Susie Jenkins

‘Un, deux, trois, allons dans les bois’, the Reception children are watching the video, singing and marching all at once, using all the learning styles to acquire their early French. ‘Comment t’appelles-tu?, Quel âge as-tu?’, a class survey of famous people is happening in Year 1. The children play the roles of such famous people as Astérix, Dennis le Menace, Buzz L’Eclair, Bob L’Eponge. In a well-prepared game in Year 2, numbers are reinforced with ‘Onze’. Any number that is a multiple of eleven means that you move down from the desk, followed by the chair, then the floor. You get three lives before you are out. In Year 3, the boys are learning about the family using funny voices, actions and Jacques a dit (Simon says). Now they are forming sentences about their family and acting them out. In Year 4, the boys are preparing a poster about where they live using subordinate clauses. ‘J’habite dans une grande maison dans une ville qui s’appelle Newbury’. In Year 5, classroom vocabulary is improving even more and the boys are discovering the rich and exciting culture of France, its geography, its food and why we are learning this wonderful language. In Year 6, you should hear our rap for present tense verbs! Our wall display on opinions, connectives, and intensifiers is well worth popping in to see also! Venez nous voir!

Susie loves teaching French at St Edward’s. She has taught all ages, but teaching a language through games, songs, fun and noise is a winner for her. It is certainly a contrast from the time she lived in Japan with a monk and his mother in a temple! She loves the friendliness of St Edward’s and the fact that the boys feel at home enough to learn through mistakes, which is important with a language. They are like sponges and just absorb French. One rather shy boy called her ‘Madame Gazelle’ by accident the other day and they all laughed as Madame Gazelle is the French teacher in Peppa Pig! It was huge fun! France is so close and easy for the children to get to and try out their French. ‘It doesn’t really matter which language you learn as long as you understand about language, other cultures, and the wider-world.’ Susie herself is well-travelled. ‘My favourite trip was actually to Marrakech, seeing the beautiful Atlas Mountains and mooching around the souks. Morocco is a must!’