S4 French Cinema visit

On Thursday November the 4th a selection of S4 French students took part in a school visit to the cinema at the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh. The film, Le scaphandre et le papillon (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), which deals with some very challenging human relationship issues was appreciated by the majority of the pupils. Indeed, some of the pupil comments following the show were quite insightful and showed a mature appreciation and empathy towards the film’s characters. Following the film there was a discussion with a well-known Edinburgh French specialist which helped to expand on some of the themes in the film. Further discussion took part later on in class as pupils relayed some of their experience to others who had not made the trip.

The diving bell and the butterfly poster

The 25 pupils from PL represented themselves very well both at the screening and to and from the theatre and were a credit to the school. Overall the visit demonstrated a healthy appetite amongst pupils for foreign language films which help compliment the department’s work in the classroom and brings language and culture more to life. We hope as a department to keep the interest and momentum going and are able to offer more pupils the opportunity to view foreign language films as part of their learning.

Bravo à tous!!

How to learn vocabulary?

For each unit, your teacher will ask you to learn vocabulary. Remember to:

Study and Cover and Write and Check (SACAWAC)

Don’t forget

– to ask someone else’s help. They might not be able to help you with pronunciation but can check you know your spelling.

– to try to do a bit everyday rather than leave it until the last minutes. A small chunk of speaking and writing everyday is easier than a HUGE chunk the night before.

– to check the school website to see if the vocabulary has been put onto sound files (MP3).

– to ask your teacher for help if all failed.

Writing assessments


Writing is assessed by means of a folio, consisting of 3 pieces of work produced in the course of S3 and S4. This work may be drafted and redrafted, although the final pieces must be produced under test conditions. This folio is then marked by the SQA,

It is important to spell accurately. To help you prepare you can divide your text into more manageable chunks (for examples using teach and test cards) and don’t forget to “look, cover, write and check”.

Parents/guardians can give invaluable help and support in the following ways:

· Check homework planners to see what homework has been given, and that it is completed for the due date

· Check that vocabulary has been carefully memorised, including the spelling. Test your son/daughter orally.

· Check that Writing tasks have been prepared, practised, and learned. Ask your son/daughter to rewrite their writing piece when they think they have learned this work and check against their good copy in their jotter.

What to do for speaking assessments

Speaking is worth 25% of the total marks for Standard Grade examination. The overall grade is based on the total score gained in Speaking assessments.

Try not to be too nervous about you speaking test: it is assessed by your class teacher and you know beforehand what the assessment will be.

When preparing remember that if you have nothing to say it is better to LIE than say nothing! MAKE IT UP!

Preparation is the key to success. Do not leave it to the last minute! To help you prepare you could make up a mind map or use “teach and test” cards as this will help you break up your speaking into more manageable chunks.

Find an example of a mind map here: Speaking assessment preparation – Mind map.

Remember to practise. Why not record it and listen to it to hear how you sound?

On the day, remember to speak in French and not to speak too quickly.

Here are some phrases that could help you not to speak English:

Vous pouvez répéter? – Can you repeat?

Je ne sais pas – I don’t know

Watch Lauren performing a French speaking test! A good example of what not to do!

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