Modern Languages

Aims

At Brine Leas School, the Modern Languages Department aims to:

  • make learning Modern Foreign Languages enjoyable and effective as a means of communication
  • develop fluency and confidence in the basic means of communication: speaking, listening, reading and writing
  • widen horizons through a wide range of language and cultural experience
  • encourage appreciation and experience of the linguistic demands of different contexts
  • encourage accuracy in the interests of effective communication
  • extend vocabulary and encourage delight in words: their meanings, uses and power
  • encourage an informed and tolerant attitude to the views of others
  • overcome self-consciousness and develop pupils’ confidence to express views widely and coherently
  • help pupils achieve success in examinations
  • help pupils use language effectively in order to achieve goals in employment, personal relationships and life beyond Brine Leas School.

The Curriculum

In the Modern Languages Department, our main aim is to enable pupils to read, write, speak and listen effectively in a Modern Foreign Language, gaining understanding of and control over language. We strive for progression through creativity and engagement, and as such we either write our own bespoke Schemes of Work or adapt existing materials at KS3. At KS4, the majority of pupils study at least one language and follow the AQA GCSE Specification.

  • Speaking & Listening – Pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of talk as a means of exploring language and ideas, persuading and gaining confidence. They have opportunities in the classroom to talk in small groups, class discussions and role-plays. An important aim of oral work is that pupils should learn to be good listeners, able to appreciate the views of others as well as articulating their own.
  • Reading – Pupils are encouraged to become fluent, independent, inferential and critical readers of all kinds of text, who question and reflect upon what they have read and who enjoy reading for pleasure. They use texts to explore language and meaning, to acquire information, to gain further insights into their own and other cultures and to extend their personal and social awareness. They have access to a wide variety of texts in the classroom.
  • Writing – Pupils are encouraged to become confident, articulate writers who understand that writing is a means of learning, shaping experience, exploring ideas and language and expressing thoughts and feelings. They write for a variety of audiences and purposes and learn to appreciate the benefits of drafting, redrafting and proof reading.

KS3 – Year 7

Skills
In year 7 students learn basic dictionary skills, some metalanguage and some language detective skills (eg. using cognates and context to work out meaning)

KS3 – Year 8

Skills
Students in year 8 learn extended metalanguage and dictionary skills. Memory skills and phonics are introduced early in year 8 with a strong emphasis on accurate pronunciation and confident speaking. Resources are authentic wherever possible.

KS3 – Year 9

Skills
Students in year 9 prepare for the demands of the GCSE course with emphasis on pronunciation and independent production of language.

Latin

Students in year 9 have the opportunity to study Latin for a level 1 certificate. They can continue this to level 2 in year 10

Setting in KS3

All students in Year 7 study Spanish for 2 hours a fortnight and French or German for 3 hours a fortnight. In Year 8 & 9 they continue with one language, through to GCSE. KS3 students are taught in mixed ability sets.

KS4 – Year 10 & 11

Students follow the new AQA GCSE Specification which covers 3 distinct ‘Themes’. These themes are split into teaching topics as detailed below.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Me, my family and friends (relationships, marriage, partnership)
  • Technology in everyday life (social media, mobile phones)
  • Free time activities (music, cinema, TV, food, sport, hobbies)
  • Customs and festivals (traditions, celebrations, commercialisation)

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues (charity/voluntary work, [un]healthy living)
  • Global issues (the environment, poverty, homelessness)
  • Travel and tourism (weather, holidays)

Theme 3: Current and future study and emplyment

  • My studies (subjects, teachers, homework)
  • Life at school/college (trips, experiences, English school system compared with other countries)
  • Education post-16 (college, apprenticeships, employment)
  • Career choices and ambitions (using languages in future)

Assessment & Exams Students take either foundation or higher exams and these tiers cannot be mixed

SkillPercentageNotes
Listening 25%Exam at the end of year 11
Speaking 25%Conversation, role play and topic-based discussion conducted by teachers in Year 11 and marked by AQA
Reading* 25%Exam at the end of year 11
Writing* 25%Exam at the end of Year 11

*Please note that the writing exam in includes translation into the language of study and the reading exam includes translation into English.

Setting in KS4

All students studying GCSE at KS4 are able linguists but within this category, setting is not done by ability but by language choice. Thus classes are to some extent mixed ability, but made up entirely of those predicted to pass GCSE

Resources

For additional information on the curriculum, please contact your child’s MFL teacher(s). We create a bespoke curriculum for our Key Stage three, so there is no support from publishers. We subscribe to 2 excellent on-line learning facilities (www.linguascope.com and www.doddlelearn.co.uk) for which your child will have log in details. For GCSE, www.aqa.org.uk provides further information on the specification. Please search GCSE [+Language]. Your child’s teacher can provide resources to support or extend learning

Trips

Our very popular French, German and Spanish Exchanges continue to run, along with our Key Stage 3 trip to Picardie.

Careers