The Modern Foreign Languages Department is a successful department which continues to go from strength to strength, in terms of examination results and delivery of all aspects of the MFL curriculum.

Our aim is to achieve the highest possible standards for ALL pupils to succeed, through the provision of a successful and enjoyable learning experience, within which students are provided with interesting and challenging learning activities to assist in the development of their Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills.

Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Pupils learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.

Furthermore, through the study of a Modern Foreign Language, we aim to develop pupils’ ability to use the language effectively for the purposes of practical communication, both in this country and abroad.

By way of offering insights into the culture and civilisation of the countries where the language is spoken, we aim to develop pupils’ understanding of themselves, and their own culture and to encourage and foster positive attitudes towards foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages, as well as other cultures and civilisations.

Staffing and Responisbilities

  • Miss J. Silvester – Head of Department
  • Mr. A. Karapanos – Second in Department
  • Miss. G Cane – Teacher of MFL
  • Mr K. Fleeman – Teacher of MFL

MFL Departmental Aims and Objectives

  • To promote and reinforce the use of good literacy skills
  • To develop independent learning and creativity, in pupils’ study of a Modern Foreign Language and also to reinforce their knowledge of English.
  • To encourage effective learning, promoting learning skills of more general application.
  • To provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.
  • To promote creativity and confidence through the application for a variety of Teaching and Learning approaches.To recognise that children learn and discover their potential in many different ways and so to ensure lessons are stimulating and varied.
  • To ensure progress is made and skills are developed in all pupils regardless of ability, age, gender, religion or ethnicity.
  • To provide the NC entitlement for all students, review schemes of work, implement new ideas and approaches, develop teaching and learning styles and continue to enhance our bank of innovative resources to continue to share good practice.
  • To select and create resources which are of benefit to all students.
  • To promote enjoyment, understanding and confidence in pupils’ Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills, at all levels.
  • To develop confidence and competence in communicating, at all levels.
  • To develop pupils’ independence in thinking skills in the use of language across all four Attainment Targets, i.e. Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.
  • To provide a successful and enjoyable learning experience which may encourage learners to continue their study of a foreign language or embark upon the study of a new one.
  • To develop pupils’ understanding of themselves, and their own culture.
  • To encourage tolerance and a willingness to work together.
  • To encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning, and to speakers of foreign languages and to foster positive attitudes towards other cultures and civilisations.
  • To develop the ability to use the language effectively for the purposes of practical communication, both in this country and abroad.
  • To offer insights into the culture and civilisation of the countries where the language is spoken.
  • Specifically at GCSE level: to promote independence in their application of grammar and structures learnt, across Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing Skills; to provide opportunities to offer examination practice, revision guides and revision classes; to promote the subject with enthusiasm for pupils who will take the study of a MFL further; to promote

Pupils are taught a Modern Foreign Language in Teaching Groups, in years 7, 8 and 9, using data in line with school policy. French and Spanish are taught in Key Stage 3 and at the start of year 7, pupils study either French or Spanish and study the same language throughout Key Stage 3. Pupils are given aspirational targets and lessons are planned and delivered to enhance understanding and enjoyment of the subject as we, pupils and staff strive together to meet these targets. At the beginning of year 9 students embark on the AQA GCSE course.​​​​​​​

KS4 French and Spanish – Years 9 - 11

Examination Board:       AQA

At Perryfields High School, students start the GCSE AQA course in Year 9.

Curriculum time:

Year 9 French and Spanish           4 hours over 2 weeks

Year 10 french and Spanish          5 hours over 2 weeks

Year 11 French and Spanish         5 hours over 2 weeks

Subject aims and learning objectives

The aims and objectives of this qualification are to enable students to:

  • develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where the language is spoken;
  • develop language learning skills enabling them to develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy;
  • listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed;
  • deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order for them to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts;
  • acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand and respond to authentic spoken and written material, adapted and abridged, as appropriate, including literary texts;

Themes and topics

Questions across all four language skills are set in common contexts, addressing a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes. They are organised into 3 themes:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment.

Assessments

The GCSE qualification requires students to complete assessments in each of the four skill areas:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing

Paper 1: Listening – Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.

Written exam.

Foundation tier:               35 minutes including 5 minutes reading time

Higher tier:                         45 minutes including 5 minutes reading time

Questions:          Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
  • Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally

25% of the total GCSE qualification

Paper 2: Speaking – Communication and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes.

Spoken assessment internally conducted and externally assessed by an AQA examiner.

Foundation tier:               7-9 minutes plus preparation time

Higher tier:                         10-12 minutes plus preparation time

Questions:          Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Role-play (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)
  • Photo card (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)
  • General conversation (3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)

25% of the total GCSE qualification

 

Paper 3: Reading – Understanding and responding to different types of written language.

Written exam.

 

Foundation tier:               45 minutes

Higher tier:                         60 minutes

 

Questions:          Foundation Tier and Higher Tier

  • Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
  • Section B – questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally
  • Section C – translation from French into English, (a minimum of 35 words for Foundation Tier and 50 words for Higher Tier)

25% of the total GCSE qualification

 

Paper 4: Writing – Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.

Written exam.

 

Foundation tier:               60 minutes including

Higher tier:                         1 hour 15 minutes

 

Questions:          Foundation Tier

  • Question 1 – message, (students produce four sentences in response to a photo)
  • Question 2 – short passage, (students write a piece of continuous text in response to four brief bullet points, approximately 40 words in total), questions in French, to be answered in French or non-verbally
  • Question 3 – translation from English into French, (minimum 35 words)
  • Question 4 – structured writing task, (students respond to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions

Questions:          Higher Tier

  • Question 1 – structured writing task, (students respond to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions
  • Question 2 – open-ended writing task (students respond to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions
  • Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 50 words)

5% of the total GCSE qualification

 

Grades:

Foundation Tier:              Grades 1-5

Higher Tier:                        Grades 4-9

 

N.B.       Students must take all four question papers at the same tier.

This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

 

If you have studied French/Spanish at Key Stage 3, students already know some of the vocabulary and grammar needed at GCSE. They are half way there!

If students enjoy communicating with other people, finding out how language works and learning about different countries and cultures, studying GCSE French/Spanish is an excellent choice for them.

Achievement in Modern Languages is highly regarded in Further and Higher Education and in all areas of work. Many employers look for people who can speak a foreign language. Add an international dimension to your choice of GCSE subjects. After GCSE you can continue to study A level if you wish.

Native Speakers

Students who are native speakers of Polish have the opportunity to study for a Polish GCSE, as part of an extra curricula programme.

Increasingly, we have more and more students who have specific language learning needs. This can either be that they are native speakers of French and Spanish or that they speak a language over and above those offered at Perryfields such as Chinese and Italian. Wherever possible we will aim to accommodate their needs, within their school curriculum, allowing them to advance their skills and achieve an extra GCSE.

Key Stage 5 French and Spanish

A level

At Key Stage 5 students wishing to study a Modern Foreign Language in French or Spanish, study the AQA A level qualification. This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course.

The MFL AQA A-level course builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including: communication; critical thinking; research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or further study, including a modern languages degree.

The approach is a focus on how French-speaking society and Spanish-speaking society have been shaped, socially and culturally, and how they continue to change.

A Level French and Spanish

Across both years students study two main themes:

  • Theme 1:             Social issues and trends
  • Theme 2:             Political and artistic culture

In years 12 and 13, students are expected to study the following topics and related themes and sub-themes, in relation to at least one French-speaking country / Spanish-speaking country, respectively.

Year 12 – French

Theme 1:             Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

  • The changing nature of family
  • The ‘cyber-society’
  • The place of voluntary work

Theme 2:             Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

  • A culture proud of its heritage
  • Contemporary francophone music
  • Cinema: the 7th art form

Year 12 – Spanish

Theme 1: Aspects of Hispanic society: current trends

  • Modern and traditional values
  • Cyberspace
  • Equal rights

Theme 2:             Artistic culture in the Hispanic world

  • Modern day idols
  • Spanish regional identity
  • Cultural heritage or cultural landscape

Year 13 – French

Theme 1:             Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

  • Positive features of a diverse society
  • Life for the marginalised
  • How criminals are treated

Theme 2:             Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

  • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  • Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
  • Politics and immigration

Year 13 – Spanish

Theme 1:             Multiculturalism in Hispanic society

  • Immigration
  • Racism
  • Integration

Theme 2:             Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world

  • Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens
  • Monarchies, republics and dictatorships
  • Popular movements

Grammar

Across the two years, students will be expected to have studied the grammatical system and structures of the language, during their course, upon which they will be assessed and required to use, actively and accurately in Papers 1 and 2. N.B. Knowledge of the grammar and structures specified for GCSE is assumed.

Works – Literary texts and films

Over the two years, students must study either one text and one film or two texts.

Individual research project

Students identify a subject which is of interest to them and which relates to a country or countries where French / Spanish is spoken.

Assessments

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing

  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 50% of A- level

What’s assessed:

French: Spanish:
Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends Aspects of Hispanic society
Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues Artistic culture in the Hispanic world
Artistic culture in the French-speaking world Multiculturalism in Hispanic society
Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world Aspects of political life in Hispanic society
Grammar Grammar

Paper 2: Writing

  • Written exam: 2 hours
  • 20 % of A-level

What’s assessed:

  • One text and one film or two texts
  • Grammar

Paper 3: Speaking

What’s assessed

  • Oral exam: 22 minutes, (including 5 minutes prep time)
  • 30 % of A-level

What’s assessed:

  • Individual research project
  • One of four sub-themes, i.e.:
French: Spanish:
Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends Aspects of Hispanic society
Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues Artistic culture in the Hispanic world
Artistic culture in the French-speaking world Multiculturalism in Hispanic society
Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world Aspects of political life in Hispanic society

Entry requirements:

B or above at GCSE in the chosen language

What Can I do next?

Continue to University to study languages (single/ joint honours). There are many routes you can take with languages e.g. journalism, business management, translation or teaching. Maybe you wish to work in the travel industry. Being competent in a language will give you broader career options, whatever you decide!