Modern Foreign Languages
Learning a Foreign Language is a fundamentally important aspect of sound preparation for our students beyond St George’s. We have developed a curriculum which aims to Engage, Encourage and Empower students to love foreign languages and the possibilities that they offer, both culturally and for their future careers.
- We engage our pupils with relevant and interesting content taught via interactive, animated lessons, with use of department ipads to support learning.
- Our passionate team of teachers, who bring real-life experiences into the classroom, encourage and motivate pupils to contribute and push themselves just out of their comfort zones to improve.
- Above all, we empower pupils with the necessary linguistic skills and confidence to use foreign languages in the real World and spread their wings!
Throughout their learning journey of three, five or seven years, the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are consistently practised; interwoven with the three strands of language learning: vocabulary, grammar and phonics.
Key stage 3 (years 7, 8 & 9)
At Key Stage 3, pupils follow a curriculum which centres heavily on learning vocabulary in sentence chunks, with a big focus on learning how to use words and grammar in context. We place a strong emphasis on phonics at this stage, as well as cementing previously-learned knowledge of grammatical terms from KS2 and how the same terms apply to foreign languages.
Pupils are assessed regularly during lessons via use of mini-whiteboards, vocabulary tests and open-book writing tasks. Larger assessments take place in the first half the Spring term, (reading & speaking) followed by an end of year assessment (listening, speaking and writing).
- These assessments are based on all knowledge and skills previously taught and are not based on individual topic areas in isolation, hence giving a much more similar style of assessment to those used in KS4 & 5.
Prep is assigned once per week via Google Classroom and will range from vocabulary learning, reading & listening tasks, consolidation of grammatical concepts, short pieces of writing or research on various cultural aspects of life in other countries.
Pupils study French for 3 hours per week in year 7, during which we focus heavily on how to learn a foreign language, understanding different phonetics, the importance of regular vocabulary learning, the use of accents and the concept of verb conjugation.
In year 8, pupils continue to learn French for 2 hours per week and broaden their range of vocabulary and understanding of different tenses, as well as a big focus on their confidence at spoken French in preparation for a trip to Northern France in July.
In year 9, pupils continue to learn French for 3 hours per fortnight, during which we increase their grammatical knowledge further to ensure a solid grounding for the GCSE course. We start to study from the GCSE curriculum in the Summer term.
German / Spanish
In year 8, pupils are split into two groups and study either German or Spanish for 2 hours per week, alongside French. Pupils are given the opportunity to express a preference over the two subjects and these are taken into consideration as much as possible. The focus is on understanding the different phonetics of their second foreign language, as well as the key grammatical concepts.
In year 9, pupils continue to learn German or Spanish for 3 hours per fortnight, during which we increase their grammatical knowledge further to ensure a solid grounding for the GCSE course. We start to study from the GCSE curriculum in the Summer term.
Key stage 4 (years 10 & 11)
GCSE pupils have the possibility to study French, German or Spanish, depending on the languages they have studied in year 8 & 9. We also have a number of students who choose to study two languages.
We follow the Edexcel curriculum and assessments for all three languages and the course covers the 5 main themes of Identity & Culture, Travel & Local Area, School, Future Aspirations & Work, Global Issues & The Wider World.
Pupils have 5 lessons per fortnight, where we focus heavily on developing a greater confidence to proactively use and speak in the target language. Lesson activities include a mix of pair and group oral-work, listening tasks, grammatical teaching, reading comprehension and timed writing, as well as mini whiteboard and ipad games.
Prep is assigned twice per week via Google Classroom and will range from vocabulary learning, reading & listening tasks, consolidation of grammatical concepts, short pieces of writing or research on various cultural aspects of life in other countries.
The GCSE is examined via 3 exams at the end of year 11 in the 4 skills of Listening & Reading, Speaking Writing. The speaking exam is undertaken with their class teacher, which helps to reduce some of the associated nerves with speaking a foreign language.
Key stage 5 (years 12 & 13)
As a department we believe that we offer one of the most beneficial subjects at this level, providing a wealth of opportunities for higher education and Global careers in any sector.
We follow the AQA syllabus and the course really enables students to build on their grammar and vocabulary learnt at KS4 and also covers many social and current affairs topics impacting the countries of the chosen spoken language, as well as cultural aspects, such as literature, film, art and music.
Students have 4 teaching hours per week plus a one-to-one speaking session with our dedicated language assistant to really boost their spoken confidence and discussion skills in the target language.
The course is examined via 3 exams at the end of year 13 in the four areas of Speaking, Writing and Listening & Reading .
We run a year 8 trip to Northern France, combined with Humanities.
At KS4, we currently run a German trip to Berlin with History and are in the process of organising similar trips to Spain & France.
At KS5 students are encouraged to organise work experience in an International company where possible, which enables them to use their language skills.
Key Teaching websites used
Exam board sites