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French is a thriving subject.  In addition to classroom work there is a lively programme of exchanges, visits and events held at the school.   Canford has strong links with the Lycée Grignard in Cherbourg. Each summer term a House Boules competition is held which is fiercely contested!

Pupils are setted in French when they arrive at Canford but the composition of these sets is kept under constant review, with significant movement taking place after internal examinations in December and June in the first year. Thereafter, movement is possible, but kept to a minimum to ensure continuity of teaching up to GCSE.  Whilst the emphasis is on the acquisition of sound, all-round language skills, pupils are also given an insight into the French way of life and that of other French-speaking countries.

French is used as the medium whenever possible and there is a variety of teaching material available with the course book. All of the six dedicated modern languages classrooms are equipped with Interactive Whiteboards and all have data projectors. The department also possesses a bank of twenty-five laptops that are used for a variety of language activities where pupils can work individually on tasks appropriate to their level.

The course is geared towards the CIE IGCSE examination, which is taken at the end of the Fifth Form year and which consists of three components - Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.  All pupils are generally entered for the Higher Tier, which gives them access to all the grades. It is expected that pupils opting for French in the Sixth Form will have achieved at least a grade A at GCSE.