intermediate) or the B1/B2 level tests (advanced and fluent).

 

The B1/B2 level tests are on a par with 11+ examinations for British private schools in terms of English level. Pupils of all levels are assessed on their aural and reading comprehension, oral, reading aloud and writing skills.

 

All pupils from the Lycée’s four primary schools are offered a place in ‘Collège’. Pupils have the choice of applying to the Section Plurilingue or to the Section Internationale. Places are limited for the latter and are attributed based on pupils’ results in the English CM2 tests as well as on reports from both the French and English teacher. Pupils must take the B1/B2 level tests to be considered.

 

The Section Plurilingue is for pupils wishing to take on a third language in 6ème (Year 7), while the Section Internationale enables pupils to have a greater number of teaching hours in English. The Section Plurilingue classes are streamed for English lessons (and the CM2 end of year tests serve to place pupils) while the Section Internationale’s English lessons are mixed ability. The levels are more similar, however, due to the selection process for this section. Pupils wishing to enter the British Section in 3ème (Year 10) must opt to go into the Section Plurilingue in 6ème as pupils cannot do both the International Section and British Section.

 

Information meetings explaining the tests and the two different pathways to parents in more detail are held during the CM2 year with the Proviseur and the English Primary Coordinator.

 

 

Cerian Maraviglia, Primary English Coordinator of the Lycée schools

cmaraviglia@lyceefrancais.org.uk

 

Updated September 2017