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)
  • Mrs L Dowd (Teacher of Spanish & French)
  • Miss T Duran Nevado (teacher of Spanish & French)
  • Miss R Adams (HLTA: Spanish & French)
  • Mrs E Loftus (Teacher of French & Spanish)

Our curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the best opportunities to be successful in their learning. Our principles focus on depth not just breadth by creating a mastery within the curriculum, which stretches learners and accelerates their progress over their 7 year learning journey at our college. In this section of the website you will find the subject intent, implementation and impact.

Alongside this, are our long and medium term plans which enable all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the content, knowledge and skills taught within this curriculum area. The long term plan also outlines the cultural capital experiences and career opportunities learners have within the subject, as well as our tailored approach to supporting learners' metacognitive processes. Further to these documents, the discrete sequencing of lessons are in the College's bespoke schemes of work that can be accessed through departments.

'Only the best will do!'

Content

Our vision in the department of Modern Foreign Languages is to develop linguistic skills that will encourage communication in another language together with an appreciation of other languages and cultures.

We hope to encourage mutual respect of other cultures by incorporating cultural content into all topics covered. We want our MFL students to be open to new cultures and experiences.

Within each academic year we teach different topics that will be of use when communicating in that language.

Our broad curriculum builds on the knowledge of language learning developed in each topic and provides the challenge to further develop the skills necessary to become competent language communicators. Vocabulary can often be revisited to ensure a depth of knowledge.

The basis for our Key Stage 3 course allows students to begin to understand the essential grammar concepts of the language as well as key topics that will engage our students in language communication and proficiency. Topics chosen at Key Stage 3 provide a layered approach to language learning in which knowledge is deepened as the course progresses, particularly when vocabulary appears across topics and prepares students to be ready for continued study at GCSE.

At Key Stages 4 and 5 we follow the AQA specifications ensuring that our teaching covers the required content for successful entry to external exams.

We hope to encourage our students to develop a love and appreciation of languages and other cultures which will stay with them as they encounter the world. 

KS2/3 transition

Upon entry into Year 7 all students are informally assessed as we endeavour to benchmark their prior learning. The first 2-3 weeks of term in September are a transition phase.

Clearly, we understand that there will be differences in prior attainment. We endeavour to ensure students can showcase their abilities through extension tasks and acceleration booklets where necessary. Support is offered to all as we embark on our linguistic journey together.

Assessment

Students are formally assessed according to the College's assessment timetable at specific points during the academic year. For MFL we aim to ensure that we are able to assess attainment and provide regular feedback for the 4 skills of speaking, listening, reading & writing. Pupil's attainment is measured against Key stage 2 scaled scores and against GCSE targets at Key Stage 4. At Key Stage 5 progress is tracked via ALPs.

Before each assessment period pupils are given thorough guidance on the best techniques to revise a foreign language. Revision sessions are delivered. We aim for each pupil to strive to produce their best work. When necessary intervention is delivered after each assessment to ensure that all pupils are supported in the best way possible.

Pupils can also measure their performance via feedback given to them in their books after specific key activities, use of model answers. Feedback and improvement tasks ensure that pupils understand the next steps in their learning.

Intent

The Languages Department aims to produce confident, successful linguists who can show knowledge of a range of vocabulary and structures covering a variety of topics that will support their progression through our curriculum. At the heart of the curriculum lies a deep respect and passion for the languages we teach and for the insight that each provides into the wider world.

Our curriculum is designed to be strengthened and for knowledge to be deepened year on year with topics carefully chosen and revisited to ensure knowledge is secure.

Our aim is to expose students to a variety of forms of the target language as would happen if they were to visit the country in question. Weekly lessons give opportunities to deepen knowledge of the language via use of the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading & writing. Our reading activities support the whole school reading philosophy. Reading in the language is an integral part of our lessons and activities will encompass a variety of texts and genres. We strive to ensure that our students can show an appreciation of the culture and countries where the language is spoken.

Our inclusive curriculum is adapted to suit all levels of ability. We aim for every child to be stretched but for no child to be left behind. We have the same ambitious curriculum for all students. We enable students, from no matter what starting point or background, to feel secure in their learning and to ensure that they have every opportunity to deepen their knowledge as they progress through their college journey.

Sequencing

Topics are taught from Year 7-11 in a logical order that builds upon vocabulary acquisition and the use of grammar. Topics are frequently revisited to build a depth of knowledge. Sentence construction begins in Year 7 with students taught the basics of word order and verb conjugation. We build on these skills with each topic ensuring that students are able to use the 4 essential skills (speaking, listening, reading & writing) within each topic. By the time students reach Year 11 they are able to produce a 90/150 word essay in the language showing good use of syntax.

Enrichment

European day of Languages is celebrated every year with the department delivering a host of activities which have ranged from external speakers to form quizzes.

Trips to either France or Spain are organised every year to develop an awareness and understanding of the country, its people and culture. Learning a language is important. We aim to challenge the view that learning a language is not necessary.

We offer after-school/Easter/twilight revision sessions to highlight the importance of hard work, independence and co-operation in order to be a successful and productive member of society.

Impact

The Modern Foreign Languages Department consistently achieves results in external exams that are well above the national average.

  • 2018 GCSE French: 100% 9-4
    (national average : 69%)
  • 2019 GCSE French : 87% 9-4
    (national average : 70%)
  • 2018 GCSE Spanish: 97% 9-4
    (national average : 70%)
  • 2019 GCSE Spanish : 92%
    (national average : 70%)