In languages we prioritise communication skills over traditional text book learning. By implementing our Speak First programme, and maximising the amount of target language in our lessons, we are able to make languages accessible and engaging for new learners.
Students are assigned to either French or Spanish in Year 7 and about 40% of our students pick up German as an additional language in Year 8. Languages are an optional subject at KS4, and we usually have a very high uptake of around 60% for languages at GCSE.
In KS3, we use creative contexts to inspire students whilst still maintaining a focus on language acquisition and grammar skills. Examples of topics covered in the KS3 curriculum include aliens, jungles, festivals, the environment, food, cinema, the Berlin Wall.
In KS4, we consolidate and build on the skills and knowledge acquired in KS3 applying those to authentic texts and real-life situations. We follow the AQA specification for French, German and Spanish – following the Pearson Studio, Stimmt and Viva workbooks respectively.
We value opportunities for enrichment by regularly running trips both abroad and in UK. Previous trips include Paris and Berlin in Germany. We also run MFL culture club, where students can enjoy taster sessions of new languages, learning about different cultures, celebrating different festivals and forging links with schools around the world. In 2021, we have established links with a group of schools in Egypt as part pf a cultural exchange programme.
Homework is set fortnightly (per language) in KS3 and weekly in KS4 and usually takes the form of vocabulary learning. All of our students are set up on memrise.com, an online platform and mobile app, which enables students to take a more independent approach to their learning. We also like to encourage healthy competition by running vocab league tables and rewarding the pupils who achieve the highest number of Memrise points at the end of each year.