Modern Foreign Languages

Faculty Team

Mrs Louise Tempest, Faculty Leader
Mr Daniel Cook, Second in Faculty
Miss Eleanor Doyle, Teacher of MFL (Teach First)
Mrs Louise Wilkinson, Teacher of MFL
Mrs Claire Wood, Assistant Headteacher/Teacher of MFL

Introduction

We believe that the study of Modern Foreign Languages plays an important part in preparing students for their future careers.  In today’s global economy it is vital that students are equipped with linguistic skills, cultural awareness and intercultural understanding and as teachers we are passionate about helping our students along this path.

We aim to create a lively and stimulating environment by providing appropriately challenging courses for students of all abilities.

Key Stage 3

The language(s) offered to students when they join us in Year 7 vary slightly from year to year.  However, a typical pattern is as follows:

Year 7, 8 and 9
Students study either French, German or Spanish.  Although in the past students with an aptitude for languages have been given the opportunity to study a second language (most recently Spanish), it now seems more appropriate to focus on learning the grammatical skills for one language thoroughly before embarking on the study of a second language – if desired – in Key Stage 4.

Progress through the National Curriculum is emphasised at all times.  Course content is outlined below:

Year 7
Giving key information about yourself including physical descriptions, family and like sad dislikes. Preferences at school daily routine, houses and telling the time.  The MFL team are currently implementing different themes to teach grammatical skills in order to avoid overlap with primary work.

Year 8
Giving opinions about music, fashion and art. Describing food preferences and a recent visit to a place of interest.

Year 9
Developing a knowledge of grammar through teacher inspired themes including holidays, sport and leisure. Preparing knowledge and grammatical skills needed for study at GCSE.

Key Stage 4

From 2016 students may opt to continue studying French or German for GCSE.

French, German and Spanish GCSE (EDEXCEL)
The principal aim of these courses is to develop the ability to use the language for practical communication.

The four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are given equal emphasis in teaching and learning.  Students will be assessed in all four skills:

  • All skills will be assessed at either Foundation or Higher level at the end of the course.  Students will be entered for the test most appropriate to their ability in each skill area, decided in consultation with teachers approximately one month before the examination takes place.  Foundation Tier can produce grades 1-5, and Higher Tier
  • 4-9.  There is a degree of overlap between the two tiers, so that candidates in the grade 4  range will not be penalised.

 

Students should provide their own pocket bilingual dictionary to use in lessons and writing assessments.  They will also be given the opportunity to purchase GCSE Revision Guides at a discounted price.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Our Foreign Language Assistants offer lunchtime clubs to Year 11 students for conversation practice.  Whenever Foreign Language Assistants have spare time, we also offer lunchtime clubs to younger students, who would otherwise have less contact with the assistants.

After-College Clubs
Year 11 students have access to after-college personal tuition for speaking test preparation.  We offer a weekly homework club.

Visits
Visits are an important part of students’ language-learning experience.  They are arranged and planned according to the college visits policy.  As they are not compulsory, costs must be met in full by students.  In addition to visits abroad, our students take part in a range of MFL workshops organised by the Local Authority each year, e.g. ‘Languages for Lads’ and visits to ‘Space to Learn’.  Recent visits include 2009 study visit to Rouen and Paris, 2013, 2016 and 2017 visit to Paris and Eurodisney (pictured) , in a visit to Cologne and in 2015 trips to Barcelona and Brussels. In 2016 we also ran a trip to Paris.

Learning languages outside of the classroom

There is a wealth of materials available to support in the learning of languages outside of the classroom. Online websites such as BBC  bitesize are particularly useful, as well as sites such as youtube and a rangle of language learning apps.

 

2013 group photo outside Paris hotel

2013 paris

2013 Year 11 students enjoy the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower

2013 eiffel Tower

 2014 Cologne

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2016/2017 Visit to Paris

For more information on the curriculum we offer in Modern Foreign Languages please contact Ms Louise Tempest.