The Friary School has established an exciting partnership with the Collège Cité ( in Narbonne, Southern France.

The model follows a ‘pen-friend’ style approach so that Year 7 students can hone their language skills from an early stage and establish a lasting international friendship.

GCSE French is a crucial part of our school’s E-Bacc provision which the Department for Education have set up as a benchmark for the brightest students. The E-Bacc involves a student obtaining GCSEs in Maths, English, Science, Humanities (History or German) and a Foreign Language. The expectation is that as many students as possible pursue these core academic subjects and emphasises the crucial importance of language skills in an ever smaller world.

Clelia Freeman, the French teacher co-ordinating the initiative, said: “We are thrilled to have set up this partnership and students have already sent off their information and questions to their French counterparts so we can expect our first responses soon. It is clear that those students who leave being able to speak a foreign language have greater opportunities in later life so the more we can engage children in French, the more relevant and fun it will be.”