Modern Foreign Languages
Key Stage 3
Students are given an introduction to both French and German in Year 7. Students explore the basic principles of each language in the context of the target-language culture.
In Years 8 and 9, most students focus on the study of either French or German, with the most able continuing to study both languages (dual linguists).
Programmes of study in Years 7, 8 and 9 have been planned using the objectives outlined in the Key Stage 3 Strategy to develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our schemes of work cover all five strands of the Framework, including cultural knowledge. Activities to develop thinking skills and extended writing skills are used to encourage students to manipulate the language learned. We are committed to increasing creativity in language learning and have developed a range of projects - from communicating through monster puppets to designing your dreamhouse – in order to encourage students to be more imaginative in their use of the foreign language.
Students are assessed at the end of each unit of work in a selection of the four key skills, so that all skills are assessed and reviewed throughout the year. Assessment for learning opportunities are built into our schemes of work and include peer and self-assessment, with regular reflection and target-setting after assessed work.
Many students choose to put their language skills to the test by taking part in the Year 8 study visits to France (Paris) and Germany (Moselle). We also have a long-established German exchange with a school in Augsburg (Years 9, 10 and 12). Students stay with their partners’ families, experiencing German family life first-hand, and greatly improving their spoken German.
Key Stage 4
Study of a foreign language for GCSE is not compulsory at Denefield, but is strongly encouraged as it greatly enhances students’ communication skills and is a qualification highly valued by employers. Students following the EBacc pathway are required to study either French or German, and some choose to take both.
At Key Stage 4 students follow the revised AQA Specification for GCSE French or German. The GCSE examination has four components, listening (20%), speaking (30%), reading (20%) and coursework (30%). Speaking and writing are now assessed via controlled conditions tasks, rather than a terminal examination. Four contexts are studied in the target language:
- Work and Education
- Home and Environment
The course aims to:
- develop the understanding of the written and spoken forms of the language in a variety of contexts;
- develop knowledge and understanding of grammar and the ability to apply it;
- provide a suitable foundation for further study;
- develop knowledge and understanding of French/German speaking communities.
Key Stage 5
Students can study French or German at KS5. A modern language A Level opens up a huge range of exciting opportunities for future study, whether as a degree subject, a module to give an international dimension to a degree in another discipline, or as a stepping stone to the study of a new language. Teaching is in small groups and the majority of communication is in the foreign language to help improve fluency. We follow the AQA specification.
The following topics are studied for the AS examination:
- Popular culture
- Healthy living/lifestyle
Students develop the ability to respond to detailed information and to discuss and write about these topics at length in French or German from a personal perspective.
For A2, contemporary issues are studied from a global perspective, requiring students to develop debating and persuasive writing skills in the target language:
- The multi-cultural society
- Contemporary social issues
Two cultural topics, such as a modern novel and a target-language speaking region or country, are studied in depth, with a strong focus on developing the students’ analytical skills. At both AS and A2, there are terminal examinations covering all four skills.
The Modern Languages Curriculum Area has a strong track record of success in enabling our students to achieve good grades at GCSE and at A Level.
Updated October 2011