Modern Foreign Languages

The Modern Languages department consists of a team of three dedicated members of staff who are keen to promote enthusiasm for language learning and cultural understanding. In Modern Languages, we use a lot of target language in the classroom to create an authentic learning experience to ignite pupils’ passion and curiosity for language learning. We place a great deal of emphasis on developing skills in the four key skill areas, which are listening, reading, writing and speaking, and pupils are assessed regularly in these areas. With the extensive inclusion of authentic materials, we further develop pupils’ command of grammar and literacy skills.

We offer Spanish and French in Key Stage 3 and to GCSE.

Extra-Curricular activities and visits:

As well as our exciting curriculum, as a department, we like our linguists to take advantage of the many opportunities we offer to extend their understanding and interest in different cultures and value their differences. Activities include: homework club, GCSE intervention sessions, celebration of European Day of Languages and film club.

We also participate in a number of cross-curricular visits, for example, in June 2018 pupils from Years 7-10 will journey to Barcelona to explore traditional cuisine and put their language skills into practice.  

Facilities:

Modern Languages are taught in three designated classroom with interactive whiteboards, visualisers and the use of nearby computer suites. We enjoy a wide range of resources and subscriptions to online learning programmes.

Assessment:

Students are assessed in listening, reading, writing and speaking at the end of each unit of work. We use the data collected from assessments to give our pupils individual targets focusing on what they need to do to improve, but also to inform our teaching and learning.

Year 7

In Year 7, all pupils start learning Spanish and enjoy three lessons per week. After the Christmas break, sets one and two also study French.

We start by focusing on participation and effective communication in the target language, although grammar and syntax are also introduced at this stage. By the end of the year, pupils have a sound understanding of a range of vocabulary and grammar, ready to take them forward for further study in Year 8 and 9.

Year 8

In Year 8, sets 1 and 2 continue with their studies in French and Spanish. Whilst sets 3, 4, and 5 continue with Spanish only, for two lessons per week.

In both languages, pupils will learn to use three different time frames and to express opinions. They will also take part in conversations and role-plays simulating real life events.

Year 9

In year 9 pupils have the opportunity to specialise in one language for three lessons per week. They are also offered the opportunity to continue with their second language as an extra-curricular activity.

In both languages, pupils will learn to use three different time frames and express opinions as well as to be able to contrast ideas. They will also take part in conversations and role plays simulating real life events. Translation will also become more frequent in preparation for GCSE.

Year 10 and Year 11

GCSE French/Spanish:

The French/Spanish course is divided into three themes covered over 2 years. The themes are:

  1. Me, My Family and Friends: Family, pets, friends, descriptions, relationships, marriage, partnership.
  2. Technology in Everyday Life: Social media, advantages and disadvantages, mobile technology uses and dangers
  3. Free Time Activities: Pocket money, music, cinema, TV, free time activities, sport, and eating out.
  4. Customs and Festivals: Germany / Spain / France and traditions, customs, celebrations, festivals.
  5. Home Town and Neighbourhood: House, rooms, jobs at home, places in town, shopping, and ideal region.
  6. Social Issues: Charity and voluntary work, healthy living, food and drink, stress, illnesses, at the doctor’s, alcohol, smoking, drugs.

Pupils will undertake speaking, listening, reading and writing tasks in each of the above topics.

Pupils will have the opportunity to complete specification exam tasks in preparation for Year 11 and the terminal exams.

A great deal of emphasis will be placed on verbal communication, asking and answering questions, grammar and syntax, translating to and from the target language and being able to recognise language in a wide variety of contexts, including authentic sources.

Method of Assessment.

All skills are tested regularly by the class teacher and there is a terminal examination at the end of year 11. This will be a formal exam in each skill:

Listening – Higher or Foundation level*

Reading - Higher or Foundation level*

Writing - Higher or Foundation level* (questions at different levels, translation and a choice of longer questions)

Speaking - Higher or Foundation level* (role play / picture card and translation)

Weighting: Each skill 25%

* Only one tier of entry is possible for all combined skills. No combination of Foundation and Higher between skills is permitted