The primary programme is based on England and Wales’ focus on reading, writing and spoken language. Our curriculum is adapted to suit the needs of our pupils and the time available. All of our pupils are in French primary schools, and most of them receive no tuition in English outside their English National classroom. Several pupils do not speak English at home, so we try to make every minute in class count.
The content and techniques of our English teaching remain close to current practice in England and Wales to ensure that we retain high standards which will lead on, in the long term, to success in such examinations as IGCSE English. Staff keep abreast of curriculum developments in the UK through training, and each year group works closely as a team in order to enrich, renew and develop the curriculum whilst maintaining a high level of demand and challenge. Enrichment activities such as visiting guest speakers and theatre trips play an important part of our curriculum and each year group prepares a yearly performance in which they demonstrate their growing confidence in spoken language. Our CM2 classes have performed versions of Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’, ‘The Tempest’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’
Each term, we test students’ reading level, writing level and spoken language level. All assessments are carried out in controlled conditions in class and results are moderated by the teachers working within each year group. A teacher assessment is given using a scale of 1-8, a scale that continues into secondary. Pupils in CP will be working towards level 1, and by the time they are in 4eme they will be working at level 6,7 or 8. As a rough guide, it is expected that most pupils will reach level 4 by the end of the primary phase (CM2). Pupils are expected to progress at least two sub levels a year: 2c to 2a; or 3a to 4b and for each level there are skills which need to be mastered before a pupil can move up. Teachers help pupils identify the next steps that need to be taken in order to progress and we actively encourage pupils to take ownership of their progress and to become active learners. Pupils will be given targets to work on and ideas on how to achieve these. There are many support materials available on the VLE.
At the end of CM2 there is an entrance test to enter the college in order to see if a pupil has the necessary level to follow the English National Programme at secondary level.
Doing any extra work in English at home increases exposure to the language and speeds up progress. We are aware however, that not all pupils can have the same level of support with their English at home and so we aim to encourage autonomy and active ownership of learning, from a young age. We set reading homework in order to prepare for the next lesson and it is essential that all pupils complete this so that they can partake fully in the following week’s lesson. As every pupil is different, with their own individual target area, we encourage pupils to make use of the resources on the VLE in order to work on a particular skill they need to master, in order to move up to the next level. In line with French guidelines, we do not set written homework, but we encourage writing for pleasure (and not just reading) and we are always thrilled to see anything a pupil might have written, whether it be a story, poetry, diary, non-fiction text or book! As a rough guide we would expect pupils to spend two hours a week on their English homework and if your child(ren) is struggling with this we would advise you to contact the teacher to discuss priority areas to focus on.
Go to our VLE for Primary Homework details week by week.
Primary Protocol Document
This is a MS Word document in French, published by the Academie de Lyon, outlining the official status of the Primary International Sections in Ferney Voltaire. It may be displayed or downloaded, depending on your browser.