A webinar with Julien Violette: Raising attainment at GCSE, tackling the productive skills



Session Description

We are very grateful to leaders in the Harris Federation who are willing to share their expertise with the wider community. Teachers currently teaching Year 11 in particular will be keen to pick up ideas in the last push before exams!

Session 1 was presented by  Mathilde Bouquin: ‘Raising attainment at GCSE, tackling the receptive skills’: Here is  a link to the page with links to recording etc.

Session 2 [90 minutes] – ‘raising attainment at GCSE, tacking the productive skills (Julien Violette)’ aims to share AQA’s findings on areas for development in the speaking and writing papers as well as sharing key strategies to improve confidence in both skills, build resilience and improve outcomes. Alongside this, we would be able to share our popular Target 5 Speaking and Writing material, which provides ample material for practising all exam questions within the papers at foundation level.

Session presenter

Julien Violette – Lead Languages Consultant (French, Spanish with German) Julien has been teaching MFL for thirteen years.  Prior to completing his PGCE at Goldsmiths University in 2010, Julien completed a master’s degree in translation at the University Charles de Gaulle 3 in Lille, France.  He has taught French and Spanish at secondary level across all Key Stages and German at KS3. Before joining the consultant team in 2018, Julien has led languages departments in two London comprehensive schools. His main areas of expertise are curriculum development, assessment and promoting languages studies. Other interests include the long-term memory strategies, maximal use of Target Language by students & teachers and effective questioning


Thanks SO much to Julien for giving us access to his work.

Here is a pdf of hs presentation: KS4_Raising attainment at GCSE_Tackling the productive skills_ALL Webinar_PDF

Teaching resources

Julien has incredibly generously shared the PowerPoints he uses for French and Spanish here:



Target books

We were delighted that Danièle Bourdais attended, and we were able to thank her for her books which have inspired teachers and helped learners enormously.  Here is a link to the books which Julien raved about:

Classroom resources

(To follow)


00:31:15 Corina: Hi. I’m a member! ☺️
00:31:22 Sarah Hau: Reacted to “Hi. I’m a member! ☺️” with ❤️
00:33:47 ALL London: Hi Corina!
00:34:02 ALL London: Please could you all introduce yourselves?
00:34:41 nualas: Hi Nuala I am in Leigh On Sea
00:35:00 ALL London: Thanks NUala
00:36:18 ALL London: That’s reassuring to know that tiering is a problem for everyone!
00:36:28 Nassira: Hi am Nassira, teacher of French and spanish. Bolton.
00:36:49 Nassira: Thanks for alowing me to join this webinar
00:37:02 ALL London: HI Nassira!
00:37:23 Nassira: Reacted to HI Nassira! with “👋”
00:38:02 Elisabeth: Good evening all, I’m Elisabeth from Cambridge teaching French and Spanish
00:40:54 ALL London: Reacted to “Good evening all, I’…” with 👍🏻
00:42:10 ALL London: The writing and speaking criteria are a constant, so these should guide you best to the tier.
00:42:56 ALL London: Yes – F is for 4/5.
00:43:03 Corina: Some schools don’t do mock speaking exams until year 11. They all do listening, reading and writing. What’s your opinion on that?
00:43:20 Corina: *only
00:45:04 ALL London: Good process to compare relative performance in papers
00:45:24 Sarah Hau: Corina – how many mocks do your Y11 do? We always try and do a part speaking exam in Y10 (photocard + some general conversation) so that students get used to the idea of doing a speaking exam, so by the time they do the real thing, they’ve had 3 opportunities, builds their confidence!
00:46:12 ALL London: Agree – planning is a problem
00:48:15 ALL London: Agreed – memorisation a reality for a high stakes exam
00:49:14 Corina: Reacted to Corina – how many mo… with “👍”
00:51:30 nualas: We have reintroduced a speaking book with our Yr 9 for the same reasons that you mention.
00:51:43 ALL London: Good idea Nualas
00:51:50 Nassira: We do mocks in year 10 all skills and it helps us a lot adressing the gaps and adapting our planning.
00:52:00 ALL London: Please do add your tips soi that this can be an exchange of ideas
00:52:31 ALL London: I prepare booklets which mirror what is needed for writing as well
00:52:53 Daniele Palumbo: Acronym and sentence starters for photocard task
00:53:01 Sarah Parris: 1. Sample conversation questions following each topic
00:53:12 Frederique Bouretaa: We start photocard in year 7s with a PALMO mat technique as soon as physical descriptions are covered.
00:53:12 Sarah Parris: 2. Model answers per topic
00:53:42 ALL London: Sentence strarters so important …
00:53:48 nualas: We tend to use past papers so the students can see they are actual exam questions. Pair work is also better in the first instance to build confidence.
00:53:52 Corina: Pair work – one says a sentence and the other has to guess which image they were reffering to – from a given worksheet with images
00:54:06 Nassira: structures that can be used with most or al the topics.
00:54:21 ALL London: Great ideas
00:54:32 Sarah Hau: I encourage students to spend max 4 mins on roleplay and rest of time on photocard in prep time
00:55:01 Sue: Reacted to “I encourage students…” with 👍
00:55:42 Sarah Hau: If they finish prep on photocard, try to predict what 2 extra questions might be – esp at higher as it covers 3 tenses + opinion + photo description. Get them to write down key phrases to help them out.
00:56:02 ALL London: Yes – photo descripton can go on an don …!
00:58:37 ALL London: I am aware that JUlien;s audio occasnoally cuts out.. but I think we can follow ..!
00:58:53 ALL London: Such good ideas
01:01:45 ALL London: It is so generous of JUlien to share all this
01:09:39 ALL London: Please be ready to shar any of your ideas please!
01:22:44 Sarah Hau: it drives me mad when they do that!
01:24:02 Sarah Hau: I like this idea with the options for them to pick out the correct words 🙂
01:25:26 Florence Barats: Thank you for all of the work. Have to go but will watch the rest over the weekend! Will we get a link to the recording?
01:26:18 Sarah Hau: Reacted to “Thank you for all of…” with 👍
01:26:45 Sarah Hau: Helen will send out a link and the webpage is already live on the ALL London website!
01:27:32 Nassira: I love that grammar slide ideas…will definitely try this with my groups!!,🤩🤩
01:31:01 Sue: Completely agree- especially in Spanish
01:37:10 Sarah Hau: bien que ce soit
01:37:18 Sarah Hau: il faut que je fasse
01:37:19 ALL London: Il est important de
01:37:23 eulalia: je dois avouer que
01:37:30 eulalia: je dirais que
01:37:33 Daniele Palumbo: Lo bueno es que/lo malo es que
01:37:40 Sarah Hau: après avoir mangé
01:37:42 Frederique Bouretaa: Hubiera querido, si fuera posible
01:37:51 Sarah Hau: ce que j’aime le plus
01:38:19 Sue: Si fuera rico/a, compraria
01:49:49 Sarah Hau: Definitely agree with this – I make mine bullet point plan. Also to hit high range of language – have a list of complex structures that they shoe-horn into the 150 words
01:50:47 ALL London: Complex = higher grammar I think
01:51:01 ALL London: also see exam report
01:52:49 ALL London: Langugaes online
01:57:13 Sarah Parris: Thank you sooo much
01:57:16 Sue: It has been worth it! Huge thanks.
01:57:20 Frederique Bouretaa: Amazing session
01:57:28 nualas: Thank you, so many ideas.
01:57:28 Sarah Hau: Thanks Julien! Lots of food for thought 🙂
01:57:32 Daniele Palumbo: Great resources, I look forward to using them either my students
01:57:34 Nassira: That was very infomative. Some great ideas I will use. Thanks so much for your generosity
01:57:34 Frederique Bouretaa: Merci beaucoup
01:57:51 eulalia: super! merci
01:58:36 Valerie: Un grand merci, Julien! Session très enrichissante!
01:59:22 Burkey: Superbe, merci beaucoup. Cela me redonne le gout de l’enseignement.
02:00:02 Daniele Bourdais: You might want to have a look at booklets I cowrote a few years back for Edexcel and AQA which cover lots of wjhat you mentioned today @Julien Violette
02:00:23 Daniele Bourdais: https://www.pearsonschoolsandfecolleges.co.uk/secondary/subjects/modernlanguages/target-for-modern-languages/target-for-french/target-grade-5-writing-edexcel-gcse-9-1-french-workbook
02:00:30 Burkey: Where can we find these booklets / buy them?
02:00:50 Daniele Bourdais: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Writing-Edexcel-Workbook-Language-Intervention/dp/1292245824/ref=pd_lpo_sccl_3/261-5591476-7634552?pd_rd_w=FthFL&content-id=amzn1.sym.73ccbab9-bfe2-4fe4-b42e-24416f27300e&pf_rd_p=73ccbab9-bfe2-4fe4-b42e-24416f27300e&pf_rd_r=7BPT9SG238BQC462MPB0&pd_rd_wg=CLp3X&pd_rd_r=f4d8da12-0619-4dfb-be31-b02ca7162764&pd_rd_i=1292245824&psc=1
02:00:59 Daniele Bourdais: Similar available for AQA
02:01:01 Sarah Hau: Those books are really good! I have them for the Grade 9 too
02:01:04 ALL London: TTIICSAPON – ROPES
02:01:39 Daniele Bourdais: Reacted to “Those books are real…” with 👍🏽
02:01:57 ALL London: QT + DV
02:02:37 Daniele Bourdais: What about answering with F.O.R.C.E?
02:03:08 Daniele Bourdais: F =fact = O = opinion R = reason (justificattion) C = Contrast E = Example (tenses)