Modern Foreign Languages

Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Pupils learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.

Learning languages gives pupils opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. They explore the similarities and differences between other languages and English and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. The development of communication skills, together with understanding of the structure of language, lay the foundations for future study of other languages and support the development of literacy skills in a pupil's own language.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department specialises in two languages: French and Spanish.  Most students study two languages in Year 7  before deciding on their option  at the end of year 7. Students study either Spanish, French or LETS from year 8 onwards.  Students who only study Spanish in year 7 have extra support by taking LETS. Some will continue with LETS only after year 7 as their support option.

The GCSE curriculum starts in Year 9 and is taught over 3 years.

Students who wish to take both French and Spanish at GCSE can attend language club after school every week in order to keep up their second language. They can then choose both French and Spanish as part of their options timetable.

More able students follow the Ebacc pathway and are compelled to take their chosen language through to GCSE. Many others choose language as an option anyway.

We encourage those who have a second language or first language not studied at school to take the GCSE where available. In recent years students have gained top grades in Mandarin, German, Turkish and Russian for example.

French and Spanish

The KS3 courses use the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing to widen the students' vocabulary range and increase their knowledge of grammatical constructions. Among the topics covered in Years 7 and 8 are countries and nationalities, the weather, hobbies, places in town, asking for and giving directions, future holidays, careers, food, restaurants and recipes. Grammar points covered include prepositions, adjectives, the present tense of regular verbs as well as several irregular verbs, and imperatives. Towards the end of Year 7, and in Year 8, the near future tense and the perfect tense are introduced, in preparation for the GCSE course. A range of teaching styles and materials are used, from textbooks to teacher-produced activities using the inter-active whiteboards, and authentic materials (rhymes, poetry, stories, articles, songs).

Assessment at KS3

We follow a mastery curriculum and progress is assessed both continually in class activities and in end of unit formal assessments, using KPI's.

GCSE Modern Foreign Languages

The AQA GCSE Specification is followed in Years 9, 10 and 11. The course is divided into 3 themes: "Identity and Culture", "Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest" and "Current and Future Study and Employment". The course is assessed by testing the four skills of Reading, Listening Speaking and Writing separately, in terminal exams at the end of Year 11.  Each exam is worth 25% of the final grade.  Each student is entered for either Higher or Foundation across all skills. A variety of teaching styles and materials are used, from textbooks to teacher-produced activities and games using the inter-active whiteboards, and authentic materials (rhymes, poetry, stories, articles, songs).