Modern Foreign Languages
In the society of the 21st century, language competence and intercultural understanding are not optional extras; they are an essential part of being a citizen. Language skills are also vital in improving understanding between people here and in the wider world, and in supporting global citizenship by breaking down barriers of ignorance and suspicion between nations. Learning other languages gives us insight into the people, culture and traditions of other countries, and helps us to understand our own language and culture. To this end the languages department seeks to allow students to;
- develop lively, enquiring mind, the ability to question and argue rationally and to apply themselves to tasks;
- acquire understanding, knowledge and skills relevant to adult life, leisure, further study and employment in a fast-changing world;
- use language effectively for purposes of practical communication and to develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning;
- develop respect for and tolerance of other peoples, beliefs and ways of life;
- understand the world in which they live, and the interdependence of individuals, groups and nations;
- experience enjoyment and intellectual stimulation and develop the ability to work not only individually but also in groups.
- develop practical understanding of the use of information technology within the foreign language context, including competent use of French and Spanish keyboards.
- the department also strives to encourage development of international understanding among our students, and an appreciation of a variety of cultures and lifestyles globally.
Students have access, at present, to study of 2 major European languages: – French and Spanish. The department aims to facilitate opportunities for students to gain accreditation in other community languages such as, Arabic and Bengali, where possible. The exam board used by the department is AQA at both GCSE and GCE.
Key Stage 3
Students begin study of a first foreign language – French or Spanish, in year 7. Students would progress their language to GCSE level, with a possiblity of selecting a second language in options.
Key Stage 3 students will become increasingly familiar with the sound, written form and grammar of a Modern Foreign Language. Their growing confidence will allow them to develop the competence to apply the knowledge gained, so that they may become increasingly independent learners and users of a foreign language. Basic skills developed will be enhanced by introduction to a wide range of topics.
Key Stage 4
Students may opt to study either or both of their Foreign Language choices at GCSE level. GCSE courses will provide a sound grounding in all four skills, listening, speaking, reading and writing. Study of the language at this level will also involve a detailed understanding of the grammatical structure of the language. Students will develop the skills necessary to understand and communicate using more complex sentence structures, as well as developing the ability to express a wide range of opinions. Students gain experience of working in a wide range of topic areas as outlined in the GCSE syllabus.
At GCSE level students gain experience of languages in a variety of contexts, including:-
- Personal life, family, friends and relationships
- Activities including sports, technology, film, television, music and reading choices
- Home town, location and facilities
- Holidays and travel
- Environment and social issues such as homelessness, poverty, etc
- Health and what it means to live a healthy lifestyle
- School life and future educational and study choices
- Work, choice of career options and part time work experience
They will develop expertise in the 4 main skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, in addition to learning to express personal opinions and preferences.
Where numbers permit, students may also continue on to A-level.
Students from both key stages are invited to participate in our regular exchanges and visits to target language countries in order to experience the language and culture first hand. Visits recently have included a linked trip with the PE department to a Spanish watersports venue to learn new sports and practice their language skills in a range of activities, and a gastronomic themed visits to France, where students were able to visit a chocolate workshop, bakers and cheese farm.
Last updated: 16-11-18