French and Spanish
Interim Faculty Leader: Mrs G Shaw
The Modern Foreign Languages Faculty wholeheartedly believes that learning to communicate in an additional language is an essential life skill, both in terms of global citizenship and in terms of employment. We believe that students should learn to be confident communicators in a language and that the journey of learning a language must begin with hearing and speaking the language prior to reading and writing it.
At Key Stage 3 we have a less is more approach, focusing on securing key structures through the extensive use of repetition, recycling those key structures to ensure they become embedded in the long-term memory. This approach ensures a firm foundation upon which we build throughout Key Stage 4 in preparation for the AQA GCSE.
Learning a language is not simply the ability to communicate in another language; it also allows opportunities to develop wider skills useful for adult and working life such as an appreciation and understanding of other cultures, confidence in public speaking, communication, team work, perseverance and resilience, creative thinking, problem-solving and reflection. We aim for all students to have the opportunity to use their language for real purpose beyond the classroom to extend their linguistic competence as well as to enrich their social and cultural experiences.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 students establish strong listening skills, good pronunciation, and fluency through extensive listening and speaking practice. Students will begin to develop an enjoyment of learning a foreign language. Students will learn about; themselves, their home and their family, their likes and dislikes, school and their free time and hobbies.
In Year 8 students continue to develop their listening and speaking skills, embedding strong listening skills, good pronunciation, and fluency whilst beginning to developing accurate and independent reading and writing skills. Students will learn about; places in town and things to do at the weekend, travel and holidays, food and drink.
In Year 9 students will begin to learn how to independently express and understand facts, feelings, and opinions. Students will also begin to develop skills needed to answer GCSE style assessments in preparation for study at Key Stage 4. Students will learn about; leisure, TV, cinema and entertainment, sports, injuries and illness, directions, likes and dislikes and describing yourself and others.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students can choose to study AQA GCSE French and/or AQA GCSE Spanish. The GCSE French and Spanish courses cover three themes:
- Identity and Culture: My family and me; technology; free time; customs and festivals.
- Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest: Local area; social issues; global issues.
- Current and Future Study and Employment: My studies; life at school; education post 16; jobs, career choices and ambitions.
Throughout Key Stage 4 students will continue to build upon the skills and knowledge introduced at Key Stage 3 while developing new, more sophisticated language. Students will increase in confidence and ability in the 4 skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, each of which is worth 25% of the final GCSE grade.
What can I do with a French or Spanish qualification?
French and Spanish is a subject which is included in the English Baccalaureate. This is the list of subjects which Sixth Form Colleges and universities prefer a student to have studied at least to GCSE level. Languages can be studied at all levels in further and higher education. Jobs in business, imports and exports, marketing and sales are all popular. Also travel and tourism, teaching, interpreting and translation, national and European government, IT, banking and finance, diplomatic service, voluntary aid, hotel and catering and any role requiring liaison with international countries.