Modern Foreign Languages
We are living in a global community. By learning a foreign language, pupils can understand thoughts and ideas that may be different to their own culture. Language is the conduit through which we connect with people different to ourselves.
It is our intention for ALL pupils to study a language for their five years at St Peter’s and we hope as many pupils as possible will opt to study this wonderful facilitating subject at post sixteen.
Upon arrival to St Peter’s, Year 7 pupils are assigned the foreign language they will study through secondary school: French or Spanish. Where possible, the foreign language studied in primary school or the pupil’s links to a language or background are considered when making the decision.
Year 7 introduces pupils to French or Spanish within the topics of Town, Free Time and Family and Descriptions. Through these topics, pupils are acquainted with the foundational vocabulary and structures necessary to be able to communicate in the foreign language. They also provide a solid base for further learning in Years 8 and 9, as well as Key Stage 4.
In Year 8, pupils increase their language knowledge within the topics of holidays, the local area, house and home, environment, future aspirations and clothes. They will continue to use present and future tenses and other structures learnt previously and will be introduced to the past tense.
In Year 9, pupils will further deepen their language knowledge of topics introduced previously such as family, relationships, free time, technology and music. All lessons feature a variety of listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation tasks and pupils are assessed regularly in those. Every two years, pupils in Year 8 and 9 have the opportunity to take part in a five-day residential trip to Britany in France or Barcelona in Spain, depending on the language studied. This trip provides opportunities for pupils to practise the language learnt in real-life contexts.
GCSE MFL is compulsory in Years 10 and 11 and pupils continue with the language they studied in key stage 3. At the end of the two-year course, pupils sit GCSE exams with the exam board AQA. Depending on their progress, they will be tiered into higher or foundation; pupils in both tiers receive appropriate support, intervention and stretch and challenge to meet – and where possible, exceed – their targets. Topics studied in KS4 revolve around three main themes: identity and culture; local, national, international and global areas of interest and current and future study and employment. Lessons include a variety of activities aiming to improve the pupils’ use of the language in the four communicational skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, which will be assessed in their final exams.
Both Spanish and French A-Level are offered to pupils in key stage five with regular uptake as languages is a facilitating course. The themes studied in the two-year course are aspects of society, multiculturalism, artistic culture and aspects of political life. In addition, pupils study film and literature in their chosen foreign language and research independently a topic that has caught their attention. Pupils sit final exams with the AQA exam board in three separate papers:
Paper 1: listening, reading and writing;
Paper 2: writing;
Paper 3: speaking.
Ms Laurence (assistant curriculum leader)