|Head of department||Miss B Warren|
|Subject lead||Ms E Obesso-Ajauro|
Languages are of fundamental importance in exposing students to other cultures and different ways of living. The curriculum is structured with the ultimate aim of mastery. We teach grammar and vocabulary through a ‘circular’ curriculum as we return to key elements repeatedly with increasing levels of complexity, supplemented with contextual information about the countries in which the languages are spoken. Throughout Key Stage 3, students are encouraged to develop an interest in and an understanding of the many facets of learning a language and the way in which these facets interact: grammatical accuracy, clear communication and cultural awareness. GCSE-level study consolidates the grammatical and cultural building blocks that we embed throughout Years 7-9. During Years 10 and 11, students develop a clearer comprehension of what it takes to achieve fluency and of the benefits afforded by communicating in a foreign language.
Key Stage 3 Overview
At Key Stage 3, we move quickly from introductory language to more complex themes that lay the foundation for GCSE, such as the environment, the impact of technology and dreams for the future. At the core of every lesson is a rigorous emphasis on learning vocabulary and grammatical structures. We teach students to understand the way in which these aspects of language-learning will allow them to express themselves on a variety of topics through engaging and interesting activities.
Year 7 topics
- Introducing yourself (age, greetings, saying how you are, birthday)
- Numbers up to 31
- Days of the week
- Describe your pets
- Describing yourself (physical appearance)
- Describing your family and friends
- Geographical facts about Spain
- Describing your home
Year 8 topics
- Where you live (town/city/village)
- Describing a trip to Madrid in the past tense
- Body parts
- Describing illness
- Health and fitness
Year 9 topics
- Social media
- Plans for the summer
- Ambitions for the future
- Importance of languages
- Volunteer work
Key Stage 3 Homework
Homework is set once a week and takes students about an hour to complete. Homework tasks take the following forms: vocabulary-learning, revision for grammar mini-tests, reading activities, translation activities and short writing activities.
Key Stage 4 Overview
At Key Stage 4, students begin to use their knowledge from Key Stage 3 to express themselves more fluently on more diverse subjects and to understand faster and more difficult French (both written and spoken). The GCSE topics cover a wide variety of subject matter, from more complex versions of topics first seen lower down the school, such as friends and family, to more wide-reaching ideas such as the dangers of the internet and the ethics of tourism.
Year 10 topics
- Family relationships
- Free time activities
- Role models
- Social networks
- Advantages and disadvantages of the internet
- Hispanic regions and their cultures
- Ethical shopping
Year 11 topics
- Hopes and dreams for the future
- Exam skills
How is this qualification assessed?
Exam board: Edexcel
Reading exam: 25%, 60 minutes
Writing exam: 25%, 1 hour 20 minutes
Listening exam: 25%, 50 minutes
Speaking exam: 25%, 10-12 minutes plus 12 minutes’ preparation time
Key Stage 4 Homework
Homework is set every lesson (twice a week). It takes students between 1 and 2 hours depending on the tasks. Students have vocabulary to learn every week for a vocabulary test. They also complete longer tasks such as extended writing, reading and translation.
How is this subject assessed?
Every half term, students complete an assessment. For the official Federation assessments, students complete one passive and one active assessment (reading and speaking/listening and writing). For the other half terms, students complete vocabulary and grammar assessments. At the end of the year, students complete an assessment in all four skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).
Teaching ensures that pupils know and remember more by focusing on embedding grammar and vocabulary. From early in Year 7, students learn vocabulary and grammar structures off by heart for regular mini assessments. Furthermore, the curriculum is ‘circular’, meaning that we return to these key structures and words repeatedly to ensure that students know and remember them.
Teachers mark books once a fortnight. Teachers focus on extended writing when marking and provide feedback to which students respond in the next lesson. At Key Stage 4, most marking takes place in students’ ‘best books’, in which students write up their extended answers in preparation for the writing and speaking exams.
How does this subject fulfil SMSC needs?
Social - Languages improve students’ ability to communicate and express themselves, not just in the target language but in English.
Moral - Languages help students to understand the importance of developing friendships, lines of communication and tolerance across cultures.
Spiritual - Languages encourage students to reflect on the different ways of living and thinking fostered by different cultures and to consider the influence of language on history, politics and religion.
Cultural - Languages expose students to different cultures every lesson. We use authentic resources from the countries in which the target language is spoken to enhance students’ understanding of and interest in the language.
How does the subject challenge more able pupils?
Every task in every lesson contains scope for extension. More able students are given work with additional layers of complexity to complete if they finish a task. More broadly, more able pupils are given recommendations for films and books in the target language that will support their learning at home. For the most able pupils in Years 8 and 9, we offer a second language during Period 7.
What provision is made for pupils with SEND?
Quality first teaching in all of our lessons places an emphasis on high-quality inclusive teaching that utilises a range of strategies to support the learning of pupils with SEND in the classroom. Worksheets, vocabulary lists and pictures are printed for pupils for whom copying is not appropriate. Every task in every lesson contains differentiated options for students who need more support. We deploy Learning Support Assistants effectively to sit with individual students and work through tasks.
Enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities
We offer Latin as a Period 7 second language for the most able. There are clubs for all languages at Key Stage 4. We organise trips to the French, German and Spanish Institutes in London. We will be organising trips to France, Germany and Spain.