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Modern Foreign Languages

Curriculum Intent & Rationale

The purpose of the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum is to excite students’ curiosity about other countries and cultures across the world. Students are equipped with the linguistic skills to communicate with others while simultaneously developing the ability to respond to linguistic and cultural differences. We encourage an active approach to language learning thereby enabling our students to become confident global citizens.

Our students learn two out of three modern languages (French, German or Spanish) in Key Stage 3. Our three-year curriculum allows students to build progressively upon their knowledge and skills so that they are able to study one or two languages successfully for GCSE. We teach a two-year Key Stage 4 programme of study, which prepares students to make a successful transition to A Level.

Our curriculum carefully fosters progression in all of the key assessment objectives, namely listening, reading, speaking and writing as well as translation in and out of English. We make extensive use of authentic texts and stimuli from target language countries to bring the language to life. We are pleased to offer students real life experiences in target language countries in the form of overnight trips and exchanges.

Modern Languages is a highly regarded and demanding academic subject and is now included in the English Baccalaureate. The study of Modern Languages encourages many transferrable skills and our students go on to apply these skills in a wide variety of future careers such as law, the media, business, medicine and academia.

Implementing Our Curriculum

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3 our aim is to allow students to develop their ability to communicate with increasing competence, accuracy and fluency in a foreign language. Students are introduced to the culture and history of countries where the target language is spoken.

Students will be able to do the following by the end of Year 9:

  • Use present, past and future tenses of regular and key irregular verbs.
  • Understand the different use of registers of language and mood – where appropriate to the language.
  • Make use of a broad vocabulary, which enables them to give and justify opinions.
  • Have an accurate use of grammar and spelling.
  • Develop competence in listening, reading, writing and speaking as well as being able to transcribe what they hear and translate both ways between English and the target language.
  • Be able to cope with unfamiliar language (aurally, in conversation and in reading).
  • Read a range of short literary texts in the target language.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 our aim is to ensure that all students develop their ability to communicate with native speakers in French, German and Spanish. We give students first-hand opportunities to practise their speaking with a native speaker through their regular contact with our foreign language assistants.

We encourage students to develop their cultural knowledge of life in countries where the target language is spoken, thereby broadening their cultural horizons by being mindful of the different voices and experiences of people within the context of these countries.

We aim to teach a challenging range of literary reading material such as poetry, excerpts from plays, song lyrics for students to enjoy thereby ensuring that students successfully pass their GCSE examinations and are well-prepared to progress to A Level study.

Students will be able to do the following by the end of Year 11:

  • Communicate with increasing competence, accuracy and fluency.
  • Use a wider range of tenses of regular and key irregular verbs with confidence e.g. pluperfect and subjunctive.
  • Understand the different use of registers of language and mood – where appropriate to the language.
  • Make use of a broader vocabulary, which enables them to give and justify extended opinions.
  • Have an accurate use of grammar and spelling in written work.
  • Develop competence in listening, reading, writing and speaking as well as being able to transcribe what they hear and translate both ways between English and the target language.
  • Be able to cope with unfamiliar language (aurally, in conversation and in reading).
  • Read a range of more demanding literary texts in the target language.

Key Stage 5

In Key Stage 5 we aim to allow students to follow an enriched, interdisciplinary programme, which will enhance their critical thinking, develop their linguistic competences and foster cultural curiosity. We enable discussions related to diversity and inclusion (in target language) and relating to the different voices and experiences of those living in target language countries.

We give students first-hand opportunities to practise their speaking with a native speaker by participation in regular conversation lessons in addition to their timetabled lessons.

We aim to provide a robust foundation for further study of the target language (or beginning a new language) at degree level and ensure that students successfully pass their A Level examinations and are well-prepared to progress to Higher Education or work.

Students will be able to do the following by the end of Year 13:

  • Communicate with competence, accuracy and fluency between English and the target language in both spoken and written forms.
  • Critically analyse two set texts in the target language.
  • Use independent research skills to deliver a presentation and lead a discussion in the target language on a topic of their interest in the Year 13 oral examination.
  • Develop their knowledge about matters central to the target language country/countries both past and present.
  • Have an excellent command of grammar and spelling.
  • Develop transferable skills for the future such as critical thinking, creativity, cognitive flexibility etc.
  • Have put in place all the elements necessary to continue a life-long interest in foreign language and culture.

Transition work for Year 11 moving into Year 12

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

Trips Abroad

Students have opportunities to travel abroad, in order to practise what they have learned and to see for themselves the diverse cultures of the French, German and Spanish-speaking world. We offer the following:

  • A Year 9 French/History residential visit to the Somme region, where students stay in a château and enjoy outdoor activities, along with tours of historical sites of interest and authentic practice of what they have learned in their French lessons;
  • A KS4 German and History trip  to Frankfurt;
  • A KS4/KS5 Spanish home-stay, language study visit to Salamanca, Spain;
  • A KS5 A Level Exchange trip to Weiden in Germany;
  • A KS5 A Level cultural visit to Lyon.

Enrichment Opportunities

We have an extensive lending library of authentic reading resources. Our curriculum is enhanced by an impressive array of enrichment opportunities, such as:

  • Extracurricular Russian lessons;
  • French, German and Spanish lunchtime club;
  • The opportunity to borrow authentic target language magazines, films, books and journals;
  • Taking part in email and letter exchanges with students of a similar age in French, German and Spanish-speaking countries;
  • Participating in events devised and run in collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Birmingham;
  • Enjoying productions by touring educational theatre companies, presented by expert native speaker performers;
  • Competitions and quizzes.

 

Curriculum Maps

French
German
Spanish

 

Newsletters

German Newsletters

DLD Issue 5 - December 2020
DLD Issue 4 - November 2020

Spanish Newsletters

Espanglish Vol 17 - October 2021
Espanglish Vol 15 - 14th July 2021
Espanglish Vol 14 - 25th May 2021
Espanglish Vol 13 - 27th April 2021
Espanglish Vol 12 - 30th March 2021
Espanglish Vol 11 - 2nd February 2021
Espanglish Vol 10 - 14th January 2021
Espanglish Vol 9 - 8th December 2020
Espanglish Vol 8 - 9th November 2020
Espanglish Vol 7 - 5th October 2020
Espanglish Vol 6 - 5th October 2020
Espanglish Vol 5 - 21st September 2020