Modern Foreign Languages

Tour De France at the King’s School

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• Mrs L Sefton – Subject Team Leader
• Mrs S Gardner – Teacher of French and Spanish & Year Achievement Leader (YAL)
• Mrs S Curran – Teacher of French and Spanish & Year Achievement Leader (YAL)
• Miss K Young – Teacher of French and Spanish
• Mrs A Dawson – Teacher of French and Spanish
• Ms L Gallone – Trainee
The members of the Modern Languages Department teach their subject because they enjoy doing so. They want to share their enthusiasm for foreign languages and their belief that being able to communicate with and understand people from other cultures is a vital and important skill for future success and self-actualisation.

Fundamental to the teaching of Modern Languages is the emphasis placed on practical skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing); the starting point is always that learning a language is useful and should be enjoyable as well as intellectually stimulating.

Teaching in the target language and communicative methodology are important to the held idea that pupils learn best when required to understand and use the modern language in real situations. To this end, role plays, recorded oral assessment, spontaneous conversations and meetings with native speakers are engineered in the classrooms. The Department aims to give pupils regular opportunities to make contact with the countries where the target language is spoken via authentic contemporary texts, newspapers, magazines, email and internet. Moreover, exchanges and visits abroad are valued most highly. Nevertheless, a structured approach to teaching grammar, the use of dictionaries, dictation and learning of vocabulary is approved of within the department and staff will teach in English when they feel that this is appropriate.

To promote excellence in all areas of teaching and learning, enabling all students to achieve their full potential.

• To develop a learning environment in which students are challenged and encouraged.

• To promote independent learning, preparing the students for life after school as well as examination, giving them an opportunity to enjoy.

• To foster a sense of unity, mutual support, respect and ongoing re-evaluation amongst and within the staff of the department.

• To achieve high standards of oral and written expression.

• To foster an enjoyment of creativity in both reading and writing.

• To encourage a discerning and analytical response to how Languages work.

• To engage with the subject in an energising way through the passion and enthusiasm ofstudents and teachers alike.

• To enhance the teaching of MFL through enrichment activities.

• To ensure a vision of Languages for All, where every student, wherever possible, will leave the King’s School with a nationally recognised MFL qualification

All staff teach according to the National Curriculum for MFL in content and general approach. The AQA specification is delivered in MFL at GCSE from year 9 to 11 at Key Stage 4.

Varied teaching styles are encouraged and utilised within the department. These include the use of teacher led modelling and scaffolding, paired work and group work. The department teaches according to the general ethos of the National Curriculum, providing a flexible approach, accounting for the individual conditions which exist within the school to have the maximum positive impact on the students.

Schemes of work adhere to the NC, and relevant specifications. Attainment criteria at both KS3 and KS4 are also considered when planning and delivering lessons. However, the departmental aim is to use the attainment targets as a process of developing an enjoyment and appreciation of the skills which MFL teaches rather than being an end in themselves.

The variety of approaches encourages pupil interest and response. We have a quality assurance system which monitors lesson observations, assessment and standardisation. We encourage the sharing of good practice. The student voice surveys bring together students’ views on a range of teaching styles and approaches and benefit staff and students.

Teaching at Key Stage 3 follows National Curriculum and Framework recommendations. They address NC and NF objectives and identify cross curricular links or opportunities. Whilst the schemes of work are available and fully resourced, it is down to the individual teacher to differentiate lessons for SEN and G&T students.Teachers should not find the schemes prescriptive and can teach their own lessons provided they meet standards and cover the curriculum effectively.

Long term plans are in place for all classes at KS3. These show what students will be studying for the year ahead but also highlight when. It is envisaged that long term plans will be shared with parents as well as students to ensure they can support staff from home.

In Years 9 – 11 students follow the AQA GCSE syllabus. Students are set in mixed ability groups . We endeavour to have students work with the same teacher throughout KS4.Long Term Plans exist for all classes at KS4 to ensure that any set movement or staffing changes do not affect the Teaching and Learning
The range of coursework required is in accordance with the AQA specification and in year 11 students meet the examination requirements. Staff differentiate work as appropriate

How should MFL be effectively assessed?At all stages of learning a MFL an integral part of the processes involved should be a range of strategies designed to give the learner and teacher (and others who have a need to know) a clear picture of the achievements and progress which are made and therefore a basis for the organisation of future work.

Reporting is required as a minimum to describe the progress made in the subject; to indicate the learner’s relative strengths and weaknesses in the subject; and to give guidance on what the learner should do next.

The statutory Attainment Targets in MFL confirm that achievement within the subject is to be measured by progression in terms of linguistic and communicative skills observable through performance. The attribution of “levels of attainment” conforming to statute will be most effectively done where it is based upon continuous monitoring of the learner’s performance in a way which incorporates the features outlined below.

Methods / Strategies

Within MFL, the following principles are paramount

• The assessment process should be continuous and not rely solely upon the evidence of the learner’s achievements arrived at by summative testing and it should attempt to integrate where possible “assessable” activity within normal “learning” activity

• “Formative” assessment (sometimes described as assessment for learning, rather than assessment of learning) should be accorded relatively greater priority in policy and practice than “summative” assessment: what is planned and delivered in terms of teaching should be genuinely and consciously influenced by what has been discovered about the pupils’ previous learning

• Skill development should be assessed discretely within each of the four MFL skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, whilst promoting as far as possible a mixed-skill approach to teaching and learning, and increasingly to the processes of assessment

• The learner her/himself should contribute actively to the monitoring and assessment of progress and attainment, and achievement should be positively and overtly recognised and celebrated

• Assessment techniques should reflect closely the stated aims and objectives of the course and give priority to “communicative performance” within contexts which are based in the practical, realistic and authentic (as far as possible, given the partially artificial nature of the environment in which most learning and assessment activity takes place).

What and when?

In year 7, and 8 (excluding FCSE students)

Students are assessed approx once every half term according to the relevant scheme of work timescale; this will be based on a long assessed written piece of French or Spanish on the relevant topic with other skills being assessed formatively over the course of the relevant time period.
Formally assessed work is marked in a detailed way and given back to the students for them to stick in their books and to learn from their errors / positive points.

GCSE students @ KS4 do controlled assessments which are done according to the scheme of work timescale and the AQA GCSE requirements – they are assessed by the teacher and work is kept on file for submission to the board.

Trips to both France and Spain have taken place over recent years. Here are some photos from this years trip to Barcelona4-barca 3-barca 2-barca 1-barca


A*-A = 0%
A*-C = 49%
A*-G = 98%


A*-A = 13%
A*-C = 63%
A*-G = 100%


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