Posted on 1 Comment

European Day of Languages

So many of us will be dashing to Lidl en route to school tomorrow and grabbing a load of brioche and croissants for European Day of Languages celebrations. Then spending the morning challenging pupils to construct monuments and landmarks out of paper straws and spaghetti. Prancing round in our national dress during lunch hour teaching traditional dances. Whatever you are doing, if you need a break just print off these A4 board games, pour yourself a coffee and give yourself a well earned break for a minute or two.

2 board games (one easy, one hard) challenging pupils to recognise basic words such as please, thank you, hello and goodbye in a range of European languages. The answers are provided so you don’t have to do anything. Extend it by giving them a time frame and getting them to see who can win the most times. Or challenge them to create their own version (they could use phones or ipads to research questions). Have a break…on me!



ps. I am not working tomorrow but out of respect for European Day of Languages I will a start the day with a little pain aux raisins and café au lait, move on to a few light tapas dishes at midday and cook up a hearty beef bourguignon for tea. Oh no, it’s day of European languages not cuisine. Oh well. I could listen to the Gypsy Kings as I cook, that should cover it?!

Mini plug: more board games available at my TES shop. For Friday freebies please subscribe. Have a great week.

Betsy Belle



Posted on 5 Comments

Friday Freebie #3

Anybody else find that very first lesson a bit tough? You know that the basics are essential but year after year find yourself drawing smiley and sad faces on the board and feel that your first lesson a basically a bit of a flop? And nobody wants that. So it was out with the smiley faces, in with a cool interactive quiz. a PowerPoint; a follow me card game and a learning mat. Better, much better.

It’s Friday and it’s the first week back so here’s a whole bundle of first lesson freebies. Spread the word. And maybe subscribe?!

Interactive Quiz




Learning Mat




Follow Me Cards


For more resources, visit my TES shop

or TPT store

Happy first lessons


Posted on Leave a comment

Friday Freebie #2

How did your listening and readings go on Tuesday? My pupils seemed pretty happy but I can tell you that Enzo the Cat, Brittany/ney and a bunch of pesky adjectives will haunt me for the rest of summer.

And so… the inspiration for today’s Friday Freebie. Don’t worry, it’s not a video about Enzo the extraordinary cat who walked 600km without even stopping at Flunch(Twitter is doing a fine enough job documenting his escapades #catsontour)!

Instead I bring you another snappy video full of adjectives. Not your usual petit/bavard/sportif…oh no, I’m talking affreux, raisonnable, malsain and triste.

Watch GCSE French Revision #2 adjectives:


Remember to add your email address just above the FOLLOW button to receive your weekly freebie straight to your inbox.

Happy Friday,

Betsy Belle





Posted on 37 Comments

30 things you will only understand if you teach French…

  1. Je m’apple. Jem apell. J’
  2. This question (usually following a concise set of instructions): ‘do you want us to do it in French, Miss?’!
  3. Pupil: ‘How do you say ‘got’ in French, Miss?’Me: ‘Got what?’ Pupil: ‘Just got?’ Me: Please excuse me, I need to find a brick wall to bang my head against.
  4. You write the date in French approximately 975 times a year. If only it were copied correctly the same number of times. More often you encounter a weird hybrid not unlike the following: date
  5. How seriously rich you would be if you were given a pound or even a penny for the number of times a pupil shouted out ‘the word I want isn’t in the dictionary Miss!’(Response-French words are at the front; English at the back). ‘It’s still not there Miss!’ Your eyes roll and a sigh escapes as you make your way over to point out that they are still one and a half pages away due to misspelling their word.
  6. Every September without fail when you meet your bottom set Year8s and are greeted with ‘Miss, Miss, do you know what enculer le poulet means?’!
  7. Hearing yourself for the hundredth time refer to the audio file as a tape. Then sensing the internal groans of the pupils as you attempt to drag yourself into the 21st century by quickly dropping the words ‘MP3’ and ‘download’ into conversation.
  8. Google translate. Enough said.
  9. You mourn the fact that wasn’t around when you did your degree.
  10. Ditto for what’s app and face time. You actually wrote letters to stay in touch with family and friends during your year abroad!
  11. Every non linguist’s reaction upon learning you teach a language ‘ooh, say something in French’.
  12. The ensuing 20 minutes during which  gems such as these are offered up by said non linguist as evidence that they know some French: ‘excusez-moi, où est la bibliotheque?’ and ‘un kilo de pommes de terre s’il vous plaît’! image
  13. This plea: ‘Can’t I just read it, Miss?’ (No). ‘But other teachers let them read it!’ (No). ‘Can I just write it out in full but in really small handwriting?’ (No).
  14. When your A* pupil is smashing his CA Speaking test and you are mentally punching the air when… the bell rings/ the door opens/a fight breaks out in the corridor…
  15. When the exam board tries way too hard to be cool, throwing in references to new technology. Anybody remember the bizarre ‘e-reader’ question circa 2012? They couldn’t say kindle because it is a brand but the word ‘e-reader’ bamboozled many a pupil (and teacher!!!)
  16. Your face when you heard role plays were making a comeback. image
  17. Your face when you heard translations were making a comeback.image
  18. BUT…no more controlled assessments!!! image
  19. #mfltwitterati is your Church; @joedale your God.
  20. Your obsession with catching any French film or programme on TV. Sitting back to enjoy but getting mildy p***ed off at the distracting subtitles.
  21. Then reaching for a pen and paper as you realise you are missing an opportunity for refreshing your slang!
  22. You say ‘school trip to Paris?’; the pupils say ‘Disneyland?’
  23. On personal visits to France, heading straight for  the sweet aisle of Carrefour and raiding all their bags of Carambar- for the pupils. Then eating all the strawberry ones before you reach the ferry terminal!
  24. Stressing out because no matter how good you think your French is, you still struggle to comprehend the jokes inside said Carambar wrappers.
  25. The bonus that end of term film time is totally justifiable from both a cultural and linguistic point of view.
  26. But certain films will always raise a few eyebrows and trigger a few giggles…kirikou
  27. Those members of staff who speak un peu de français who come up with any excuse to barge into your classroom with an unsolicited ‘Bonjour Madame, comment allez-vous?’
  28. Your faculty meetings are the bomb. Croissants and coffees all round. And your end of term lunches are the envy of the staffroom. No sausage rolls here, thank you very much. image
  29. You are probably regarded as the extrovert and eccentric ones. Which is probably quite true.
  30. But you are also undoubtedly the warmest, most gregarious, cultured and emotionally intelligent faculty of all.

Have I missed any classics? Please add them below.

Happy exam season! I hope you enjoyed a five minute distraction courtesy of

Betsy ‘if I had a pound’ Belle


Posted on Leave a comment

January: a teacher's second September

September. Day 1. An INSET day to ease us in gently. A fresh new planner full of crisp white pages to fill. A little surge of excitement as I look forward to filling in the register pages at the back and the anticipation of writing out all my plans neatly in those little boxes 5 times a week is almost too much.

Day 2. What the hell was I thinking? Last night I selected my favourite pen, you know the one, fine nib, sexy black ink. But that was me done. Pass the wine, I can’t really fill in my class registers tonight can I? What if last minute amendments are being made to the class lists? Better wait till the weekend.

Anyway, kids get here in a bit. I can’t wait to throw myself back into it. I wonder if they will still do what I ask them to do? Do I still know how to write on a whiteboard? F***- how am I going to fill a full hour?God, I need moral support, better head to the staff room!

S**t. Shouldn’t have done that. Pigeon holes are being crammed full of meeting agendas, the photocopier is going at full throttle and about to scream something about toner, the nucleus of hard core complainers are in full on whinge mode in the corner and to top it all off the PE department have stolen all the milk.

Anyway, lesson 1 is assembly. Lesson 2 I have planned a thoroughly outstanding lesson, if I do say so myself. Lesson 3…err. B******. What should I do lesson 3? Maybe I have something on the system from last year.

Why oh why have I let myself live in a world of denial for the last 6 weeks? ‘This will be the year’ I had told myself, ‘my year’.

This time (like every bloody time since I started this thing way back in 2005) I had intended to have everything prepared. A whole half term at a time. Maybe even all the way to December- wouldn’t that be nice?

My vision, my fantasy, my holy grail is this: a wall to wall unit- think Ikea meets haberdashery store. Every little compartment and pull out drawer would house a whole host of goodies. Writing frames; role play scenarios (with props!); grammar board games; past papers (with mark scheme attached); assessments; vocab lists; extension tasks; support sheets; project booklets…

You name it, it would be there- everything would be there! And it would be….oh yes, you know where I am going….laminated!!!!!

Days 3 and 4. I religiously file each worksheet and resource by topic. But I know it won’t last. I will soon fall victim to the incessant, insurmountable number of OTHER THINGS that every teacher, TLR or not, has to deal with.

In no partcicularly order: day to planning; baseline assessments; medium term planning; researching authentic and fresh resources; watching you tube clips ahead of the lesson to ensure content is suitable; marking books; finding things for classroom displays; phone calls home; form tutor duties; break and dinner duties; running extra curricular clubs; running inter-house competitions; giving assemblies; organising fundraising events; lesson observations; delivering consistently good and outstanding lessons; moderation and standardisation; conducting exams; parents’ evenings, open evenings….

I always fall short of my September resolutions…

and then I start again in January.

This WILL be my year!

And the fruits of my labour will be available to buy from my tes store.

I teach French by the way. And my resources are pretty damn good.

I will be posting about how I use my resources in the classroom; blogging about teaching and learning in general and sharing my insights into this crazy, hectic, challenging, exhausting… but above all rewarding profession of ours.

Now I’m off to tackle one of my other #teacherresolutions- Sunday afternoon wardrobe prep. Take one freshly ironed shirt, add pencil skirt, select colour coordinated accessories, group together on one hanger and repeat  for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…yeah right!

Happy New Year!

Please feel free to share your #teacherresolutions below

Betsy ‘brand new to blogging’ Belle