Bury Grammar Schools


French is, along with English, the only language spoken on all five continents.
More than 220 million people speak French on all the five continents, making it a major language of international communication. French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. A French lesson at BGS is a cultural journey into the worlds of fashion, gastronomy, the arts, architecture and science.

Subject Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Our Year 7 pupils start their secondary language studies with French and learn about French speaking countries whilst developing their language skills, including the acquisition of grammatical structures. They study a variety of topics that enables them to talk about their family, their school and their hobbies. They are exposed to authentic resources and take part in regional competitions such as the Spelling Bee. In Year 8, pupils develop their understanding of grammar and language structure. They study topics such as personal information, school and local area.


Students at BGS choose at least one language for GCSE with many keen linguists deciding to study two. They have the opportunity to develop further their understanding of different cultures and study topics that are relevant to our current society, such as environmental issues and the world of work. Whist preparing for the AQA GCSE, they have regular contact with our Foreign Language Assistant who helps them gain confidence in their spoken skills. They become confident communicators and are able to express personal opinions assertively.  They are exposed to Literature and discuss different traditions and customs from the studied countries.

A Level

At A level, students manipulate sophisticated language that enable them to approach literature and filmography. Students read newspaper articles weekly and listen to podcasts in the chosen language. They soon become confident linguists who can converse in the target language about current affairs. They attend a film conference at Home in Manchester that reinforces their understanding of film analysis. At BGS, specialist staff give our students the best access to authentic resources; the discussions and skills that ensue are transferrable to most University subjects. 
In each language, students study all the following on which the AQA assessments are based:
  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends and issues
  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
  • One text and one film 
  • Individual research project

Head of Department

Madame Banks studied at Bordeaux III University where she obtained a Masters Degree in French Literature and Language before moving to the UK.
She completed her PGCE at The University of Manchester and teaches French, German and Latin.
She started at BGS as Head of MFL in 2015and has since strived to share her love of language learning, foreign literature and international current affairs with all BGS pupils and students.
Madame Banks is also Head of French and Latin.