Modern Foreign Languages
The Department aims to:
- Inspire a love of language learning
- Promote the value of learning languages for pleasure, travel and work
- Provide high quality learning in a caring environment
- Provide students with an insight into the lives of young people from French and Spanish speaking countries to develop intercultural understanding and expand their horizons.
Key stage 3
French is taken by all students in Years 7 and 8. In Year 7 students from sets 1, 2, and 3 have the opportunity to study Spanish as a second language. In 2023 at the end of Year 8 students in sets 1-4 will indicate their preferred language for further study and all pupils will continue with French or Spanish in year 9.
All year groups focus on the skills of listening, speaking, reading, writing, dictation, translation and using a bilingual dictionary. Topics and online resources are designed to use contexts familiar to students while giving them an insight into the everyday life and culture of French and Spanish speaking countries. Topics in Years 7 and 8 include family, friends, free time, food and festivals. We are also running day trips to France for Years 7 and 8 in 2024, and hope to take part in the National Languages Competition with Year 9 again in November.
Students follow the Dynamo and Studio course books for French and the Viva course books Spanish. In Year 9 we use the GCSE text books in these series, Foundation or Higher as appropriate. These build on and extend the vocabulary and grammar learned in Year 8. Topics include identity, leisure time, food and festivals in French; and holidays, school and identity in Spanish.
Key stage 4
Students continue with their chosen language to GCSE in Year 11. The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are equally weighted and exam skills are practised regularly. We also aim to increase appreciation of the target language culture through the use of authentic resources. We hope to run a Spanish trip for Year 10 in 2024 following on from a successful trip to Madrid in 2023.
Students continue with the Foundation or Higher GCSE text books. Topics in French include local area, holidays, school, work, the environment and community involvement. In Spanish we study local area, free time, festivals, work and the environment. Students are encouraged to become more accurate in their work, to use a wide variety of structures, and to write and speak convincingly.
Past papers are used for mock exams in Years 10 and 11 and a full speaking mock will take place in year 11. We use the Edexcel exam board.
To reflect and promote the diversity of the school community, we have provided GCSE accreditation in Polish as well as a range of other languages.