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Modern Foreign Languages

Overview

Languages form one area of experience which aims to produce both a practical ability and help pupils to understand and appreciate different cultures, attitudes, values, and beliefs. As pupils progress through the school we aim to encourage the development of more independent learning, for example by using dictionaries and other reference materials.

Our general aims:

  • To develop the ability to use French/German/Spanish effectively for purposes of practical communication;
  • To form a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure;
  • To offer insights into the culture and civilisation of French/German/Spanish-speaking countries;
  • To develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning;
  • To provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation;
  • To encourage positive attitudes to language learning, speakers of foreign languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations ;
  • To promote learning skills of a more general application (e.g. memorising [e.g. of vocabulary ], drawing of inferences [ e.g. the deduction of the meaning of unknown words from context and/or known words ] ).

Curriculum

It is recognised that pupils do not all study a language for the same length of time, and therefore that each section of each course should have practical use in itself, as well as being part of a preparation for the GCSE examination, which will be the ultimate assessment aim of pupils in Years 10 and 11.

Homework is set regularly as per the whole school homework policy which can be found in the Staff Handbook. We would expect pupils in year 7 to spend at least 15 to 20 mins a fortnight on each language and years 8 and 9 to spend about 30 minutes per week on each language. Those in years 10 and 11 should spend up to 90 minutes per language .

Internal class-based tests are set in Years 7, 8 and 9, but most assessment is ongoing. Pupils taking GCSE are entered for Edexcel Examinations for Spanish, French and German. Normally all those taking a language are entered for the examination .

All pupils (except a very few with extreme learning difficulties ) study two languages in Year 7. Some pupils in Year 8 and 9 only study one language for 3 periods a fortnight in yr 8 and for 4 periods a fortnight in yr 9 and benefit from some Literacy and Numeracy support the rest of the time. Pupils continue with one language or sometimes two in years 10 and 11.

Pupils’ work is assessed regularly and recorded in terms of National Curriculum Levels in years 7, 8 and 9 and GCSE grades in KS4. At KS4 students do a GCSE in Spanish, French or German. Our examinations Board is Edexcel. Students do Controlled assessments in the Writing and Speaking skills. Controlled Assessments count towards 60% of the GCSE. There are 2 examinations in the Listening and Reading skills. Examinations are worth 40% of the GCSE.

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