Modern Foreign Languages

Courses

Key Stage 4 Courses Key Stage 5 Courses
Edexcel GCSE French Edexcel AS and A Level French
Edexcel GCSE Spanish Edexcel AS and A Level Spanish

Why do we study Spanish/French?

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.

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.

Members of the MFL department teach French and Spanish. We also have two native foreign language assistants who take students for conversation lessons in small groups.

Enthusiasm and the enjoyment of teaching our subjects are what motivate us. Lessons are lively and varied with ample opportunity for speaking the language.

Our trips abroad are highly popular and provide pupils with plenty of opportunity to practise what has been learnt in class. We visit places such as Boulogne, Paris in France and Barcelona in Spain.

Our co-curricular activities add further value to the learning experience. These include our Latin club, Spanish club, and sessions for extra speaking practice. If you would like to learn more about our department, we would be delighted to hear from you.

The aims of the MFL department are:

  • To encourage all students to fulfil their potential, whether they are absolute beginners or near native speakers
  • To promote languages and the enjoyment of learning alanguage
  • To widen our students’ horizons
  • To promote tolerance of viewpoints, attitudes and cultures other than one's own

The MFL Department Team

Miss Castry – Curriculum Leader
Mr Forde – Deputy Curriculum Leader
Ms Anani-Agbo – Teacher
Mr Clapham – Teacher

Email address: enquiries@barnhill.school

The MFL Programme of Study

Key Stage 3 – Years 7 and 8

All our students study a language during Years 7 and 8. At the start of Year 7 students are assigned to study either Spanish or French which they will be able to continue up to GCSE and A Level. We use a range of techniques to engage students in their learning and in the lives of people living in the taught languages’ countries.

The four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) are continually assessed and techniques like role-play, peer assessment, games and modelling of responses are used to support students. We cover a range of topic areas including; “me and my life”, “healthy eating”, “sport and free-time”, “holidays”, “food and drink” and “school and education”.

Key Stage 4 – Years 9, 10 and 11

Students can opt to continue their study in either French or Spanish (depending on what they have studied to date) at GCSE. The GCSE course is studied over three years. Students have five language lessons over the two week timetable. The course provides students with opportunities to develop with increasing accuracy their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The examination board that we use is Edexcel. The examination breakdown is as follows and the value of each paper is 25%:

Paper 1: Listening and understanding in Spanish/French
Paper 2:  Speaking in Spanish/French
Paper 3: Reading and understanding in Spanish/French
Paper 4:  Writing in Spanish/French

The GCSE course covers a range of relevant contemporary and cultural themes. They are organised into five themes, each of which is broken down into topics and sub-topics. The five themes are:

  • Identity andCulture
  • Local Area, Holiday andTravel
  • School
  • Future Aspirations, Study andWork
  • International and GlobalDimension

Each theme is broken down into the following topics and sub-topics:

Theme: Identity and Culture

  • Who am I?: relationships; when I was younger; what my friends and family are like; what makes a good friend; interests; socialising with friends and family; role models
  • Daily life: customs and everyday life; food and drink; shopping; social media and technology (use of, advantages and disadvantages)
  • Cultural life: celebrations and festivals; reading; music; sport; film and television

Theme: Local area, Holiday and Travel

  • Holidays: preferences; experiences; and destinations
  • Travel and tourist transactions: travel and accommodation; asking for help and dealing with problems; directions; eating out; shopping
  • Town, region and country: weather; places to see; things to do

Theme: School

  • What school is like: school types; school day; subjects; rules and pressures; celebrating success
  • School activities: school trips; events; exchanges

Theme: Future Aspirations, Study and Work

  • Using languages beyond the classroom: forming relationships; travel; employment
  • Ambitions: further study; volunteering; training
  • Work: jobs; careers; professions

Theme: International and Global Dimension

  • Bringing the world together: sports events; music events; campaigns and good causes
  • Environmental issues: being ‘green’; access to natural resources

Key Stage 5 – Years 12 and 13

At Key Stage 5, students can study AS Spanish/French in Year 12 and A Level Spanish/French in Year 13. The AS qualification is a standalone qualification and no longer counts towards the A Level. A Levels are now fully linear, with students sitting their exams at the end of the two-year course. AS students can go on to take the A Level in year 2, but the AS qualification will not count towards the A Level.

AS Spanish/French:

The examination board that we use is Edexcel. For AS Spanish/French, the examination breakdown is as follows: Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation – 40% of the qualification

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation – 30% of the qualification Paper 3: Speaking – 30% of the qualification

Papers 1 and 3 are based on content from the following themes. The themes address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political and artistic culture of Spain/France and Spanish/French-speaking countries. Theme 1 focuses on aspects of society of Spain/France only. Theme 2 requires students to broaden their knowledge across any Spanish/French-speaking country/countries and/or community/communities.

Each theme is broken into three sub-themes (highlighted in bold).

Theme 1: The Evolution of Spanish/French Society

Theme 1 is set in the context of Spain/France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Changes in familystructures
  • The world ofwork
  • The impact of tourism on Spain/The education system(France)

Theme 2:  Political and Artistic Culture in the Spanish/French-Speaking World

Theme 2 is set in the context of Spanish/French-speaking countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

  • Music
  • Mass Media
  • Festivals and traditions

A Level Spanish/French

The examination board that we use for A Level Spanish/French is Edexcel. The examination breakdown is as follows:

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation – 40%
Paper 2: Written response to works and translation – 30%
Paper 3: Speaking (part of the exam will focus on the presentation and discussion on the student’s independent research project) – 30%

Papers 1 and 3 are based on content from the following four themes. The four themes address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political and artistic culture of Spain/France and Spanish/French- speaking countries. Themes 1, 3, and 4 focus on aspects of society or history of Spain/France only. Theme 2 requires students to broaden their knowledge across any Spanish/French-speaking country/countries and/or community/communities. Each theme is broken into three sub-themes (highlighted in bold).

Theme 1: The Evolution of Spanish/French Society

Theme 1 is set in the context of Spain/France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Changes in familystructures
  • The world ofwork
  • The impact of tourism on Spain/The education system(France)

Theme 2:  Political and Artistic Culture in the Spanish/French-Speaking World

Theme 2 is set in the context of Spanish/French-speaking countries and communities. This theme covers artistic culture (through music and festivals and traditions) and political and artistic culture (through media).

  • Music
  • Mass Media
  • Festivals andtraditions

Theme 3: Immigration and Spanish/French Multicultural Society

Theme 3 is set in the context of Spain/France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • The positive impact of immigration on Spanish/Frenchsociety
  • Facing the challenges of immigration and integration inSpain/France
  • Social and public reaction towards immigration inSpain/France

Theme 4: (Spanish) The Franco Dictatorship and the Transition to Democracy

Theme 4 is set in the context of Spain only. This theme covers political culture.

  • The Civil War and the rise of Franco(1936-1939)
  • The Francodictatorship
  • The transition from dictatorship todemocracy

Theme 4: (French) Occupation and Resistance

Theme 4 is set in the context of France only. This theme covers social issues and trends.

  • Occupied France
  • The Vichyregime
  • The Resistance

Important textbooks, resources and websites we use at each Key Stage

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 we use the following textbooks and teaching resources from Edexcel: Spanish: Viva 1 and Viva 2
French: Studio 1 and Studio 2

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we use the following textbooks and teaching resources from Edexcel: Spanish: Viva GCSE (9-1) Foundation and Higher
French: Studio GCSE (9-1) Foundation and Higher

Key Stage 5

At Key Stage 5 students use resources from the examination board Edexcel.

Homework in MFL

Homework plays a very important role in the reinforcement and consolidation of learning. Homework for Spanish/French is set every week and all students are expected to complete the homework and hand it in. The homework is always linked to the Schemes of Learning.  Homework will take two formats:

  • Written homework
  • Learning homework, e.g. vocabulary; verb tenses; grammar rules

It is important that all learning homework is learnt thoroughly by students in order to ensure progression. All homework should be recorded in student journals. Failure to complete homework will result in a 1 hour detention.

At KS5, types of homework set include examination questions, research activities, focussed tasks and re-drafting.

Enrichment Opportunities in MFL

  • European Day of Languages
  • Spanish and French clubs
  • Conversation groups with the Spanish and French Language Assistants
  • Plays in Spanish and French performed by visiting theatre companies
  • Day of the Dead – Mexico
  • Bastille Day

Gifted and More Able Students in the MFL Departments

In the MFL Department, we believe that all students are entitled to an education that will enable them to develop their full potential. All students have particular and individual needs. The department is committed to providing a sufficiently challenging curriculum for all its students, regardless of ability. However, we are also committed to providing opportunities to identify and, in turn, nurture those who are gifted and talented.

To really learn a language takes time and commitment. Consistency is by far the most important factor. Language is first and foremost oral communication. Students are encouraged to try to develop a "good ear" for the language. An easy and fun way to do this is by listening to music in Spanish/French, watching films in Spanish/French, or listening to the news in Spanish/French. The more time students spend immersed in the language the more successful they will be at learning the language.

Lessons are differentiated to provide extension materials for Gifted and Talented students at each key stage. We also ensure that students attempt the higher level skills. A variety of challenging questioning strategies are used to encourage students to draw on previous experiences and apply their thinking to new situations. Extension tasks encourage students to pursue a greater depth of understanding of the language. We discuss with students what they are learning and encourage them to identify their own learning needs through the use of Assessment for Learning.