Modern Foreign Languages
The MFL department has been graded this year as 'Good' by an external Ofsted trained consultant;
"the relationships between teacher and students are very good. Standards and expectations support understanding and learning."
The department has expanded over the last 4 years to include four specialist teachers offering French, Spanish and German to GCSE level. Alongside the increasing number of languages offered, there are increasing numbers of students opting to study a language at GCSE, from 27 in 2013 to 64 in 2015. The department includes 2 lead teachers, both graded outstanding in previous observations, who support teaching and learning across the school. In addition, as a department we successfully train new teachers, support MFL departments in other local schools and lead 3 foreign trips a year.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 all pupils study three hours of MFL each week (one hour of German, French and Spanish) with the exception of X2 and X3 band pupils who study two hours of French each week.
At Key Stage 3 in MFL the topics are set in sync across all three languages in order to aid and support language learning across the fold. The topics range from 'My Family' in year 7 which tests the pupils ability at describing different people, to 'My holidays' in year 8 which exercises pupils ability in using different tenses. An important date in the MFL calendar is European Day of Languages which falls on 26th September each year. On this day, and the week running up to the day, the department holds numerous popular activities throughout the school. From food festivals to mystery voice competitions, the event has grown in stature from year to year.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 pupils can opt into French, Spanish and German. These are all taught by specialist teachers. Years 10 and 11 students have 3 hours of languages per week, and year 9 students have 2 hours of language per week. Our groups are smaller than average and we have a language assistant to support the speaking skills of students in their GCSE lessons. All students in Key Stage 4 follow the Edexcell syllabus and complete contolled assessments before the end of year 10. They cover topics such as modern media and film, applying for jobs and how to cope on holiday.
The GCSE courses are all assessed along the following criteria: 20% listening and reading completed in a final exam, 30% two speaking controlled assessments and 30% two writing controlled assessments. The controlled assessments can be completed at any point during the course.
At Key Stage 4 students are set homework weekly, this supports their learning in lessons and ranges from learning new vocabulary to completing past papers. In year 11 students complete an hour a week extended day session, during which they continue their preparation for their GCSE.