Languages open up our world
Languages are the only GCSE where you can experience an outside world culture from inside the classroom. We follow the AQA GCSE curriculum for our GCSE courses in French and German and use those topics from the arrival in Year 7 to build up pupils’ knowledge of the culture of the countries and the grammar applied to learning a new language.
Our curriculum objectives, apart from the learning of languages, are to embed open-mindedness and acceptance of diversity and tolerance within the school. Learning of another language is an essential part of understanding your own language better, whilst building on Literacy skills. It encourages mental aptitude and agility and promotes the ability to communicate without emotions. Communication is a key skill across all employment opportunities and we focus not only on speaking, but also listening to and presenting information in a structured and formal manner. We also encourage metacognition analysis which in turn builds resilience and confidence in the ability to problem solve.
Our curriculum plans are based on the KS3 National Curriculum, preparing pupils for the final GCSE exams, life experiences and the world of work. We encourage pupils to consider life outside of their home town, relationships, the impact of us on the world and their place in the world of the future. This encourages not only the understanding of British values but those of other nationalities and of being a world citizen.
The curriculum plan starts by introducing the above concepts and topics on a basic level with support as required. These topics are then revisited, revised and refined as we go through the school, introducing higher order thinking skills, vocabulary, grammar and tense knowledge. Skills and strategies are also integrated as well as cultural aspects with comparisons to our own to engender understanding and tolerance. We also interweave with other subjects including History, Food, English and Business amongst others. Problem solving is essential and promoted as the norm. Literacy is a natural consequence of our grammar teaching.
We use a spiral curriculum which revises and reviews knowledge across the year through a range of formal and informal assessments. For example; in Year 7 students will be able to talk about their family members and then develop this by Year 10 into talking about family relationships. Weekly vocabulary tests and homework encourages learning habits and skills. Unembedded knowledge is revisited as appropriate until embedded allowing pupils to progress.
It is our intention that students will leave their MFL education with an insight into different cultures and traditions and an understanding of how to communicate with others.
Our pupils will complete their education with the necessary skills to communicate productively, in a written and spoken manner in the foreign language as well as learning transferable skills for presentations and research which they can take forward into the working world. They will also be able to communicate receptively, understanding key strategies for listening and reading, which allow them to develop key skills which can be transferred to everyday life and in future employment. We will also develop inquisitive and open minds.
A qualification in MFL will provide students with the ability to be strong communicators in any language having built their resilience through a challenging curriculum. Such transferable skills open up our students to potential careers in diplomacy, business, journalism, law, interpretation and translation, and a vast variety of jobs in the international sector amongst others.