FRENCH & SPANISH
Knowledge acquisition as a measure of progress
To ensure that Languages are a ‘subject for all’ – where all students can access an ambitious and academic Languages curriculum, achieve well and feel included in language lessons. Above average numbers of students will opt to study languages beyond the compulsory years and achieve +1 outcomes.
Preparing students for careers and furthering social justice
To develop students’ confidence in a range of transferable skills such as communicating, listening, translating/ interpreting and understanding in order to provide them with skills that will help them be successful in any professional field.
The needs of our community
To develop students who have an understanding of different cultures (both locally and globally) and to foster an open mind for a global community.
Teaching languages for its intrinsic value
Language learning is exciting and life-changing. Our Language teachers have lived and worked in a range of countries around the world and share their passion and knowledge of languages and the globe with our students.
What do we teach and why do we teach it?
Not only does studying a language help students to communicate with people from other countries and backgrounds, it can act as a window into different cultures and foster an openness to the practices of other communities. This feels particularly important for, and reflective of, our very diverse school community. Studying a language also develops important transferable skills – effective communication, listening and interpreting – that are valued by all professional fields.
The languages department breaks up content into four key areas of knowledge – the substantive (such as phonemes and key vocabulary), the procedural (such as sentence construction and grammar), the disciplinary (the ‘productive’ skills i.e. writing/speaking and ‘receptive’ skills i.e. listening/speaking) and the hinterland (the culturally rich aspects of learning another language). This knowledge is intertwined within each topic and, as with many other hierarchical subjects, recurs frequently across topics across years. To support accessibility and clarity of content, students at Key Stage Three (Years 7 to 9) use sentence builders (structured vocabulary lists). As pupils move through the sequence of lessons within a topic, the scaffold of these sentence builders is slowly removed as they begin to produce language with more automaticity. Students often engage in choral repetition, chanting and reading aloud to support them to master the sounds of the language.
Why do we teach it in that order?
The languages department has structured their curriculum to become increasingly complex. In Year 7, students are introduced to topics that are more readily accessible. They learn how to talk about themselves and their family, about hobbies they enjoy and where they live. By the time they are in Year 9 the topics have shifted to the more complex and societal – including the environment, technology and about the Hispanic/Francophone world. This structure allows for a gradual building of more complex vocabulary and the skills needed to articulate ideas coherently.