The study of French in Sandford Park school encourages an interest in France and its culture, and also in foreign languages generally. Each class is equipped with an interactive Smart whiteboard which allows access to French sites – television, radio, news, sport etc. We also screen films in the Department and there is a collection of French DVDs for students to borrow from the library.
We have a French Exchange with College Rene Cassin near Castres for students in second year. Sandford families welcome French students for one week in March or April, and Sandford students go to France at the end of the Summer Term. The exchange is not compulsory and about 50% of students take part.
Lessons are conducted wholly or mainly in French using a communicative approach, without forgetting the importance of studying grammar at all levels. We concentrate on developing the four main skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening. Emphasis is placed on enjoyment and a feeling of making progress in the language.
All students study French from Form I up to Form VI. There are four classes per week up to Transition Year, with five classes for Form V and VI. In the Junior Cycle, all classes are of mixed ability but we stream from Transition Year onwards. Students benefit from individual tuition in the lead up to the Leaving Certificate French oral exams.