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Pupils are taught either French or Spanish at KS3. At GCSE it is a core subject pupils study either French, Spanish or Punjabi. We offer A Level French and Spanish at KS5.

Pupils develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

MFL learning at Featherstone is dynamic, skills-based and underpinned by innovative teaching and use of New Technologies.

Pupils are encouraged to become more culturally aware and thus to widen their horizons in terms of music, dance, literature, art and theatre in the language they are learning.

Exam Boards:

A Level French: AQA
A Level Spanish: AQA

GCSE French: AQA
GCSE Punjabi: AQA
GCSE Spanish: AQA

Statement of Intent

The Languages department aims to provide students with a curriculum that engages and provides them with a rich body of knowledge with an emphasis on teaching the pillars of the language: phonics, vocabulary and grammar within the context of everyday language as well as more complex topics to bring awareness of the Hispanic, Panjabi and Francophone worlds.

We aim to enrich students’ cultural capital by exposing them to authentic materials in lessons such as music, videos and literary texts of the Target Language countries. We build up on their cultural awareness through the teaching of topics such as ‘food, countries and nationalities, customs and traditions, home and local area’ in the context of the language studied amongst others. We strive to broaden their horizons through cultural lessons taught by our specialist teachers and language assistants such as Languages breakfast for year 7 as well as theatre productions in Spanish and French for year 9, future language cultural visits abroad and extracurricular clubs where our students enjoy the opportunity to learn from our native Foreign Language Assistance.

We help students to reflect on wider cultural and global issues and their place in the world through the teaching of topics such as the environment, poverty and volunteering and how they can be a part of the solution to these issues. By teaching these topics we aim to develop British Values such as tolerance and respect.

We enable our students to develop and apply academic literacy skills through the teaching of grammar, not only in the TL but also supporting them to understand the grammar in English first. We use thorough questioning in our lessons to develop their oracy competence in the target language, and in English, by always ensuring that they extend their sentences using high level linking words, time phrases and a wide variety of reasons for their opinions in the correct register. We deploy high level explanation and modelling strategies in our lessons which contribute to students’ understanding and progress. We also aim for our students to become confident and spontaneous in speaking and writing.

We provide our students with quality first education and plan challenging lessons to suit our students’ ability and provide them with stretch and challenge tasks to develop this prior knowledge but also with scaffolding activities to support their progress. We do this by using sentence builders that match the content in our programmes of study and a range of listening, speaking, reading and writing tasks following a variety of teaching and learning methods.

In KS3 we cover all aspects of the NC for languages and our SOWs follow a logical sequence. We study topics that are age appropriate and of interest to our students as language learners, such as introducing themselves and their family, talking about school and free time activities always through a culture of challenge and scaffolding. In year 7 we focus on students being able to use the basic structures that make up a language such as the use of the most common irregular verbs used in a language (to be, to have, to do, to go) before moving on to more challenging structures such as complex opinions and the introduction to conditional tense.

In year 8 we continue developing the language and grammar that they have learnt in year 7 through interleaving connector tasks which aim to support the retrieval and retention of prior vocabulary and grammar and we introduce them to the past tenses (preterit and imperfect) to give them a solid base before moving on to the hybrid year 9 curriculum where students revisit some of the topics from KS3 at a higher level as well as being introduced to more complex GCSE concepts.

Throughout year 9 students begin to expand on the grammar learnt in years 7 and 8, introducing a wider variety of verb forms (more persons of the verbs) as well as complex opinions, reasons, time phrases and linking words so that they can expand their ideas and points of view in a coherent and cohesive way.

In year 7 we begin teaching students the basics of the language starting with basic introductions of themselves and others using the present tense, progressing to explaining what they study and what their hobbies are using the present tense and a variety of opinions and reasons. In year 8 our students are introduced to the immediate future and the

preterit tenses so that they can discuss the topics of food, holidays and home and local areas. Throughout these topics, we make cultural links to the countries where Spanish, French and Panjabi are spoken.

In years 10 and 11 we follow the AQA specification, which builds upon the topics and grammar that students have learnt in KS3 as some of the topics are revisited and introduces more complex and mature topics in year 10 (environment, social issues and volunteering) and in year 11 (future plans post 16) We continue with the practice of retrieval and retention connector tasks as well as ensuring repetition and recycling of vocabulary and structures in order to revisit and build upon existing knowledge. Students are taught how to make wishes using the imperfect subjunctive and how to use idiomatic expressions in order to sound natural when speaking and writing.

We complete common assessments three times in the academic year and two extra formative tasks twice a year so that we can test the four skills and we can identify where students need support. We use the results of these assessments to either modify the SOWs or to go over topics and grammar concepts that the students need more support with. We use AFL strategies during lessons such as mini whiteboards, peer and self-assessment of tasks in lessons and home learning, strong questioning, recasting of errors, etc which provide us with on the spot feedback of the progress being made by the students in the lessons.

MFL Learning Journeys

Learning Journeys

Key Stage 3 and GCSE (seperated by year within the document)

Programme of Study

KS3 Languages

KS4 Languages