Modern Foreign Languages
The MFL department is staffed by a team of 4 full time and 2 part time subject specialists, two of whom are French nationals, who have expert subject knowledge and are enthusiastic in their teaching.
The MFL department aims to promote the study of foreign languages (French and Spanish) by making them interesting, enjoyable, relevant, accessible and challenging to all pupils.
French is taught to all pupils in groups set according to ability in Y7 for 2 hours per week.
Pupils are then set according to ability in language at the end of Y7, so that there are 3 sets across each half year population in Y8 and Y9 who have three one hour foreign language lessons per week.
The two set 1 groups study French and Spanish in Y8 and Y9, and the set 2 and set 3 groups continue their study of French.
Since foreign languages became optional in KS4 over 50% of pupils every year have opted to continue their study of a foreign language and a smaller but significant % of pupils opt to study 2 languages to GCSE.
At key stage three pupils follow the revised QCA scheme of work, developing communication skills and cultural awareness of France and other French speaking countries.
In year 7 pupils cover the topics Self, introducing themselves, giving their name, age, birthday and details about where they live, Family, Pets and Friends, School and Hobbies. They also learn how to use everyday language for communication in the classroom. By the end of year 7 pupils are able to use the present tense and are able to give simple opinions and details about themselves and others.
In year 8 pupils spend time revising the topics of self, family and hobbies and then move on to further work on hobbies including the future tense and the weather, this is consolidated through work on the topic of house and home, food and daily routine. By the end of year 8 pupils are able to use the present and future tenses in French and can give more detailed opinions on a range of topics.
In year 9 pupils spend time revising sports and free time activities before moving on to revision of the future tense with hobbies and then learning to use the past tense. Pupils cover the topics of health, holidays and media developing their ability to use the past, present and future.
It is expected that most pupils will choose to study a Modern Foreign Language at KS4. Pupils who have only studied French as their foreign language can choose GCSE French. Those pupils who have studied French and Spanish can choose to study one or both of these languages to GCSE level.
The GCSE courses for both French and Spanish build on and develop the language and skills already acquired at KS3. Pupils will extend their knowledge and language learning skills as well as improve their ability to communicate effectively in French and or Spanish in the four contexts of Lifestyle, Leisure, Home and Environment, and Work and Education.
Students are required to complete two controlled assessments in Speaking and two in Writing. These assessments constitute 60% of the final mark (30% each). They will also be required to sit examinations in Listening and Reading which will make up the remaining 40% of their GCSE grade (20% each).We run a French trip to Paris every year for pupils in year 10 who are studying French and a trip to Barcelona for pupils taking Spanish.