The PYP French Team at ISL
There are eight teachers, from Early Years to Year 6, in the Primary French Team.
Early Years learners (R3, R4) have four hours and forty minutes of French time every week. From Y1 to Y6, students benefit from three hours and twenty minutes of French every week. French levels range from beginners to proficient speakers. French in the Early Years has an immersive approach: the French teachers join the students’ homeroom every day. There are four levels of French in Year 2, 3, 4 and five levels in Year 5 and Year 6.
In line with the school’s Missions and Aims
The teaching of French at ISL is tied to the school’s Missions and Aims. The French Primary teachers strive to recognise the unique potential of each student, and to equip them to play an active and responsible role in a complex, multicultural world.
For instance, in Year 4, students organise a garage sale for the Swiss NGO “Terre des Hommes.” Through such service and action projects, the children exercise agency in their own learning.
A tie with the local community
The French department provides a link between the school and local life. The teaching of French equips the students for everyday situations and during extra-curricular activities. The curriculum enables them to develop their comprehension of the French language during field trips organised as part of the units of inquiry. For instance in Year 2 students went to visit a puppet theatre (Le théâtre des lutins) as part of their unit of inquiry on story-telling.
Moreover, the French team strives to develop links with the local schools. A local school recently joined ISL for activities around Art Week (Article: Aux 4 coins du Mont)
Close collaboration with the homeroom teachers
The French team and the homeroom teachers collaborate to promote the school’s approach to global citizenship with the students.
The French teachers align their curriculum with the units of inquiry and integrate part of the taught content in their French classes. The French teachers align with some of the homeroom language goals. For example, students write a personal narrative both in French and in English classes.
Also, homeroom and French teachers co-teach in partnership lessons. For instance in Y5, homeroom and French teachers co-teach the line of inquiry “What forces affect us” and students explore possible natural disasters in Switzerland.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Primary French Department
How many French books can my child take out of the library?
How many minutes of French does my child have each week?
From Y1 to Y6, students have 200 minutes of French a week, in 40 to 80 minute blocks.
How many French levels are there in each cohort?
In Early Childhood (R3, R4, Year 1), French is taught in the homerooms every day by a French teacher, aiming to have an immersion approach to the acquisition of language. Moving up, there are 4 levelled groups in Year 2, Year 3 and Y4, and five groups in Year 5 and Year 6.
How are students streamed? How are the Placement Assistant Booklets (PABs) determined?
The first is a year-long teacher observation of the students’ work in class, both in their fluency, oral comprehension and writing skills.
The second is the completion of a booklet in the Spring. This booklet is what we call the PAB: Placement Assistant Booklet. The PAB enables the child to demonstrate competencies in all strands of language acquisition, which is both written and oral comprehension and expression.
Those four strands are assessed in a progressive way from a beginner to proficient, to place each student in the best group.
How is a French lesson structured, what is taught?
Who can I contact to discuss my child’s progress?
How is the French curriculum created?
Where can I find local activities for my child?
How is the Primary to Secondary transition organised.
Those PABs give the teachers an indication as to which French MYP phase the Y6 students will join. The primary and secondary departments collaborate at the end of the school year and re-adjust French groups so as to ensure the best possible transitions for each student.