MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES

STRETFORD GRAMMAR SCHOOL

KEY STAGE 3

 

THE MODERN LANGUAGES DEPARTMENT

 

Meet the team:

Miss C. Ashall Curriculum Leader for MFL
Miss K. Bryan Teacher of French
Mrs. E. Delaney Second in Languages Department
Mrs. H. Dolphin Teacher of Spanish / Assistant Headteacher

Departmental aims:

  1. To develop in the learner the ability to use the foreign language confidently and competently for the purposes of practical communication.
  2. To develop an awareness of the nature of language and language-learning.
  3. To provide enjoyment, fun and intellectual stimulation ensuring that language learning is a relevant and motivating experience.
  4. To encourage a positive attitude towards other countries and cultures.
  5. To equip pupils with a skill which will be advantageous to them both in their personal life and at work.

We are a lively department consisting of 4 full-time teachers.  French and Spanish are taught to A2 level.  As of September 2005, all students study both French and Spanish in Year 7 which allows progression for the students from their language learning experience at Primary School.  In keeping with our aims we use a communicative approach and strongly encourage the use of target language when possible alongside the promotion of cultural understanding.  (All students are given the opportunity to access ICT to experience ‘reading for pleasure’ to develop their creativity, to developing autonomy over their learning and to understand the importance of self and peer assessment).

At the beginning of the course students are made aware of how to make progress and are encouraged to record how they need to improve in order to make further progress.  Students are consistently informed of, and given the opportunity to reflect on, their progress by means of the following:

  • Formative assessments that alternate through the four skills
  • Self and peer assessment opportunities
  • Summative assessment in the form of an annual examination
  • Ongoing feedback from the teacher in written and spoken form.

Opportunities to explore other cultures and diversity are built into the scheme of work long with cross-curricular activities to help promote the importance of languages.  Resources also provide students with the opportunity to develop and explore social, moral and ethical issues and points of view.

 

Facilities

We have suite of 4 rooms.  Each room has an overhead projector that is linked to a laptop.  To facilitate teacher and student use of ICT we also have two interactive whiteboards in the department, 6 computers in the Language Laboratory, as well as an ICT suite available for booking in our area of the school.  We also have an independent resource area in one of the classrooms which we use to promote autonomy.  Students are also given training early on to encourage independent learning.  The department is well resourced both with hardware and software and a variety of textbooks.

 

Curriculum

Key Stage Three

In Year 7 all students learning Spanish or French in mixed ability form groups.  In Years 8 and 9 most students will continue with one language and we also have two groups of dual linguists who continue with both.  Students follow a creative curriculum using Metro 1 and 2 for French and Asi 1 and 2 for Spanish.  Students are also provided with a MFL booklet which contains essential information and which supports their learning throughout the year.  Textbooks stay in school or can be borrowed from the learning and resource centre and it is essential that students purchase a bilingual dictionary for use at home.

 

Key Stage Four

In Key Stage Four, students continue to build on what they know, understand and can already do at the end of Key Stage Three.  Pupils follow the AQA Specification course.  We use the Nelson Thornes AQA textbooks for French and Spanish and we subscribe to the online learning materials known as ‘Kerboodle’.  The course prepares students to use the language for practical communication, builds up competence in grammar, structure, fluency and widens vocabulary.  We use a wide variety of additional resources as well as film, music and internet.

The skills of reading and listening are assessed by examination and ongoing controlled assessment for speaking and writing.  During the course students have the opportunity to use ICT for word processing, to exchange information via email and to access information websites relevant to the student of the foreign language at this level.  Students are also provided with a MFL study guide which contains essential information and which supports their learning throughout the year.

 

Key Stage Five

At Key Stage Five we also use the Nelson Thornes AQA text books with access to online resources.  Pupils follow the AQA syllabus in French and Spanish and the Advanced GCE is a two year course comprising a year of study at AS Level and a further year study at A2 level.  To obtain full advanced level GCE students will be required to complete both years.  Languages are popular Key Stage 4 and results are excellent.

 

Extra-curricular

In the MFL department we promote interest and development through extra-curricular activities.  Such activities include trips abroad, visits to other schools and universities, theatre and cinema events and language skill encourage taking part in regional competitions.

A trip to France is organised for KS3 students every year in July.  We visit Paris, Parc Asterix, the Science Museum and the First World War cemeteries of Northern France.

Some years we are able to organise language and culture Sixth Form trips to Paris and Madrid or Malaga.  Over the past four years we have been part of a Comenius project involving 7 other countries and this has provided our students with many diverse opportunities and visits abroad to develop language skills and enhance cultural understanding.

We also offer an extra-curricular Russian club open to all years on Thursday lunchtimes and the librarian Mrs Sanchez runs an extra-curricular Spanish club open to all after school on Thursdays.