Modern Foreign Languages
Head of Department: Ms. P Gamundi / Ms H Dehal (maternity cover)
We aim to expose our students to a broad and ambitious MFL curriculum which kindles curiosity and promotes diversity and tolerance of other cultures.
CURRICULUM MAP AND BIG IDEAS
What skills and cultural capital do students acquire in your subject?
The MFL curriculum is designed to ensure that all four skills (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) are covered in every unit and opportunities to revisit key skills, in different ways, are built into students’ learning journeys. Sitting within these lie the ability to comprehend, infer meaning to extract information, communicate spontaneously and with accurate pronunciation and intonation, vocabulary acquisition, the ability to apply grammar accurately and translation both into and out of French and Spanish.
Grammar is the foundation for building language skills. Learning grammar enables students to speak and write more accurately, confidently and fluently. Consequently, grammar skills are taught explicitly through every unit of work, and regularly revisited; emphasis is on equipping students with the linguistic skills to unpick and decode unfamiliar language.
Our MFL curriculum promotes diversity and tolerance of other cultures. It develops students into well-rounded individuals, confident in their ability and able to use their linguistic knowledge to expand their horizons.
How do you make Careers education explicit in your curriculum?
Career opportunities discussed both in class (importance of languages lesson embedded in the curriculum, Future Aspiration Studies and Work is taught explicitly at both KS3 and KS4) and outside of the lesson (European Day of Languages).
How do you support all learners to progress?
Clear learning intentions in lessons that can be met by all students: differentiation through scaffolding, targeted questioning, guided/independent practice and AFL. Extension activities which stretch and challenge more able students. Use class setting to cater for all students.
How is your curriculum designed?
The curriculum at KS3 is designed to ensure that students gain confidence in all four skills (Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking). Our Knowledge Organisers (KO) provide model answers on the unit topic that integrate not just the vocabulary, but the structures and the grammar required to achieve linguistic mastery. We provide students with the necessary tools and foundation to build upon.
What content do you cover and how is this delivered over time?
In line with the national curriculum, our students are taught to become determined, independent and curious linguists who:
- identify and use tenses or time frames which convey the present, past, and future.
- use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including voices and moods, 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 in a wider manner and take part in discussion about wider issues.
- use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.
To decide what order to teach topics in Look at vocabulary and grammar covered in each topic to enable spaced retrieval and revisiting of key concepts throughout each KS3 and KS4. Key language and grammar need to be recycled and revisited frequently to enable students to build on what is stored in their long-term memory. E.g. : Year 7 French HT3 talking about pets = opportunity to revisit agreement with adjective of colours (hair and eyes HT1 and personality traits HT2).
Which exam board do you use? Why?
AQA since it has excellent assessment resources, provides professional development opportunities and in-school support from the local relationship managers, and we also have direct access to subject specialists via phone and email.
There is also the Enhanced Results Analysis, an excellent tool for understanding results and identifying areas for improvement.
It also has only 3 Themes, which are easier to plan and for the students to understand.
How do you intelligently sequence your curriculum so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before? Planning the progression model - How does a certain topic (e.g., algebra / language analysis) progress across the key stage(s)?
- Schemes of Learning are sequenced to allow for space retrieval of key vocabulary and grammar throughout KS3 and KS4.
- As a department we aim to ensure that all lessons:
- Present new material using small steps.
- Provide models: paragraphs, explicit narration, worked examples (use of Knowledge Organisers). Gradually reducing the level of completion leaving students to finish problems and ultimately do it themselves.
- Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks: writing frame to scaffold writing, exemplars from students (www/ebi).
- Anticipate errors and challenge misconceptions.
The overview of our curriculum is designed to ensure that all four skills (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) are covered in every unit and opportunities to revisit key skills, in different ways, are built into students’ learning journeys. Grammar is the foundation for building language skills. Learning grammar enables students to speak and write more accurately, confidently, and fluently. Consequently, grammar skills are taught explicitly through every unit of work, and regularly revisited; emphasis is on equipping students with the linguistic skills to unpick and decode unfamiliar language.
How do you use spaced practice / retrieval practice?
Key language is recycled frequently to enable students to build on what is stored in their long-term memory. Knowledge Organisers (KO) provide students with key language which is recycled frequently to enable students to build on what is stored in their long-term memory. Students are revisiting key language weekly in their homework using Quizlet and DO NOWs are planned for retrieval of this key phrases and grammatical structures.
How is reading and mathematical fluency prioritised in your subject?
Cross curricular links can be identified throughout the curriculum: e.g.: numbers to discuss age and time in Y7, use of authentic literary text, environmental issues at KS4, political parties and their place in society at KS5.
Equitable delivery - How do you support disadvantaged students and students with SEND?
We ensure that the most important documents are as accessible as possible for all students (Knowledge Organisers, Literacy sheets, Vocabulary sheets) but use strategies such as writing frames, transcripts and materials from textbooks where necessary, typically in Foundation sets.
We use the Foreign Language Assistants to support in the Foundation classes to encourage one to one sessions, as well as in the Higher classes to develop their independent skills.
Assessment - How do teachers assess across the unit / term / cycle / year / key stage?
In terms of assessment, students complete in KS3 complete Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing assessments near the end of each term.
Year 10 & 12 are also assessed three times per year, with equal weighting as per GCSE/GCE, this frees up time to both analyse skill areas in depth at the relative time but also to teach to the wider domain and include wider, relevant cultural content.
For Year 11 & 13, we do a mock exam in the first half term, then another one in January and a final one after February half term.