Languages

Vision

We in the Department of Modern Languages firmly believe that learning a foreign language is an important life-skill that opens a window of opportunity not available through any other subject on the curriculum.

This belief forms the basis of our vision for the work of our Department and our students. A number of factors underpin our response to the many and varied challenges posed to us as language teachers and language learners:

A positive caring ethos is adopted in the learning experience of students and expectations for student performance and conduct are consistently high.

Lessons are varied and the learning environment looks and feels different. Rooms are attractive and welcoming and students appreciate this.

The Department enjoys the support of the enormously successful company "British Airways" in offering the nationally recognised "Flag Award Test" to all Modern Language students at GCSE level.

A wide range of resources are used for the benefit of all, including ICT software packages which are practical and fun to use.

The use of praise, encouragement, rewards and prizes is widespread and consistent.

Language learning is uniquely challenging and very rewarding, which perhaps explains why we always have a large uptake of ambitious, committed and successful students opting to join us every year.

Key Stage 3

CONTENT:

At Key Stage 3, students will have the opportunity to explore the following topics, building vocabulary and developing language skills as they progress

During the course students will:

  • Be able to develop new and exciting language skills
  • Build up a knowledge of vocabulary for a range of different purposes and situations
  • Understand how to build sentences
  • Enjoy a variety of language learning games and fun activities
  • Speak and write with personal information and opinions
  • Understand foreigners speaking the language

ASSESSMENT:

Students will be assessed in class in 4 different skills throughout the 3 year course:

  • The ability to SPEAK the language
  • The ability to WRITE the language
  • The ability to READ and UNDERSTAND the language
  • The ability to LISTEN TO and UNDERSTAND the language

Key Stage 4

CONTENT:

At Key Stage 4, students will have the opportunity to explore a range of topics in much greater detail, building vocabulary and developing language skills as they progress:

During the course students will:

  • Be able to develop Key Stage 3 Language skills
  • Gain a wider knowledge of vocabulary for a range of different purposes and situations
  • Understand how to build sentences using grammar skills
  • Enjoy greater independence in language study
  • Speak and write with personal information and opinions
  • Understand foreigners speaking the language

ASSESSMENT:

Students will be assessed in 4 different skills throughout the 2 year course:

  • The ability to SPEAK the language, in Controlled Speaking Assessments
  • The ability to WRITE the language, in Controlled Writing Assessments
  • The ability to READ and UNDERSTAND the language, in Exams
  • The ability to LISTEN TO and UNDERSTAND the language, in Exams

Key Stage 5

CONTENT:

The course has been designed to give students a deeper understanding of their chosen language. Not only will students know more about the mechanics of the language - like grammar and vocabulary - but also about how people live and use language on a day-to-day basis.

In the first year students will study four topics in depth. These are Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living and Relationships. These build on course content at GCSE Level and cover a wide range of interesting and engaging issues. The common thread amongst these topics is discovering how to express information and exchange opinions at a personal level and learning how to understand individual views on these everyday topics.

In the second year students explore the language more deeply through four more contemporary topics. These are Environment, the Multicultural Society, Social Issues and Culture. These develop the knowledge and understanding built up in the first year of the course, whilst covering a wide range of fascinating and compelling issues. Once again, students will research, present and exchange opinions at a personal level and gain an even greater understanding of foreign culture in a variety of contexts and settings.

ASSESSMENT:

In the first year, assessment is in two parts: There is a 2 hour exam which includes Listening, Reading and Writing. This accounts for 70% of the marks for the year. Then there is a 15 minute Speaking test, which accounts for 30% of the marks for the year.

The second year is very similar. The Listening, Reading and Writing exam lasts for 2 hours and 45 minutes and accounts for 70% of the marks for the year. Then, as in the first year, the Speaking test lasts 15 minutes and accounts for 30% of the marks for the year.

Speaking tests in both years contain elements in which students can choose their own topics and prepare in advance.