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Modern Foreign Languages at Stringer


Curriculum Intent

We in the Modern Foreign Languages Department at Dorothy Stringer, make every effort to keep MFL a popular and relevant subject amongst our students. We live in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society in Brighton, and we aim to prepare our students for life in a modern, global world. The ability to communicate in a modern foreign language is an important asset in today's diverse society. International travel, study and employment opportunities abroad, as well as interaction between individuals and organisations accentuate the need for a vibrant modern languages curriculum.

We acknowledge that a foreign language cannot always be learnt to a high level of fluency in five years of secondary education, therefore we aim to achieve the following:-

  • Build the foundation for success in a foreign language at GCSE;
  • Motivate all students to enjoy learning foreign languages;
  • Expose students and raise curiosity in a positive way to other cultures;
  • Assist our students to develop the skills needed in order to learn a foreign language later in life;
  • Teach wider cross-curricular skills and knowledge through the target language.

    Implementation

    Year 7 come to us with varying levels of language and they have not all studied the same foreign language at primary. All students in year 7 are taught 3 hours of French and 3 hours of Spanish per fortnight in mixed ability groups. We differentiate within lessons in order to meet the varying levels and needs of students in their transition. We also provide extension and enrichment activities for those whose level surpasses that of the rest of the group.

    Most students in year 8 continue with 3 hours of French and 3 hours of Spanish per fortnight in mixed ability groups. A small number of students benefit from a reduced languages timetable, with 2 hours of basic French, Spanish and cultural awareness per fortnight.

    In year 9 the majority of students continue with either French or Spanish for 5 hours per fortnight in mixed ability groups. This lays the foundation for the GCSE course that will be studied in KS4. A small number of students benefit from either a reduced languages timetable, with 2 hours of basic French, Spanish and cultural awareness per fortnight or extra English support.

    To achieve this:
  • Lessons are planned using detailed and well-sequenced schemes of work;
  • Every lesson starts with a photo description, in which students are encouraged to speak spontaneously and to revisit prior learning;
  • Links to KS4 are made through a variety of activities, which are directly linked to the skills needed for the GCSE;
  • Students are regularly questioned in lessons in order to check understanding, provide targeted feedback and encourage deeper learning;
  • Formative and summative assessment enables teachers to monitor student progress and highlights future teaching needs.
  • Feedback is given on a regular basis to students. Instant feedback in class is encouraged, be it when a student is answering a question, or whilst the teacher is circulating the class. Feedback is also given on written work in the form of WWW/EBI comments and 3 words/phrases for improvement that are linked to the EBI – these could be corrections or ideas for how to improve. For example if the EBI is to use quantifiers when giving opinions the 3 clauses could be c'est très bien, c'est si intéressant, c'est vraiment ennuyeux. Teachers must ensure that the EBI is a clear SMART target for improvement. Teachers can choose an EBI from EBI sheet, or they can write one of their own. If they are choosing from the sheet, then then simply need to write: 'EBI = 6'. When students are given their work back, they need to complete their action points sheet, writing their EBI once and their 3 words/phrases 3 times. They are also encouraged to reflect on their previous EBIs and what progress they have made;
  • When work is handed back, time should be given to students at the start of lessons for the following:
    • Reading the teacher's comments;
    • Copying EBI onto the action points sheet – in green pen;
    • Copying the words/phrases for improvement onto the action points sheet 3 times - in green pen;
    • writing the core activity result on the sheet at the front of the exercise book if necessary;
  • Teaching foreign languages naturally involves explicit teaching of literacy. Every topic is started at word level and there has to be a clear understanding of the context and meaning of each word in the mother tongue, before it can be developed and used in the foreign language. In teaching grammar, it is imperative that we ensure a clear understanding of grammar terms and uses in the mother tongue before teaching it in the target language. MFL teachers are teachers of literacy by default. The teaching of phonics has become more and more important in the MFL classroom and the way in which we teach this helps to improve reading skills as well as embedding sound patterns.

    Students who have a high level of fluency in any foreign language in which a GCSE exists, are encouraged to enter the exam when they are ready. Guidance in the content of the exam is given by members of the department.

    There are a range of extra-curricular activities on offer each year, depending on staffing and student engagement. Clubs we have offered in the past include, booster sessions, homework club, film club and linguistics club. 

KS4

Curriculum ntent

We in the Modern Foreign Languages Department at Dorothy Stringer, make every effort to keep MFL a popular and relevant subject amongst our students. We live in a multi-lingual and multi-cultural society in Brighton, and we aim to prepare our students for life in a modern, global world. The ability to communicate in a modern foreign language is an important asset in today's diverse society. International travel, study and employment opportunities abroad, as well as interaction between individuals and organisations accentuate the need for a vibrant modern languages curriculum.

We acknowledge that a foreign language cannot always be learnt to a high level of fluency in five years of secondary education, therefore we aim to achieve the following:-

Build the foundation for increased fluency through further study in the 16-19 phase and in higher education;

Motivate all students to enjoy learning foreign languages;

Expose students and raise curiosity in a positive way to other cultures;

Assist our students to develop the skills needed in order to learn a foreign language later in life;

Teach wider cross-curricular skills and knowledge through the target language.

Implementation

The majority of students continue with either French or Spanish for 5 hours per fortnight in mixed ability groups, preparing for the GCSE exam at the end of year 11. There is also the possibility for students to take a GCSE in their other KS3 language.

Students cover the AQA GCSE course covering three themes:

1. Identity and culture

2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest

3. Current and future study and employment
 
To achieve this:

  • Lessons are planned using detailed and well-sequenced schemes of work;
  • Every lesson starts with a spoken activity, encouraging spontaneous speech and linked to the speaking exam for the GCSE;
  • Students are regularly questioned in lessons in order to check understanding, provide targeted feedback and encourage deeper learning;
  • Formative and summative assessment enables teachers to monitor student progress and highlights future teaching needs. Furthermore, both forms of assessment, including mock exam results, inform us on what individual intervention is needed from an early stage, allowing us to best provide for each individual within our classes;
  • Feedback is given on a regular basis to students. Instant feedback in class is encouraged, be it when a student is answering a question, or whilst the teacher is circulating the class. Feedback is also given on written work in the form of WWW/EBI comments and 3 words/phrases for improvement that are linked to the EBI – these could be corrections or ideas for how to improve. For example if the EBI is to use quantifiers when giving opinions the 3 clauses could be c'est très bien, c'est si intéressant, c'est vraiment ennuyeux. Teachers must ensure that the EBI is a clear SMART target for improvement. When students are given their work back, they need to complete their action points sheet, writing their EBI once and their 3 words/phrases 3 times. They are also encouraged to reflect on their previous EBIs and what progress they have made;
  • When work is handed back, time should be given to students at the start of lessons for the following:
    • Reading the teacher's comments;
    • Copying EBI onto the action points sheet – in green pen;
    • Copying the words/phrases for improvement onto the action points sheet 3 times - in green pen;
    • writing the core activity result on the sheet at the front of the exercise book if necessary;
  • Teaching foreign languages naturally involves explicit teaching of literacy. Every topic is started at word level and there has to be a clear understanding of the context and meaning of each word in the mother tongue, before it can be developed and used in the foreign language. In teaching grammar, it is imperative that we ensure a clear understanding of grammar terms and uses in the mother tongue before teaching it in the target language. MFL teachers are teachers of literacy by default. The teaching of phonics has become more and more important in the MFL classroom and the way in which we teach this helps to improve reading skills as well as embedding sound patterns;
  • Booster sessions are offered to all students throughout years 10 and 11.

    Students who have a high level of fluency in any foreign language in which a GCSE exists, are encouraged to enter the exam when they are ready. Guidance in the content of the exam is given by members of the department.

    We have made links with the 2 colleges that the majority of our languages students move on to. Each year we aim to have visits from teachers and students from these colleges. They come into languages lessons to help our students understand the transition requirements and to help them make the right language choices for the future.

    There are a range of extra-curricular activities on offer each year, depending on staffing and student engagement. Clubs we have offered in the past include, booster sessions, homework club, film club and linguistics club.
     


Dorothy Stringer School, Loder Road, Brighton, BN1 6PZ | Tel: 01273 852222 | Fax: 01273 852310 | Email: office@dorothy-stringer.co.uk