Modern Foreign Languages
Mr M. Goffe.
Members of the department
Mr A. Bengriche
Mr M. Collier
Mrs S. De Abreu, Lead Practitioner, MEP coordinator.
Mrs H. Evans, MFL PGCE coordinator.
Mrs R. Garcia, MFL Teaching and Learning representative.
Mrs J. Parr
Mr M. Syner, Director of Studies, Seacole House.
Ms A. Zhang
Mr S. Oak
Miss M. Cid
About Our Subject
We aim to give every student the chance to study a language to GCSE level, thus giving them a qualification that will always be useful to them.
We aim to provide all students with the opportunities to achieve their potential in the language that they study.
In years 7 and 8 our students are split into two bands and have four hours per fortnight of language lessons. In year 7, students are either in G band, and study German, or S band, and study Spanish. However, at the end of the first half-term, all students are given the chance to study French instead as their main language.
In 2017 we were accepted to deliver the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) and currently have 32 year 7 and 30 year 8 students being taught this course. The year 7 MEP students also have 2 hours per fortnight of Spanish.
Over the course of KS3, students taking French, German or Spanish study topic areas such as:
- All about me and my family
- My School
- My Home
- My Local Area
- My Free Time
Students are regularly assessed in one of Listening and Reading, Writing, or Speaking. The assessments mirror how they are assessed in the GCSE exams. Every week, students are set vocabulary to learn from a booklet relevant to the AQA exam board.
Students are placed into one of five sets, according to their ability. There are two set 1s, so almost 50% of the intake will be in a high ability set. Our most gifted year 9 linguists may complete a Language Leaders course, which involves teaching year 5 students from local primary schools.
At the end of year 8 all students are offered the chance to take on a second language as an option.
We follow the AQA course for the GCSE.
The setting in year 9 remains the same as in years 7 and 8, however set 4 students follow the FCSE course and often do not do the GCSE in year 11, instead being placed in a Skills group for extra English and maths support.
In year 9, students cover the following topics:
- Custom and Festivals in France/Germany/Spain
- The Environment
- The future
Around 90% of students continue with the study of their foreign language to the end of year 11, at which time they take their GCSE exams. We officially start teaching the AQA GCSE syllabus while students are in their final half-term of year 9.This syllabus reviews the topics taught in years 7 – 9, only in a lot more detail. Our current year 10 and 11 students are assessed in some form every term and will regularly develop their skills in listening, speaking (involving role-plays, describing photo cards, and general conversation), reading (including translations from the Target Language into English) and writing (describing pictures, writing short and longer essays, and translating from English into the Target Language).
Homework is set on a weekly basis and involves students learning vocabulary and completing a variety of activities from their homework booklets. They may also be asked to complete work on our VLE, Pearson Active Learn.
The Mandarin Edexcel GCSE course for the current year 10s and 11s is the new syllabus which, in line with the other languages, has linear exams at the end of year 11. Current MEP students in years 7 and 8 will be encouraged to continue with Spanish as their second language to GCSE level.
Students who choose to study French, German or Spanish for A level have the following content to cover over the two-year course:
- Changes in French/German/Spanish society.
- Political and artistic culture in French/German/Spanish-speaking countries.
- Immigration and multicultural society in France/Germany/Spain.
- Recent history in France/Germany/Spain.
They also have to study a work of literature in the Target Language they are learning, as well as watching and analysing a film.
Lessons are almost entirely taught in the Target Language and there is a heavy focus on grammar.
We do not currently offer Mandarin as an A level but it is something that we continue to discuss as a school.