We believe that the study of a foreign language deepens understanding, enriches literacy and engenders curiosity. In the MFL Department we set ambitious, achievable goals as we firmly believe that learning a foreign language is a worthwhile challenge open to all and is an essential life-long skill.
In Year 7 students choose one language from French, German and Spanish. They will continue to study this until the end of KS3, giving them maximum chance of success at GCSE. In Year 8, a small minority of students will be given the opportunity to study a second language outside of curriculum time. This is subject to staff availability and demand. Students are introduced to key grammatical concepts and language skills alongside a range of topics. They will begin to acquire skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking, which are closely linked to the GCSE syllabus. There will also be plenty of opportunity for creative tasks, which encourage self-expression, confidence and independence in the foreign language. In Year 9 there is a particular focus on GCSE skills and more complex, grammatical structures, in preparation for the GCSE course. By the end of Year 9 students will be expected to write extended pieces on a variety of topics and will have a good understanding of the GCSE course requirements. At the end of KS3 many students opt to study one or more languages at KS4.
For GCSE we use the AQA exam board. Four main skills are tested at the end of year 11: Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking and each is worth 25% of the final grade. The course is broken down into three main topics and divided down into further subtopics. For all three languages, we study:
Theme One: Identity and Culture
Theme Two: Local, national, international and global areas of interest.
Theme Three: Current and future study and employment
Year 10is built around mastering subject specific language and grammar and extending vocabulary, which will allow students to access high grades at GCSE. Lessons are extremely interactive to promote confidence in speaking. Year 11is aimed at improving subject knowledge and grammatical structures across language GCSE topics, exam skill techniques and developing speaking and writing skills. Organisation is key at this stage as well as regular reviewing of vocabulary and grammar (both with the class teacher and independently) in preparation for exams.
The A level topics are covered across the two-year course. There are three A-level exams:
Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing
Students are tested on all 3 skills, including translation across all of the subject content areas.
Paper 2: Writing
Students answer two questions based on a film and a book.
Paper 3: Speaking
The test consists of two parts. Part One is the discussion of one sub-theme from those in this specification, lasting 5–6 minutes, and Part Two is the presentation and discussion of the student’s individual research project.
Monitoring and assessing curriculum impact:
All students are assessed twice a whole term. Students complete a Milestone Assessment (formative assessment) during the first half of Term One, which consists of completing an extended piece of writing. At the end of Term Two, students then complete a full assessment (summative assessment) on the topic they have been studying. They are tested on a mix of skills from Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking.
Students are assessed every half term. At the end of every topic, they complete an Assessment in Reading, Listening and Writing. At the End of Year 10 students complete an End of Year Assessment- Reading, Writing and Listening. There is also the opportunity to complete a mock speaking exam.
Throughout the two years, students are assessed after every sub-topic, roughly twice a half term. They are assessed on all four skills- listening, reading, writing and speaking. As part of the year 12 Mock Exams, students will sit an AS Paper One and complete a mock speaking exam in class. In Year 13 students will sit an A level Paper One and Paper Two as part of their Mock Exams. Throughout year 13 there will be regular one-to-one speaking assessments.