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Foreign Languages

Course description 

Our aim is that foreign language learning is, above all, an enjoyable, personal and communicative process. The programme of study is designed to enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding and to develop their language skills and cultural awareness.

Key Stage 3 

In Key Stage 3, students have a clear framework for learning based around half termly assessments: 

  • Core vocabulary and grammar assessments
  • End of topic tests
  • Individual targets for improvements

Students work in groups, pairs or as a class, practising the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Through the following topics new vocabulary and grammar are introduced. Progress and understanding are checked half-termly and homework is set regularly to practise and reinforce classwork.

Topic areas covered in Year 7 French include:

  • Presenting myself
  • Friends and family
  • Where I live
  • School and daily routine
  • Hobbies
  • Holidays

By the end of year 7 students should to be able to communicate effectively in speaking and writing, give opinions and use a variety of verbs accurately in the present tense. Their pronunciation and use of spontaneous language will be developing.

Topic areas covered in Year 8 French include:

  • Media, television, internet and music
  • Clothes and shopping
  • Friends and relationships
  • Going out
  • Home and surroundings
  • Paris, France and other French speaking regions

By the end of year 8 students will to be able to communicate more spontaneously and with greater fluency in speaking and writing. They should be able to give and justify opinions, and use a variety of verbs accurately in present, near future and perfect tenses. Their pronunciation and use of spontaneous language will be developing.

Key Stage 4 

During Years 9, 10 and 11, students study topics linked to three main themes: 

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  3. Current and future study and employment

Students follow the AQA syllabus and are assessed at the end of Year 11 in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

Regular interim assessments are carried out in order to track students’ progress.

Key Stage 3

Homework will be set on a weekly basis to reinforce topics covered in class. 

This will be:

  • Learning new vocabulary and grammar structures
  • Using a website to practise new vocabulary 
  • Completing short reading or writing tasks
  • Prepare for end of module tests.

Key Stage 4

Homework for Key Stage 4 consists of a variety of tasks.

Examples include:

  • Learning vocabulary and grammar
  • Reading comprehensions in French
  • Writing in French in order to reinforce classroom learning
  • Using a website for listening and reading practice

Books, equipment, materials and resources recommended/needed 

Students need a good set of stationery in common with most other subjects, a bilingual dictionary and a set of headphones.

Career opportunities supported by this Subject 

There are many benefits to learning a foreign language.

It will:

  • Give students a useful skill when going abroad, to be able to communicate with local people
  • Increase employment prospects where there is a possibility of links with other countries
  • Improve listening, communication and memory skills in all subjects
  • Enable students to learn another foreign language more easily in the future
  • Improve their mother tongue
  • Enable students to work abroad or travel abroad with work.

A Modern Foreign Language is one of the key components of the English Baccalaureate, and many universities and colleges have made language studies to GCSE level compulsory or at least desirable for admission recently.

The ability to speak and understand one or more foreign languages is very useful in many careers.  Some are examples are: Sales and Marketing, Tourism, Banking, Secretarial Work, Administration, Accountancy, Management, Consultancy, Teaching, Armed Forces, Law and the Diplomatic Service.