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Modern Foreign Languages

The study of modern languages helps students to develop a unique understanding of how language works.

Key Stage 3

French/German

All Year 7 students have the opportunity to study French or German as a first foreign language. The aim of the languages faculty is to provide our students with a stimulating and supportive environment in which to learn a new language or build on what they have already learnt at primary school.

The course

Throughout the year, students develop the four key skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Students are taught in mixed ability classes and our schemes of work ensure that all academic needs are catered for. Alongside the four key skills, students are introduced to other areas, such as sound-spelling links, dictionary skills, cultural awareness and memory techniques.
Key grammar points are covered. These include:
• The gender of nouns
• The formation and use of  verbs in the present tense
• The formation and use of key irregular verbs
• The use of adjectives
• The use of some common prepositions
• The use of negatives

What homework is set?

Homework is set on a regular basis and teachers carefully tailor tasks to the needs of their students.
Homework is designed to complement, consolidate or extend work done in class. A variety of tasks may be set and can include written tasks, revision for tests and assessments, project work, research, reading and web-based activities.

How are students assessed?

Students are assessed through the mastery programme in all four key skill areas. Students are introduced to the ‘can do ‘statements where they will have the opportunity to identify and revisit those skills which are essential to language learning. We also encourage the use of peer and self-assessment and use this regularly during lessons and also on a more formal basis during assessments. This helps our students become more independent and also ensures that they understand the requirements of the course.

French

Year 8

Currently all our students continue French in Year 8 and are grouped according to their ability. The main aim of the languages faculty in Year 8 is to build on what students have already learned in Year 7.

The course

Students develop the four key skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing over the course of the year. Our schemes of work ensure that all academic needs are catered for. Alongside the four key skills, students build on areas such as sound-spelling links, dictionary skills, cultural awareness and memory techniques.
Key grammar points from Year 7 will be reinforced and students will be introduced to more complex grammar points. These include:
• The irregular verb ‘faire’
• The progressive future (aller + infinitive)
• The expression of opinions and preferences
• Introduction to the perfect tense
• The partitive article (du, de la, des, de l’)

What homework is set?

Homework is set on a regular basis and teachers carefully tailor tasks to the needs of their students. This work is designed to complement, consolidate or extend work done in class. A variety of homework tasks may be set and can include written tasks, revision for tests and assessments, project work, research, reading and web-based activities.

How are students assessed?

Students are assessed formally at the end of each unit in some or all of the four key skill areas. We also encourage the use of peer and self-assessment and use this regularly during lessons and also on a more formal basis during assessments. This helps students become more independent and also ensures that they understand the requirements of the course.

Year 9

Students continue to be taught in groups according to their ability for Year 9 French. The main aim of the French department in Year 9 is to build on what our pupils have already learnt in Year 8.

The course

Over the course of the year, students develop the four key skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Our schemes of work ensure that all academic needs are catered for. Alongside the four key skills, other areas such as sound-spelling links, dictionary skills, cultural awareness and memory techniques are reinforced.
Students also begin to get an idea of what will be required of them next year when studying a language at GCSE level and their classroom activities and tasks will mirror closely those that they will need to do at GCSE level.
Key grammar points from Year 8 will be reinforced and students will be introduced to more complex grammar points. These include:
• The future tense
• The perfect tense including irregular verbs
• Adjective agreements
• The imperative

What homework is set?

Homework is set on a regular basis and teachers carefully tailor tasks to the needs of their students. This work is designed to complement, consolidate or extend work done in class. A variety of homework tasks may be set and can include written tasks, revision for tests and assessments, project work, research, reading and web-based activities.

How are students assessed?

Our students are assessed formally at the end of each unit in some or all of the four key skill areas. We also encourage the use of peer and self-assessment and use this regularly during lessons and also on a more formal basis during assessments. This helps students become more independent and also ensures that they understand the requirements of the course.
In Year 9, assessments are designed to mirror those that students will take as part of the GCSE course in Years 10 and 11.

German

Year 8

Students who have performed well in French in Year 7 have the opportunity to start German as a second foreign language in Year 8. The main aim of the languages faculty in Year 8 is to build on what our students have already learned in Year 7.
We develop the four key skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing throughout the year. Students are taught German in the top two sets and our schemes of work ensure that all academic needs within those sets are catered for. Alongside the four key skills, students are introduced to other areas such as sound-spelling links, dictionary skills, cultural awareness and memory techniques.
Key grammar points are covered. These include:
• Recognising nouns, verbs and adjectives
• Adjectives agreement
• The use of negatives
• The formation of plurals
• The formation and use of regular verbs in the present tense
• The formation and use of key irregular verbs (haben, sein)
• The use of some common prepositions
• An introduction to the case system (accusative and dative)
•  The formation and use of two key verbs in the imperfect tense (haben, sein)

What homework is set?

We set homework on a regular basis. Our teachers also carefully tailor tasks to the needs of their students.
Homework is designed to complement, consolidate or extend work done in class. A variety of homework tasks may be set and can include written tasks, revision for tests and assessments, project work, research, reading and web-based activities.
How are students assessed?
Students are assessed formally at the end of each unit in some or all of the four key skill areas. We also encourage the use of peer and self-assessment and use this regularly during lessons and also on a more formal basis during assessments. This helps students become more independent and also ensures that they understand the requirements of the course.

Year 9

The top two sets for Modern Foreign Languages continue from Year 8 to study German as a second foreign language in Year 9. The aim of the German department in Year 9 is to build on what our pupils have already learned in Year 8, and to ensure that students have reached a similar level to that of their first language by the end of the year.
Throughout the year, students will develop the four key skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. They are taught German in the top two sets and our schemes of work ensure that all academic needs within those sets are catered for. Alongside the four key skills, other areas such as sound-spelling links, dictionary skills, cultural awareness and memory techniques are reinforced. Students also begin get an idea of what will be required of them next year when studying a language at GCSE level.
Key grammar points from Year 8 are reinforced and students are introduced to more complex grammar points. These include:
• The perfect tense
• Subordinate clauses and complex word order

What homework is set?

Homework is set on a regular basis and teachers carefully tailor tasks to the needs of their students. This work is designed to complement, consolidate or extend work done in class. A variety of homework tasks may be set and can include written tasks, revision for tests and assessments, project work, research, reading and web-based activities.

How are students assessed?

Students are assessed formally at the end of each unit in some or all of the four key skill areas. We also encourage the use of peer and self-assessment and use this regularly during lessons and also on a more formal basis during assessments. This helps students become more independent and also ensures that they understand the requirements of the course. In Year 9, assessments are designed to mimic those that students will take as part of the GCSE course in Years 10 and 11.

Key Stage 4

We offer German and French as an option for students in Key Stage 4, as part of the Route 2 and Route 3 English Baccalaureate.

The course

The GCSE course in modern languages aims to build on the work you have done at Key Stage 3 and prepare you for further study. The work is based around a number of key themes:
Theme 1:  Identity and Culture
• Me , my family and friends
• Technology in everyday life
• Free time activities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
• Home, town , neighbourhood and region
• Social issues
• Global issues
• Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and Future study and employment
• My studies
• Life at school/college
• Education post 16
• Jobs, career choices and ambitions

How is the course taught?

We use a wide variety of approaches based on the latest course books, digital media resources and extensive supplementary materials.
Students also have opportunities to work in pairs and groups with their teachers or the foreign language assistant to develop their speaking skills. They are encouraged to organize their work well and develop greater independence in their ability to use reference materials.

What homework is set?

Homework is an essential part of the course and will be set weekly. Sometimes we ask students to produce written responses to questions. We also asked students to learn new words and phrases or verbs and knowledge and recall of these areas will be a vital part of the end of year 11 examination.
Homework is not the only learning that should take place outside of the classroom. We encourage our students to use some of the many excellent web-based resources to practise and develop their skills.
How are students assessed?
During the course, we assess after every unit in at least three of the four skills during year 10. We design these practice tests to help students understand what is required in the final examination.

The GCSE Examination

The four skills are weighted as follows:
• Paper 1 – Listening – Final  Examination 25%
• Paper 2 – Reading –  Final Examination 25%
• Paper 3 – Speaking – Final Examination 25%
• Paper 4 – Writing – Final Examination 25%

Students will complete an end of year 11 examination in all four skills and will be entered for either foundation or higher in all four skills. Entry level will be based on their performance during the two years. Past paper performances will be particularly relevant and the final decision on entry level will be made in conjunction with your teacher.

What can students go on to do after this course?

The study of modern languages to GCSE is an essential base for those wishing to pursue the new A Level in French and German.
Foreign language skills are highly valued by employers and, at university level, may be studied in combination with many other subjects such as Business, Law, Marketing, Economics and Engineering.

Increasingly, the government, universities and businesses are using knowledge of a Modern Foreign Language as a way of recognising talent and ability.