Subjects Taught at Sauveterre

The following subjects are taught in French at Sauveterre and are in the weekly timetable: 

  • French language

  • French Literature and Poetry

  • French Journal

  • Maths

  • Science

  • Religious Studies

  • History

  • Geography

  • Music

  • Drama

  • Art

  • Tennis

French in the principal subject receiving the most attention. Apart from general subject teaching being conducted in French, the language itself is studied in some depth. The first aim is to perfect aural comprehension and to encourage maximum opportunities for oral French to develop. In general, the aim is to give a child enough confidence to converse and understand French without difficulty, to be able to read French competently and to be able to use written French with self-assurance.

French literature is studied in moderate depth, providing the pupils with an insight into some of the principal French writers and their work. Class work is sometimes followed up with the use of video clips relating to relevant French literature.

Poetry is studied, learnt and used for further language development. For example, writing in the style of a particular poem or poet is often encouraged.

French Journal (scrapbook/diary) writing is guided and kept up throughout the term from start to finish. Notable events and activities are recorded in the Journal. As the term progresses, pupils are expected to contribute more of their own ideas and language and these are brought home  as a souvenir. Gap students ad teachers regularly monitor these and provide assistance for basic sentence construction.  

Maths is the one subject that is taught in both French and English, with Mr Bower who has years of experience teaching the subject up to Scholarship level supporting Mme Fourteau's lessons. The curriculum is based on Common Entrance. There is strong support from Cothill, and a weekly Maths prep is set – which is marked at Sauveterre, and the scores are sent back to the Head of Maths at Cothill so that he can monitor progress. The syllabus at Sauveterre has been reviewed and concentrated by the Maths department at Cothill, and the end of term exams are flexible, depending on the wishes of the host schools. In addition pupils will have one weekly lesson of on-line Mathletics as well as a weekly revision lesson, taught in English, specifically to cover topics that have caused confusion in the weekly tests.

Science is based on Common Entrance although, without any laboratory space, is often geared towards plant biology, or the human body.  It was decided by the Science department at Cothill that the syllabus should not be too wide at Sauveterre. Instead, teaching is focused on one or two Common Entrance topics in some detail, which would then require less attention back in England.

History comprises a brief overview of France from the Stone Age to 20th Century topics, considering the main events in the country’s history. Romans, Gaul, Charlemagne, Normans, Middle Ages, Castles, 110 Years War, Absolute Monarchy, Revolution, Napolean, 1st and 2nd World War are all studied and discussed in French.

Geography work covers the local and general physical geography of France. It looks at the regions, the mountains, rivers, towns and cities. Agriculture, industry and transport are discussed and map reading is fundamental to the studies. The continents, countries and oceans of the World are also studied.

The following subjects are studied in English throughout the term:

Comprehension and Creative Writing exercises are set based generally on places that are to be or have been visited.

Reading of English books is strongly encouraged and insisted upon in the evenings. There are two set texts that all Sauveterrians read and review on a bi-termly basis. This review is sent back to host schools for correction and comment. Throughout the term Gap students assist pupils with their reading skills on a one-to-one basis.

Extra English is provided for pupils should they require or request it. Timetabling will be arranged at the beginning of each term and pupils will not miss an individual subject more than once every half term. Lessons will normally be on a one to one basis, otherwise in groups no greater than three

To help you follow the progress of your child more easily during their time at Sauveterre, it might be useful to explain the following:


Class allocations are arranged after several aptitude tests and through consultation with both the pupils’ host schools and the Sauveterre staff. We have four to six classes named by colour to denote the difficulty of work but also to divide the different age groups. We try and allow for different rates of progress and speed of learning and if necessary a class change can be made. With a great deal of oral content, clearly the group dynamics of a class are important to encourage the reticent and stretch the garrulous! Grades are given out for effort and achievement every week and these are sent to parents and to schools within the Trust.


There are also up to six groups (or Houses) which children are placed in at random, enabling them to mix socially and competitively with children from other Trust schools. The Groups work together to perform general duties once a week, they compete in the ‘Bons Points’ competition and they occasionally play games and sports against other groups. As a general thermometer of progress, contribution and personal organisation, we publish the totals of the Bon Points (Good Marks/House Points). These are given by the adults for a variety of reasons (including work, sport, contribution and duty days) and they are counted once a week into the six groups. 


Reports are done regularly to check on academic progress as well as achievements and contribution out of class. A weekly assessment is made with a comment by each teacher on each child and then evaluated for achievement and effort - making a total weekly score out of twenty. These weekly totals are eventually combined to make a term mark. At half term and the end of term there are reports written by each of the French teachers with an evaluation out of twenty for their work and effort. 

Exams and Tests

All subjects taught at Sauveterre are examined towards the end of term. These are in the form of simple tests, or in the case of core subjects, certain Common Entrance exams are set.


A set of reports is sent home at half term and at the end of term, written in French by the teachers and in English by the assistant staff (otherwise know as the home team). These are also sent to the Trust schools to be recorded. Each weekly grade contains brief comments of progress and effort.