Modern Languages - French

Broad General Education


We have invested in a new online learning package called Studio Active Learn which pupils enjoy using to enhance their learning and gives them a deeper insight to the French-speaking world. Pupils will be provided with an ongoing survival kit for getting by abroad and for accessing the world of work. They will explore topics such as school, health and wellbeing, home life, travel and tourism, media, fashion and employability. As well as learning about these relevant “real-life” topics, pupils can access their homework from home online and seek extra support from teachers in the department.




Senior Phase

National 3, 4, 5

Both National 5 and Higher French courses will support pupils in developing their French language skills in reading, listening, writing and talking. Learning a Modern Foreign Language equips pupils with so many transferable skills that are highly valuable to their future world of work, whether it be in this country or abroad. Themes broached in class are highly relevant to young people and allow for plenty of exploration, discussion and debate. Grammar is a most enjoyable aspect of language acquisition at each stage and is taught steadily as the courses progress, with the aim of developing pupil confidence and independence. Technology is exploited in class to open pupils’ worlds to new countries and native French speakers. Learners are constantly encouraged to maximise their exposure to the target language outside of the classroom. Examples of this are; communicating with pen pals on social media/ Skype, listening to music/ French radio, watching films and television. A high level of support is provided.


Here are the four broad contexts and the topics within them:


Society: Family & Friends, Lifestyles, Media, Global Languages, Citizenship

Learning: Learning in context, Education

Employability: Jobs, Work & CVs

Culture: Planning a trip, Other Countries, Celebrating a special event, Literature of another country, Film & Television




All pupils in S1 also enjoy an 8 week taster of Spanish as part of 1+2 Modern Languages as part of ‘Character Learning’. 


In S1/2, all pupils follow the French course. Classes are fully differentiated and cater for all learning styles, to ensure that the needs of each pupil, regardless of prior language knowledge, are catered for.

In S3 option, it may be possible to begin Spanish.

We offer S5/6 courses up to Higher Level in French and Spanish. If pupils have not already done so in S3, this may be the right time for them to pick up a 2nd language as a beginner. Why not try an exciting new language learning experience like Italian? …a refreshing change and an interesting addition to CVs! Advanced Higher French and Spanish are available through our partnership with Dalkeith High School.

Relevance beyond school

Whichever languages or courses pupils pursue post S2, they will be engaged in experiences and tasks which, without question, prepare them well for their future lives and the real work place. Creating role plays, presentations, posters; writing CVs, letters of job application; arranging business meetings and promoting and marketing products are all highly relevant to pupils’ lives beyond school.  Following school trips, St David’s pupils are frequently called upon to address parents and the wider community with presentations in French, Spanish or English. Their willingness to do so and their subsequent success, bear testimony to the confidence and skills they have gained.

Calendar of exciting events

Each September, we hold a week of celebration dedicated to the European Day of Languages. This involves Continental breakfasts, meeting the Foreign Students at a Bring a Dish Welcome lunch, music, new language taster opportunities and quizzes. For S1, there is also the National Anthem competition.

In October, pupils of French from S2-S6 are invited to take part in the annual French Exchange trip to Jarnac. This is an ideal way to improve French language skills naturally whilst having a great time and making lots of new friends; both Scottish and French.

December is the perfect month to discover more about how traditions vary between countries and to learn carols in the Foreign Language.

Brightening up the month of February is the annual Multi-lingual debate at Heriot Watt University. Open to S4-S6, this is a great chance for pupils to see what simultaneous interpretation and translation involve and to contribute their own ideas to discussion on topical themes.

There are lots of activities during the year. Foreign film cinema excursions, correspondence with pen-friends, sampling foreign foods, music and dance cater for the full range of pupils’ interests and abilities. We aim to expand pupils’ skills and experiences of language and culture by organising multi-lingual treasure hunts around the school grounds, competitions and foreign breakfasts & lunches.

Study clubs at lunch-time provide pupils with the opportunity to gain further support from teachers out of class time.

A bientôt!    ¡Hasta pronto!       A presto!