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. Assessments take place at the end of each half term, either a Big Technique - speaking or writing, followed by a listening and reading exam paper the next half term. At the end of the year, students will sit an End of Year test.
- 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 2 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 study French and Spanish for 2 hours each per week. They will broaden their range of vocabulary and understanding of different tenses, as well as a big focus on their confidence at spoken French.
In year 9, pupils move back to studying one language for 4 hours per fortnight. In French 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.
In year 8, the majority of pupils start Spanish as their second language, for 2 hours per week, alongside French. The focus is on understanding the different phonetics of their second foreign language, as well as the key grammatical concepts.
In year 9, pupils who continue to learn Spanish do so for 4 hours per fortnight. 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.
In year 9, pupils studying German have 4 hours of lessons per fortnight. 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)
For 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.
The 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 will be running a year 9 KS3 trip to Barcelona, Girona, during the activities week. At KS4, we currently run a German trip to Berlin with History.
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