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 promote a love of life- long learning in languages.
  2. To support students to achieve their potential in languages at every key point in their language learning career.
  3. To provide students with authentic opportunities to use classroom based language.
  4. To develop in the learner the ability to use the foreign language confidently and competently for the purposes of practical communication.
  5. To provide enjoyment, fun and intellectual stimulation ensuring that language learning is purposeful and meaningful.
  6. To encourage a positive attitude towards other countries and cultures.

 

We are a lively department consisting of four full time teachers.  French and Spanish are taught to GCSE  and A level.

Classes are taught using a communicative language approach, and students are strongly encouraged to use the target language and they are rewarded for using Spanish or French spontaneously. All students are provided with either a KS3 or KS4 study booklet with the vital vocabulary lists and grammar for their key stage.

All students also have their own online Active Learn account which enables students to continue their language study and development of listening, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary learning independently at home. Active Learn has proved to be an invaluable tool to enhance classroom learning as every unit follows the KS3 or KS4 curriculum that is taught. Students have commented on how supported they feel by this new system and this pushes them to learn vocabulary and grammar on a deeper level.

Students are assessed every half term and they are provided with personalized targets on how to improve. In MFL we also focus on learning from our mistakes and as such, we analyse gaps in student knowledge and then address these gaps in M.A.D time (where everyone Makes A Difference to their progress!). We have found this approach to be effective and pushes students to be the best linguist they can be.

There are numerous extracurricular activities available to students to promote a lifelong learning of languages across the school. Every week there are Russian and Mandarian clubs, and the department offers a ‘Languages Lunch’ where students are welcome to practice their language skills with each other. One student even teaches Esperanto to other students.

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 a suite of 4 rooms.  Each room has an overhead projector.  To facilitate teacher and student use of ICT we also have two interactive whiteboards in the department and a class set of iPads. We are currently exploring new ways of using these to maximize learning and progress in the classroom. We encourage the use of language apps (such as Memrise, Duolinguo and Quizlet) to promote independent study outside of the classroom. These have been very popular with students and they are motivated to use these language learning apps to learn languages for life. The department has a subscription to Active Teach which our KS3 and KS4 follow and we have found that is provides students with a cyclic curriculum to learning MFL.

 

Curriculum

Key Stage Three

In Year 7 students either learn Spanish or French in mixed ability form groups.  In Years 8 and 9 students will continue with their language. Students follow a creative curriculum using Studio for French and Viva for Spanish.  Students are also provided with a MFL study booklet which contains essential information and which supports their learning throughout this key stage.  The textbooks are a digital resource and are used in lesson to create stimulating learning opportunities to practise the key language skills.

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 Edexcel Specification course and the KS4 curriculum follows ¡Viva! For Spanish and Studio for French. As in KS3 students have their own Active Learn account which helps to finely tune their language skills ready for their GCSE exams.  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.

All skills are now by end of course examination. Students are assessed every half term and are provided with personalised feedback that helps to focus students on improving and learning from their mistakes. Students are also provided with  MFL study booklets which contains essential information and which supports their learning throughout this key stage.

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 complete an A level.  We encourage all students to spend at least two weeks of Y12 in the target language country so they able to be immersed in the culture and language of either France or Spain.

Extra-curricular

In the MFL department we promote languages for life through our classroom based activities but also through extracurricular visits and clubs.  In 2017 -2018 we are organising a Festive French trip to the Lille Christmas markets with a night stay at a Chateau where students will be completely immersed in the French language and they will be provided with authentic opportunities to practise their French. We are also organising a trip to Barcelona at February half term where students will visit Parc Guell, the famous market on Las Ramblas, la Sagrada familia, the Camp Nou and enjoy a tapas meal with dancing. Thirdly, we are planning and running a trip to Brittany in France in July for our students to experience the French culture and French language in this area in France. This year we are exploring links with schools in Northern France and Spain with the key objective of setting up an exchange programme for students. We firmly believe that this enrichment is vital to enhancing the language learning experience for our students here.