Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages Department

Meet Our Staff

  • Mrs C Stirling (Head of Modern Foreign Languages)
  • Miss J Traynor (2nd in Department - Teacher of Spanish & French)
  • Mr G Begusch (Teacher of Spanish & French)
  • Mrs L Dowd (Teacher of Spanish & French)
  • Miss R Adams (HLTA: Spanish & French)
  • Miss M. Garcia Dorantes (Teacher of Spanish and French)

Aims and Objectives of the Department

Modern Languages are important and competence in a foreign language will be of crucial importance in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world. Students will need to be prepared for a world where greater skills in modern foreign languages will be very much in demand.

The MFL department comprises 5 members of staff teaching French and Spanish up to GCSE and A Level. We currently have 4 purpose built teaching rooms all having interactive LED screens and wi-fi access. We also have an MFL ICT independent study area which is fully equipped with computers for students to enjoy interactive lessons.

A wide range of teaching styles are targeted at all Key Stages. Students are expected to be challenged and encouraged in their language studies through different activities which focus on the four main skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to develop communication skills and language learning skills, including the application of their knowledge of grammar and structures so that they become increasingly independent language learners. Students are stimulated through a range of challenging and creative activities which in turn has led to very successful exam results. Trips abroad are also an important part of department life with regular visits to Paris and Boulogne, France and Barcelona, Spain. This year the Department travels to Jerez, Spain.

Key Stage 3

All pupils in Years 7 & 8 study Spanish. Pupils who show an aptitude for learning languages also study French in Years 7 & 8. The emphasis is on communication and we use many interactive resources and activities to promote the skills of listening, reading and writing.

We currently follow the ¡Mira! and Allez text books although the emphasis is on communication and acquisition of grammar, key skills, structures and vocabulary. We therefore frequently use our own resources and materials.

Key Stage 3 - Most Able

In the classroom we use

  • Open-ended tasks which stretch and challenge.
  • Extension work which has a creative spin to it (not just more of the same).
  • Stimulating materials (e.g. puzzles, magazines) which able pupils can dip into if they finish early.
  • Differentiated resources with more advanced, higher level thinking tasks placed at the end.

'Most Able' pupils will study French as well as Spanish in Years 7 & 8. Greater emphasis on the acquisition of grammar. Our more able students are expected to grasp the concepts of grammar and as such are given more challenging content and homework.

Beyond the classroom

The department already provides many extra-curricular activities which can be accessed by all students (e.g. Language clubs, foreign trips). We also provide extra resources via websites: Kerboodle, español-extra, français-extra and many more.

Key Stage 4

Pupils who follow the EBACC pathway will continue to study Spanish or French. Spanish is also an option for pathway 1 pupils. Pupils currently in Year 11 and taking the GCSE in summer 2017 will complete 4 pieces of controlled assessment and sit 2 external exams. For examinations in summer 2018 onwards we will continue to develop the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and follow the AQA GCSE full course. Pupils will complete external exams at the end of Year 11, one exam in each of the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each exam is worth 25%. The GCSE papers are very challenging and students are expected to work hard and complete enough study at home to reach the required level of competency before being entered for the exams. Topics covered are a natural continuation of the Key Stage 3 course with students studying the following topic areas:

  • Identity and Culture
  • Local, national, International and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Key Stage 4 - Most Able

In the classroom we use

  • Open-ended tasks which stretch and challenge.
  • Activities which are carefully designed to allow pupils the stretch and breadth necessary to achieve the higher grades.
  • Extension work which has a creative spin to it.
  • Differentiated resources with more advanced, higher level thinking tasks placed at the end.

Pupils are placed in ability sets to allow for greater stretch.GCSE 'Most Able' pupils use higher level text books and resources.

There is a greater emphasis on the acquisition of more extended grammar.

Beyond the classroom

  • Revision workbooks are provided to Y11 pupils which include many A and A* questions for current Year 11 and for grades 9-1 for the new GCSE.
  • Revision guides are used by pupils which are made by the exam board.

Key Stage 5

Pupils who have achieved a grade B or higher at GCSE are encouraged to continue their French/Spanish studies to A Level. We currently follow the Edexcel A Level specification which puts a lot of emphasis on the active skills of speaking and writing. For future A Level courses the AQA exam board will be followed.

  • For summer 2017 there are 2 exams at A2 level: a speaking and reading test and a writing test.
  • Pupils will study a range of topics including:
    • Youth culture & concerns : Music & fashion / Technology / relationships / Drink, drugs, lifestyle choices
    • Lifestyle: health & fitness / Sport & exercise / Food & diet / Health issues The world around us: travel, tourism, environmental issues & the Spanish-speaking world / Tourist information, travel & transport / Weather / Pollution & recycling Education & employment : Education (schooling & higher education) / Education policy & student issues / The world of work.

Key Stage 5 - Most Able: In the classroom we use:

  • Open-ended tasks which stretch and challenge.
  • Lessons and homework which are carefully designed to allow pupils the stretch and breadth necessary to achieve the higher grades.
  • Smaller classes allow for more individual, one to one support.
  • Personal marking/assessment and feedback to allow pupils time to reflect and improve.

Beyond the classroom:

  • Revision workbooks are provided to Y12 pupils which include many authentic and higher levels reading and listening resources.

Homework / After School

At KS3 homework is given on a weekly basis to pupils, and may take the form of vocabulary learning, short worksheet exercises or online exercises. At KS4 pupils will be given 1 or 2 pieces of homework per week and again, may include vocabulary learning, short worksheet exercises or online Kerboodle exercises. There may also be times in the year when pupils are asked to work on their GCSE controlled assessments.

Motivational Activities

Pupils in MFL are involved in many extra-curricular activities, from reward trips to Tapas cafes, to GCSE revision days, to trips to France and Spain.

Partner school

This year we have enjoyed creating a successful link with a partner school in Spain. Pupils in Key Stage 3 & 4 are currently participating in a pen pal project with “De la Salle” school in Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia, Spain. We are in the process of setting up links with a potential partner school in Paris, France.

Linguascope

Don't forget to ask your teacher for the username and password.
www.linguascope.com


This Is Language

Lots of authentic listening materials.
www.thisislanguage.com


Languages OnLine

Self Marking revision for all Key Stages.
www.languagesonline.org.uk


Zut - (click on the OYE icon)

A terrific site that contains plenty of online interactive activities organised by year group.
www.zut.org.uk


A Tantot

Try lots of projects, get links, see videos, hear jokes, be tested and be assessed.
www.atantot.com


Bitesize

Ever wished you could get your brain to work better than what it does? Then 'Brainsmart' can help.
www.bbc.co.uk/schools/spanish


Learning Zone

Lots of great topics and subjects to choose from.
www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone


Cyber Spain

Cyberspain offers you a huge journey through Spain, its culture, traditions and landscapes.
www.cyberspain.com


Cervantes

Lots of great topics to learn from.
www.cervantes.es


Use these websites to practice your language skills and learn more vocabulary. Click on the links and don't forget to ask your teacher for the username and password.

Linguascope

The ultimate platform to experience language learning.
www.linguascope.com


Francais-Extra

For beginners, intermediate and advanced learners (primary, secondary, GCSE, AS/A2, IB and international equivalent levels).
www.francais-extra.co.uk


French Revision

This site contains tons of interactive French listening, reading and writing exercises.
www.frenchrevision.co.uk


Francais Interactif

The web-based first-year French program developed at the University of Texas and in use since 2004.
www.laits.utexas.edu/fi


Zut

A terrific site that contains plenty of online interactive activities organised by year group.
www.zut.org.uk


A Tantot

Try lots of projects, get links, see videos, hear jokes, be tested and be assessed.
www.atantot.com


Bitesize

Ever wished you could get your brain to work better than what it does? Then 'Brainsmart' can help.
www.bbc.co.uk/french


S-Cool

The best GCSE and A Level revision material including questions and revision sheets for you to print off.
www.s-cool.co.uk


Wildfrench

This site is intended to assist both teachers and learners of French by making available a range of online resources.
www.wildfrench.co.uk


Student Word Lists