Here in the MFL department we have a team of experienced language specialists in French, Spanish and German.
Our Departmental Ethos:
We are committed to enabling our students to reach their individual potential. We do not want students to be ‘Language Parrots’. Instead, our aim is to enable our students to be
For this reason, we lay emphasis on students working independently and creatively. We support this learning with in-house resources (such as vocabulary books, grammar books and work books). We teach dictionary skills and use games and challenges to encourage students to memorise vocabulary as well as to understand language rules so that they can use them independently to communicate their own ideas.
We recognise the importance of providing a ‘safe learning environment’ so that students feel able to ‘have a go’ and to take risks in their learning. For this reason, Year 7 students are taught in their tutor groups during the first term. They are assessed on their linguistic ability and the style of learning which enables them to make the most progress.
In the second term (or earlier if staff feel they are ready), students are put into teaching sets which work at different speeds and in different learning styles according to the students’ needs.
These groups are not static and if staff feel that the students’ needs have changed, then they are moved into groups where their new needs can be addressed. Emphasis is always put on ‘EFFORT’ and not just on natural ability.
Students are invited to attend after school and lunchtime lessons if they would like extra support:
- To feel more confident in their language learning.
- To understand the language rules in greater depth so that they can use them independently.
- To work at their minimum outcome grade,
- To work beyond their minimum outcome grade,
- To complete homework and to meet deadlines.
- To practise a particular language skill in greater depth.
We have links with:
Sekundarschule am Schulzentrum ,,J.F.Walkhoff’’ school in Gröbzig in Germany. Our schools were linked in 2013 through a Comenius project which involved work in various subjects. It also included German students visiting London and Loughborough, and Limehurst students visiting Berlin and Gröbzig. Students enjoyed the historical and cultural tours of Berlin, the many opportunities for them to practise their language skills and the lasting friendships they made.
New links are currently being built with a French school in Epinal, Collège Clémenceau. Some students in Years 7, 8 and 9 have written to their pen friends in both French and English. There were cries of joy when they received replies. This means that students were able to read authentic French written by their peers in France, whilst practising their own French and English skills. In this way, students are able to practise important literacy skills, as set out in the school’s literacy policy.
Trips to France and Spain have been arranged in alternate years since 2014. Visits have included trips to Paris and Barcelona. Students have stayed in hotels and travelled around to see the many sites of cultural interest. Opportunities to promote the use of the French and Spanish languages have been carefully planned into the trips to ensure that the students have returned feeling more confident about their language ability. They have also extended their language skills and have returned enthusing about the French and Spanish cultures.
In the summer term of 2018, students will be travelling to Berlin in Germany. The trip has been designed to learn about the history of the city and will cover many aspects of the new History GCSE as well as immersing the students into the German culture and language.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum:
When students arrive in Year 7, they follow a short ‘Language Awareness’ course, which is designed to help them to develop important Listening and Reading skills (receptive skills). These skills are essential to enable the students to become independent learners, making it easier for them to cope with Speaking and Writing tasks (productive skills). The ‘Language Awareness’ course is also designed to help staff to assess the students’ linguistic abilities for future planning.
Students start to learn the French course in tutor groups, but are put into sets by January in Year 7.
For more detail see above: Teaching Groups:
Students continue to study French throughout Years 8 and 9.
More details of the order in which the topics are taught at Key Stage 3 are available:
The more able students in Year 9 are given short courses of Spanish and/or German. These are designed for students who feel able to learn a new language in a shorter space of time at Key Stage 4. After school lessons in Year 9 are a compulsory part of learning Spanish and/or German at Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum:
GCSE French, Spanish and German are offered as options at Key Stage 4. We use the examination board Edexcel.
More details of the order in which the topics are taught at Key Stage 4 are available:
Students are examined in the four language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) each of which make up 25% of the final grade.
Details of the four exams are found in the document below:
Students will now have to sit all four skills at the same level of examination (either Foundation or Higher).
The examination dates for the current year can be checked in the document below:
Each examination can only be taken once on the date specified by the examination board at the end of the course in Year 11 (linear examinations).
Culture and Independent Literacy Skills:
At both key stages, students are encouraged to learn about the cultural aspects of the country of the language, which they are studying. This includes studying films, texts from novels and reading short French books. Listening materials are created by native speakers. Students learn about different celebrations and festivals in the various countries studied.
Starting in Year 7, students also have library-based lessons to encourage them to read French stories independently and to read for pleasure. In this way, students are able to practise important literacy skills in line with the school’s literacy policy.