Our aim as a department is to develop confident, enthusiastic and independent language learners who have a curiosity and a thirst for knowledge. We endeavour to provide students with the tools to produce spontaneous and complex language, with a focus on conversational skills.
Learning a language allows our students to broaden their cultural horizons. Through a challenging and ambitious curriculum our pupils develop their knowledge of Francophone and Hispanic cultures and traditions. In doing so, they become adventurous in their spoken and written work.
Language learning allows for our students to work collaboratively and encourages respect.
The new GCSE specification for both French and Spanish is engaging, relevant and challenging. Students are required to understand language from a variety of contexts and must use their world knowledge and logic, as well as their linguistic ability. Students are expected to confidently and spontaneously speak and write about unknown topics while using a wide range of grammar. Students finish the course feeling confident using their language skills in a multitude of contexts.
The course builds upon the reading, writing, speaking and listening skills we have developed at Key Stage 3. Each skill area has an equal 25% weighting and the course is exam-based (there is no coursework involved). The reading and listening exams often use authentic literary materials and pupils are able to recognise and transfer information they have learnt in previous work. Similarly, the speaking and writing exams require students to produce a high standard of written and spoken language. All of these skills allow students to become determined and resilient young adults who appreciate and embrace cultural differences. The GCSE curriculum is very much an extension of Key Stage 3 in that pupils are building the necessary skills, vocabulary and grammar throughout their time with us. The GCSE curriculum prepares pupils well for the A-level courses in French and Spanish.
We are fortunate to have the opportunity as MFL teachers to constantly hear the progress of our students. We ensure pupils receive valuable routine feedback verbally every lesson and run this alongside our written feedback. As our work interlinks through topics we find students are able to make rapid progress. High standards for literacy are essential and we often refer to topics being studied in English and other subjects in school.
Each module leads into an assessment covering the range of skills, as well as formatively assessed writing. We cover skills equally to ensure students have a balance between reading writing, speaking and listening skills.
Homework is either linked to the knowledge organiser (a summary of all the grammar and vocabulary) for the topic we are covering or is preparing for our ‘low-stakes’ vocabulary quizzes. All homework is set on SIMS and students normally have a week to complete.