Modern Foreign Languages

CURRICULUM INTENT: VALUES AND VISION

The experience of learning and using a foreign language makes its unique contribution to the curriculum by taking pupils out of the familiar learning environment and giving them the experience of entering a foreign environment and existing within it.  Modern Foreign Languages can, therefore, widen horizons, by allowing pupils to experience different cultures and societies.  Such opportunities help to promote cultural and linguistic understanding, on a national and international level.  Modern Foreign Languages can change the way children feel, think and act.  They help develop thinking, increasing perception, imagination, creativity, logic and analytical skills.  These skills can be transferred to other areas of experience and learning.  Modern Foreign Languages enable pupils to define themselves in relation to their own culture and identity and the culture and identity of others.  Knowledge of a Modern Foreign Language is a life skill, increasingly crucial as modern technology facilitates business and communication across the globe. The teaching of Modern Foreign Languages extends everyday experiences; it stimulates the acquisition of the skills, attitudes and attributes needed for life such as aural and oral skills, concentration, memory, presentation and teamwork.  It also develops creativity, risk-taking, intuition, sensitivity, perseverance and a sense of achievement and enjoyment.

 

The aims and objectives of the MFL Faculty are:

  • to provide successful and enjoyable learning experiences which may encourage learners to continue their study of a foreign language or to embark on the study of a new one
  • to give learners the confidence and competence to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy
  • to develop efficient listening and reading skills
  • to deepen learners’ knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order for them to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts
  • to enable learners to foster positive attitudes, respect for and understanding of other countries and those who live in them
  • to develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where the language is spoken
  • to encourage tolerance and a willingness to work together.
  • To enable learners to see the study of a modern foreign language as an exciting, interesting and stimulating life skill to be shared with language learners throughout the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DELIVERY OF THE CURRICULUM

 

Curriculum organisation

 

At KS3 pupils are taught in mixed ability sets. At KS4 all year groups are taught in mixed ability sets apart from Y11. Mixed ability sets are being introduced to KS4 MFL for the first time this year and for this year only, to avoid disruption to Y11, Y11 pupils remain in their ability sets from Y10.

 

Curriculum provision

 

Key Stage 3

At KS3 Y7 pupils have 3 lessons of French and 3 lessons of Spanish per fortnight. This allows pupils to experience both languages before opting at the end of Y7 for their preferred language. In Y8 pupils then have 6 lessons of their chosen language using the extra time to deepen their knowledge linguistically, grammatically and culturally. Their chosen language is the language that they take through to GCSE.

An extra-curricular option is available for pupils who wish to continue to study 2 languages. This is offered on a two year cycle and the course is available to Y8 and Y9 pupils. Pupils study for 2 hours after school each week and sit the GCSE exam after 2 years.

 

For our SEND pupils, at the end of Y7, in consultation with MFL teachers, the SENDCO and parents, the decision can be taken to study Spanish for 3 lessons of the allocated time and have SEND study support lessons for the other 3 lessons. This ensures access to MFL for all. A transactional course has been designed to offer Spanish that will be useful in real life situations. Pupils following this pathway will not take Spanish through to GCSE.

KS3 topics are chosen to link in to KS4 topics and themes so that pupils then build on what they know already, adding complexity and variety of language at GCSE. All skills, Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing are developed through the topics.

Y7 starts with Personal Information and Descriptions. Basic information eg. numbers, alphabet, months of the year etc, which are all areas normally covered at KS2 are compressed in to the first half term. Knowledge from KS2 is varied, with pupils studying different languages, including Latin, and generally focussing on oral work. Free time, likes and dislikes follows in the second term, with School in the third term. Y8 starts with Holidays, with pupils then able to link the topic to having just been on holiday and bringing in the past tense. The topic also lends itself to the conditional tense, with pupils able to talk about where they would like to go. The second term uses very transactional language that pupils can use in real life scenarios, namely Food and Drink, Cafés and Restaurants, which also brings Role plays to the fore. The year finishes with Home Town and Environment.

  Content Taught Rationale (Sequencing/progression of knowledge)
YEAR 7
  • Basic Information
  • Personal Information
  • Free time, likes and dislikes
  • School
Students at Primary schools have a very mixed experience of MFL provision. Some students have studied French, some Spanish and some Latin. Therefore, at the beginning of Year 7 we do a baseline assessment to gauge general linguistic ability whose data we track alongside assessment data to the end of Year 7.

 

The topic of Personal Information introduces basic verb forms to students, which is an important foundation for the formation of other tenses. Basic opinion language is introduced in the Free time topic area but is expanded upon during the School topic area where it is combined with justified opinions.

 

The conditional tense and the role of infinitives in sentences is introduced in the Personal Information topic area when discussing which animal they would like and the future tense is seen in the Free time topic to prepare students for the demands of being able to ultimately make reference to 3 time frames in Year 8.

 

GCSE Style questions such as translations and extended comprehension are embedded throughout Year 7, to ensure that students GCSE skills are being developed gradually over time. These skills include inference, reading for gist, picking out key detail and using knowledge of cognates.

 

National Curriculum

The grammar and vocabulary dealt with in Year 7 responds directly to the following aspects of the NC Programme of Study

  • identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present and future as appropriate to the language being studied
  • use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including
  • develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests
  • use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.

The Linguistic competence refers to the following aspects of the NC Programme of Study

·         listen to a variety of forms of spoken language to obtain information and respond appropriately

·         initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses

·         express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing

·         speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation

·         read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material

·         write prose using an increasingly wide range of grammar and vocabulary, write to express their own ideas and opinions, and translate short written text accurately into the foreign language.

YEAR 8
  • Holidays
  • Food and Drink
  • House and Home
The perfect tense is introduced through the Holidays topic  in order to help students discuss their recent experiences.

Extending sentences and sophisticated GCSE level language is introduced during the topic of Holidays. This topic offers lots of scope to talk about recent experiences as well as future plans.

Modal verbs and the importance of infinitives in sentences is highlighted in the topic of House and Home – students talk about what they can, must and want to do in this topic area to protect the environment.

This importance of high level language is expanded upon in the final topic area in which students use a more varied vocabulary when it comes to the use of adjectives. Students will build upon basic adjectives encountered in previous topics by understanding and using more interesting and varied adjectives.

GCSE Style questions such as translations and extended comprehension are embedded throughout Year 8, to ensure that students GCSE skills are being developed gradually over time. These skills include inference, reading for gist, picking out key detail and using knowledge of cognates.

 

National Curriculum

The grammar and vocabulary dealt with in Year 8 responds directly to the following aspects of the NC Programme of Study

·         identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present, past, and future as appropriate to the language being studied

·         use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns as appropriate

·         develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, allowing them to give and justify opinions and take part in discussion about wider issues

·         use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation

 

The Linguistic competence refers to the following aspects of the NC Programme of Study

·         initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses

·         express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing

·         read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material

·         read literary texts in the language [such as stories, songs, poems and letters] to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture

·         write prose using an increasingly wide range of grammar and vocabulary, write to express their own ideas and opinions, and translate short written text accurately into the foreign language.

 

In the classroom interactive resources and effective use of ICT are used to vary teaching and learning. Pupils engage in a variety of learning activities that aim to develop knowledge and confidence, including; language games, group work, paired work and singing to demonstrate their enjoyment and love of learning.

Specific extended pieces are marked in detail and errors are highlighted in blue (Beat the Blues). Pupils correct errors during Improvement Time the next lesson.

Homework tasks are set by the individual teacher which reflect and reinforce the learning from the previous lesson. Pupil KS3 targets are written on all tracking sheets inside exercise books and books are marked according to the School and MFL Marking policy.

Detailed feedback is given in the format of WWW and EBI.

Post assessment, pupils are given time to correct their work using green pens only and reviews take place. Progress grids also help pupils evaluate performance and show how to improve.

Stampers and stickers are used to reward pupil progress. Postcards are sent home and Star of the Month certificates are handed out for each language every month.

Exceptional work is marked in gold pen and displayed at the front of school. Parents are invited in to view their daughter’s work.

Homework is set each lesson and is approximately 15-20 minutes in duration. This could be 1 piece of written homework or vocabulary based learning via Quizlet or Memrise. We want homework to be meaningful and structured in such a way as to enable our students to become more resilient in the face of challenge and encourage good note-taking of vocabulary and structures and independent revision/study skills.

 

Pupil voice and questionnaires also indicate which topics and activities are particularly enjoyed and this in turn informs planning.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 95% of all pupils continue to study the language until the end of Y9. KS4 pupils have 5 lessons per fortnight. The final GCSE allows for two tiers of entry:  Higher (grades 4 – 9) and Foundation (grades 1 – 5). The Edexcel specification (Sept 2016) is the course followed. Edexcel was the chosen exam board due to resources provided, including textbooks and online resources, past  exam results, SAMs completed by pupils, consultation with all members of MFL faculty and meetings with exam board representatives. Launch events for AQA, Edexcel and Eduqas were also attended to gain as much information as possible and ensure an informed decision was made. As a department, we felt the style of the Edexcel papers and the wording of the specimen papers seemed to be more accessible and were phrased in a clearer and more straightforward manner. The layout of questions was clearer, the authentic text questions less onerous and the translation sections, more accessible.

KS4 topics are based on Modules within KS4 text books Studio and Viva. There are 8 Modules at KS4. This equates to 3 Modules in Y9 (one per term), 3 Modules in Y10, 2 Modules in Y11 with one term for revision. Active Learn supports the teaching of the topics with pupils able to work independently on all 4 skills.

At the end of Y9, Y10 and after PPEs in Y11 there is a curriculum review point to ensure that all pupils are on the correct pathway.

In the case of bilingual and EAL pupils, provision is made for them to sit GCSE as and when appropriate. This is usually at KS4. Languages taken include Portuguese, German, Polish, Greek, Russian.

 

Extra-curricular Latin is also offered with pupils studying Latin ab initio. After the first year, pupils are entered for Entry Level Latin accreditation and then there is the opportunity to continue for a further 2 years, and sit the GCSE exam.

Pupils remember key knowledge in various ways. Vocabulary tests ensure pupils retain what they have learnt. Also, digital programmes such as Quizlet, Memrise and Active Learn also allow pupils to work independently and their use is actively encouraged by teachers in the department with competitions running amongst classes.  Knowledge organisers and Revision clocks are also used as strategies to assist knowledge recall.

All pupils are taught by specialist language teachers. Learning is supported by resources on Firefly and lessons in the Language Centre.

An MFL staff CPD programme is designed to enhance knowledge and further develop understanding of exam specifications and delivery. Independent research is also encouraged and ideas and good practice is shared at MFL meetings. Social media such as MFL Chat, Secondary MFL Matters and MFLTwitterati also provide resources and classroom based ideas.

Y 7-8 MFL Assessment

All Y7 complete a diagnostic test based on a linguistic test instead of a French/Spanish test. This allows a fair test to take place and is not dependent on which language was studied at primary school, but more on linguistic awareness.

Summative assessments are held in the summer term (End of Year exams) and consist of all four skills.  All assessments are planned in relation to when PIPs are due to ensure there is data to enable accurate input of progress.

Formative assessments in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing will take place once per term ensuring all four skills are covered.

Y 9-10 MFL Assessment

Y9 & 10 assessment follows the same schedule as Y7 & 8.

Listening and Reading papers are based on work studied to date, using End of Module tests. Speaking and Writing assessments are based on the Module being studied at the time. All assessments are used to inform PIPs.

Foundation tier papers are used at the end of Y10.

Y11 MFL Assessment

PIP papers are completed to inform PIPS. Y11 PIP papers are either Foundation or Higher Listening and Reading papers dependent on pupil ability. Results are recorded and assist in decisions regarding tier of entry. PPE exams are taken in December with the vast majority of pupils sitting the Higher tier paper. This then allows us to make an informed decision as pupils will have a Foundation (Y10) and Higher paper score recorded.

All assessment formats replicate GCSE style tasks from Y7 to Y11.

Support strategies

SEND and disadvantaged pupils are taught following The Greenbank Way classroom strategies:

  1. Premium seat
  2. Get to know them
  3. Equipment
  4. Priority marking
  5. Targeted questioning
  6. Differentiation
  7. Timetable – 6 period day
  8. Attendance

Our FLAs are all used for intervention and one to one support where needed.

For our MAGT pupils the Faculty of Modern Foreign Languages offers a range of additional support and curriculum based activities to ensure that those pupils who demonstrate a particular gift or talent in languages can achieve to their full potential. The gifted and talented cohort is tracked by our MAGT coordinator but every member of staff takes responsibility for ensuring the progress of pupils. Within the curriculum we differentiate class, homework and assessment tasks.

Listed below are some of the language activities that gifted and talented pupils are invited to participate in during their time at Greenbank:

  • Language Days in French and Spanish in conjunction with Birkdale High School
  • Language Leaders Award Scheme
  • Careers in Languages day at UCLAN
  • GCSE Easter Language Courses
  • European Day of Languages Events and Competitions
  • LILA project involving 10 or more Spanish students coming to Greenbank for 3 weeks and attending lessons with their peers.

In addition to the main languages studied at Greenbank, we also encourage speakers of other languages to gain accreditation in public examinations.

CULTURAL CAPITAL

Our school is committed at every stage to ensure that no pupil is disadvantaged because they do not have the cultural experience to access the full curriculum and within Modern Foreign Languages the following key areas are developed:

  • A love of the subject and a love of learning
  • The topic of careers comes up at KS4 as one of the 8 Modules studied. The theme is ‘Future Aspirations, Study and Work’ and one of the units looks at ‘The importance of Languages’. Also a ‘Careers in Languages day’ is held at UCLAN
  • Our FLAs are our best cultural resource and they bring a unique knowledge to the classroom. We celebrate Festivals throughout the calendar year and learn about different cultures and traditions, comparing and contrasting to others.

We run European day of languages events with competitions, quizzes and give all Y7 pupils European Union passports courtesy of the British Council.

Food tasting takes place to tie in with our Y8 Food and Drink topic and restaurant visits are arranged.

A Languages club runs at lunchtimes primarily for Y7 pupils. French, Spanish, German traditions are explored through music, film, food etc.

Cultural films are part of the curriculum and music is also celebrated in the topic of Free Time.

GHS MFL Twitter feed @greenbankhsMFL also provides news about what’s on and what’s happening at Greenbank

  • A residential French trip for Y7 is organised to Boulogne-sur-mer, a KS4 French trip to Lille runs biannually which includes a day at our French partner school interacting with peers. A Spanish cultural experience in Málaga runs for Y9 & 10 involving Spanish lessons, Flamenco dancing, tapas tasting and visits to cultural places.
  • Languages Lunch takes place in Spring/Summer term to support exam preparation. FLAs and staff assist to support pupils with speaking preparation and revision techniques.
  • Our annual ‘Fiestaval’ celebrates language learning through song, dance, poetry etc. KS2 pupils perform on stage and show off their linguistic talents.
  • Literacy skills are a key component of accessing all curriculum areas. In Modern Foreign Languages, skills are developed through the use of vocabulary lists, chatty mats, knowledge organisers. Vocab Express competition takes place in Y7 and Memrise competitions take place in the Autumn term. Exercise book covers are designed with key vocabulary and grammatical structures.
  • Pen pal links also support literacy skills as pupils read letters and then respond in French. The pen pal links also provide a cultural insight in to the life of a French/Spanish teenager, in turn developing global citizenship and understanding.
  • MFL magazines are offered to support Literacy. 5 editions are distributed throughout the year with topics related to current affairs and calendar events. All PP pupils are provided with a subscription and spare magazines are collated and kept in the Reading corner in the Language Centre. Sets of magazines or individual articles can be used in lessons too.
  • Revision guides are offered to all and provided for all KS4 PP pupils.
  • The MFL curriculum develops the Literacy skills of all pupils as the study of key grammatical concepts supports their understanding in English.
  • Reading/translation tasks set as starter/homework.

 

Vulnerable pupils’ access to this provision is monitored carefully in order to support those whose cultural gap may be wider.

 

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

The personal development curriculum embraces the strands of Citizenship, Personal, Health and Social Education (PHSE), Careers Education and Guidance (CEAG) and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) educational policies.

In Modern Foreign Languages, the personal development of pupils is supported by developing pupils’ curiosity and deepening their understanding of the world in which they live. The MFL curriculum liberates our pupils from insularity whilst developing empathy and understanding of other cultures. We also provide opportunities to improve communication skills, independence, resilience and team work.

Students have the chance to experience international activities which enables them to appreciate global identity and diversity. Students become active international citizens which we believe will increase their life chances, strengthen their long term chances of economic well-being and build international friendships.

MONITORING

Directors of Learning (DOL) and Subject Leaders (SL) monitor the way their subject is taught and the impact that it has by:

  • Regularly meeting and providing curriculum updates for staff
  • Looking at planning to ensure course coverage
  • Data analysis to measure the impact of their curriculum including question level analysis to inform curriculum development
  • Lesson observation
  • Learning Walks
  • Work scrutiny and interviews with pupils
  • Pupil questionnaires

Ms J Aughton – Subject Leader for French and Latin

Ms A Delaney – Subject Leader for Spanish

Mrs D Hill – Language Teacher

Mrs K Campbell – Language Teacher

Mrs C Lynch – Language Teacher

Mrs L Moore – Language Teacher

Mrs K Robinson – Deputy Headteacher / Language Teacher

Miss L Griffiths – Language Teacher

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