French and Spanish
Teaching British Values through French & Spanish
As an academy, we believe language learning and communication to be a powerful tool for promoting the British values through developing an appreciation and curiosity of other languages and cultures. From year seven students can choose the language they wish to study and as they progress through KS3 and 4 we aim to provide students with a solid foundation of the grammar of that language and foster a passion for communication in a foreign language. We explore and promote varied socio-cultural aspects including customs and traditions, festivals and the aspects of life that make a society so unique. Through their studies, our students gain a better understanding of the world around them and the differences, links and connections between different countries and societies.
Key Stage 3
In year 7, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of language learning. The course focuses on the four main skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and already starts preparing students for GCSE. Students discover and build on new vocabulary in class and also on our online language learning platform, grammatical structures, the basis of conjugation and cultural discoveries through different topics such as personal information, free-time, school and hobbies. Students will also appreciate authentic literature through our Story time initiative.
By the end of the year, students should be able to write short passages using the present tense of frequently used verbs, opinions and a range of vocabulary. They should be able to elicit key information from a range of written and spoken texts and be able to engage in short conversations with their peers.
The year 8 curriculum builds on the foundations established in year 7. Students continue to look into a variety of new topics including food, holidays and describing their local area and neighbourhood. All four skills are developed within those topics and students discover new key tenses, including the past and future.
By the end of the year, students should be able to write using two time frames, including some of the most common irregular verbs. They should also be able to express and justify opinions. Students will also develop their confidence in tackling new vocabulary, more complex texts and engaging in longer dialogues.
In year 9 students will begin to fully prepare for their GCSE. They will investigate more complex vocabulary and structures to talk about themselves and describe their daily life, holidays and travel and demonstrate their opinion on a number of topics relevant to their stage in life. All four skills are extended within those topics and students further develop their grammatical understanding and use context and prior knowledge to understand longer texts. Students are challenged to express opinions and understand those of others in more complex texts.
By the end of the year, students should be writing in three time frames with confidence to talk about themselves as well as reusing the skills on topics covered during Year 7 and 8. They should be able to express, expand and justify opinions and understand more complex texts. Work should be well structured with a range of vocabulary and connectives. They should recognise patterns and conjugate verbs as well as apply knowledge to grammar in new contexts. Students will also be able to manipulate the language within their own work.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 French
Year 10 builds on the skills acquired at KS3 and students are introduced to some more complex tenses and grammatical structures. Students explore the following topics of the GCSE specification: identity and culture; local area, holiday and travel and school. Students will have covered the basics of these topics at KS3 so the aim in year 10 is to develop their understanding and use of a variety of tenses as well as other general grammatical concepts in context and to enable students to expand their communication skills. We also like to offer students a cultural activity whether it be a trip to a Hispanic restaurant in London where students get to try a variety of Hispanic foods and communicate in Spanish or a trip to the international cinema to experience a film in the target language. We also offer a residential trip to France.
Year 11 French
Year 11 is similar to year 10 in terms of developing their grammatical accuracy, range of vocabulary and their ability to communicate more fluently in the target language. Students study the topics of future aspirations, study and work as well as international and global dimension which allows for excellent discussion and greater cultural capital. In the Spring term we practice and revise intensively all 4 skills ready for their GCSE exam in the Summer term.
Key Stage 5
Our Key Stage 5 curriculum is rigorous in both French and Spanish. We spend the first half term of year 12 bridging the gap between GCSE and the expectation of A-Level and aim to foster curiosity within our young people though the study of topics that are relevant to their daily lives. Throughout the KS5 journey, students further develop the 4 key skills and really start to establish linguistic accuracy and fluency.
The A-Level specification covers political, social, cultural and historical topics that relate to either the French or Spanish speaking world. Students also study in depth a book and a film, which really immerses them into the world of their chosen language. We aim to encourage effective independent study through the Independent Research Project where students can choose a topic that interests them and apply themselves to becoming experts on this topic. This develops key research and presentation skills which effectively prepare students for university.
The beauty of the A-level curriculum is that it teams up grammatical and linguistic skills and knowledge with thought provoking themes that interest our young people and educate them on the world around them and encourage them to question different elements of society.