Modern Foreign Languages

In the modern foreign languages department, our curriculum is built on 3 pillars:

1.       That knowledge is important to all thinking in modern foreign languages.

2.       That we understand new things in relation to what we already know.

3.       That retrieving knowledge helps us to remember it for longer.

Overview

Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our aim is to broaden pupils’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world. Our teaching should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

Pupils should develop a competency that is both broad and deep in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing based on a sound foundation of core grammar, vocabulary and phonics. They should also be able to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy.

Critical learning, high frequency language and key communicative functions are revisited receptively and productively many times as we progress through the curriculum. For example when learning how to describe activities done on a past holiday in French, we need to revisit previous teaching on how to conjugate the verbs ‘avoir and être’ in all forms.’

Our ultimate goal with our pupils is to develop their ability to be self-efficacious and to create the optimal conditions for learner success.

Intent

We aspire to expose our pupils to a broad and ambitious Modern Languages curriculum, which is rich in skills and knowledge, develops self-efficacy, kindles curiosity and promotes diversity and tolerance of other cultures. Our Modern Languages curriculum will give pupils the opportunity to:

  • use language skills, receptively and productively, for communication in the real world, for practical purposes, for their immediate needs, interests and beyond and to express and justify opinions
  • develop their confidence and autonomy to access new and unfamiliar language through the use of decoding skills brought about by the explicit teaching of phonics and sound patterns
  • work towards becoming a fluent and spontaneous speaker of the foreign language
PedagogyEnrichmentOther general principles

Our pedagogy is underpinned by:

  • expert subject knowledge and a passion for languages
  • the nurturing of a ‘can do’ attitude towards language learning, built through the minimisation of cognitive load (less is more), controlled input-output and scaffolding the understanding and the production of language via the extensive use of worked examples across a wide range of contexts
  • the regular and spaced recycling and retrieval of high frequency vocabulary, verbs and structures across as many modalities as possible to support the store of knowledge in the long term memory
  • meticulous planning and careful sequencing when teaching a skill, for example a particular grammar point and anticipation of possible misconceptions allowing for planned intervention
  • the creation of a learning environment where pupils feel confident to make errors and learn how to move on from these
  • the use of low stake assessment opportunities which allow for systematic and effective checking of understanding throughout a single lesson or a sequence of lessons
  • bespoke curriculum support sessions that are timely, planned and effective following Trust wide unified assessments
  • providing opportunities to correspond with speakers of the foreign language and where possible to visit the country where the language is spoken in order to use the language and experience the culture
  • exploring appropriate authentic materials to enrich language learning (poems, songs, stories, literary extracts and audio-visual materials)
  • acknowledging festivals, traditions and customs which are relevant to the countries where the target language is spoken
  • giving pupils who have an ability to speak another language other than English support and encouragement to sit an external examination in this language
  • offering breakfast/twilight/holiday sessions to encourage pupils to show independence and ‘to go the extra mile’ in their learning
  • holding Trust-wide competitions to enhance collaboration and community cohesion

Our curriculum will enable pupils to:

  • learn within a coherent and progressive framework
  • explore the breadth and depth of the national curriculum in languages
  • foster enjoyment and independence through the teaching of new skills across a wide range of contexts
  • become aware of the advantages that learning a language can both in their personal and working lives
  • understand what they are doing well and what they need to do to improve
  • build on their understanding of the importance of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and respect
  • improve their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding
  • develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence, so that they contribute positively to the life of the school, their local community and the wider environment.

 

 

Key Staff

  • Leader of Languages - Mr D Seddon

Benefits

In the Languages department we always aim to challenge students, to develop and create independent learners, by ensuring lessons promote collaboration, resourcefulness, and resilience.  We foster and promote the idea of a capable student, with the determination to succeed in the world about them, and which they interact with each day. Embedded into lessons are the ideas that shape our understanding of the world around us, by promotion of SMSC.

We strive to provide a curriculum that encourages passion and is compelling to our learners.

We are aware of the immense role that Languages play in society, so we promote the wide array of related professions and their gateway routes, so that learners have an awareness of the exciting job opportunities that are available to them.

Exam Boards & Qualifications

GCSE French 

KS3 Details

At Key Stage 3 students study French. They cover the skills required to progress to GCSE level in Key Stage Four - reading, writing, speaking and listening, covering a broad range of topics. Topics covered include: 

  • talking about yourself
  • talking about your family
  • describing everyday items 
  • at home and school
  • describing hobbies and interests

It is our hope that students will develop an interest and enthusiasm for languages, and will choose to advance their learning in French at Key Stage 4.

KS4 Details

At Key Stage 4, students can opt to cover the AQA French GCSE course, extending the skills they began to develop at Key Stage 3. Students complete speaking and listening tests, as well as tests focused on the reading and writing skills needed for their chosen language. Students study a wide range of topics including: 

  • media 
  • holidays and food
  • family and relationships
  • health
  • the world of work

Assessment

GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers for their chosen Language at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series. Four skills are assessed – listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Key Links

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/zr8bmfr

https://www.memrise.com/course/1137583/aqa-new-gcse-french-from-2016/

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