Subject Department and Lead(s)
Head of Department: Mrs Marj Francis
Curriculum Area Vision and Intent
The vision for MFL at THA is to inspire enjoyable language learning in an encouraging learning environment. The MFL curriculum area is comprised of a collaborative team founded on support, challenge and empowerment to ensure the delivery of a rounded MFL provision that introduces and sustains a thirst for knowledge, understanding and skills, as well as a love of learning.
We promote a culture of openness and trust to enhance and develop this vision. We strive to raise standards of achievement across the key stages and to establish effective approaches to learning and teaching that further our whole-school ‘aim to inspire our young people to be ambitious, curious and capable of achieving their personal best.’
The team ethos is one of high expectations, perseverance and a language curriculum that offers enrichment as well as instruction. Enjoyment of learning leads to increased attainment.
The MFL Curriculum offers students the platform to build really strong literacy skills through second language acquisition. The curriculum is rich in both linguistic and cultural knowledge, which is delivered through high quality teaching in the classrooms. Our curriculum is academically ambitious, covering the key concepts of the National Curriculum, but also pushing students to explore the Francophone world whilst also boosting their linguistic and literacy competencies. Over the past three years, the MFL department has seen results increase by 30%. The sustained, embedded approach to a more robust curriculum is paying dividend and increasing the outcomes and aspirations of our students.
KS3 provision summary
Our students begin their MFL learning journey using language that is readily applicable to their day-to-day lives. In Year 7, students focus on discussing their families, where they live, sports and activities, what they like to wear, their local area and town, and their school life. Throughout these topics, students develop an ability to independently structure sentences in French, ask and answer questions and refer to at least two time frames. There is a significant emphasis on literacy and the accurate application of key grammar structures, which form the foundation for effective language learning later in the Key Stage.
In Year 8, students explore the topics of food and cultural differences between Britain and the francophone world. They look at shopping, travelling, making plans, healthy lifestyles and the francophone world beyond the context of mainland France. Again, there is a strong focus on the academic foundations of good literacy and grammatical form, but this does not limit any student, of any ability. There is capacity for great progress and challenge is driven through the explicit teaching of at least three tenses.
Year 9 students delve further into the global francophone world. They start on a journey through Paris, as a tourist, practising transactional language key to any global adventures. They actively compare life between France and the UK in terms of school life and this relates directly to their age-groups too. They then explore other francophone countries and regions, like Québec in Canada. All year 9s end the year with an introduction to the GCSE course. It allows consolidation of all grammar knowledge taught throughout KS3, whilst offering considered challenge to those students wishing to pursue French to GCSE and beyond.
The KS3 curriculum has been designed with regular retrieval practice built in. Students have opportunities to revisit language learnt on a regular basis and have a rigorous extended learning calendar to reinforce the importance of vocabulary learning.
All four skills are assessed throughout KS3 – Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. There is greater significance placed on Speaking in terms of classroom instruction and delivery of phonics. However, ample opportunity is given to practise writing in the target language, with follow-up improvement phases to redraft and improve previous work. This builds resilience and boosts the high expectations of independent learning that we have come to expect from our students.
Curriculum Map Year 9
KS4 provision summary
We currently follow GCSE French 9-1 Pearson Edexcel (Spec. 2016), 2-year course during Years 10 and 11. Students cover the five themes required over the two years. Much of the KS4 curriculum is an extension and challenge from the KS3 foundation.
The course is assessed in two tiers, Foundation and Higher. However, we make a point of teaching all classes to the Higher tier so that no student is limited by a tier ceiling. Having said that, students will not be stretched beyond what is reasonable. The balance of stretch and challenge is important in terms of improved outcomes for our students and increased confidence as second language learners.
In Year 10, students explore the themes of ‘Identity and Culture’ and ‘Local Area, Holiday and Travel’. Through these themes, students learn how to talk about who they are, their likes and dislikes, hobbies and passions. There is a focus on popular culture through music, poetry and literature. They also look at society through the avenue of public holidays and festivals, and compare life in the UK to life in France and other francophone countries. Students spend time later in the year learning more transactional language to do with travel and tourism. In addition, they focus on aspirations in terms of future plans, dreams and wishes for life as a global citizen.
In Year 11, we will be continuing to study the Edexcel GCSE French course. This will allow pupils to further develop their grammatical knowledge gained during Year 10, as well as developing their Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking skills necessary for GCSE level. We use the Edexcel textbooks and supplement them with ActiveLearn online resources and several websites that encourage vocabulary learning, such as Quizlet and Language Gym. We are also fortunate to have a Foreign Language Assistant working with us through the British Council – this will allow for more bespoke Speaking intervention to take place during lesson time.
Throughout the two years, students have ample opportunity for retrieval practice of all the key grammatical structures required for the highest level of challenge and outcome. Students are supported through individual interventions and there are opportunities for extra-curricular revision sessions to promote healthy revision strategies and to boost confidence. Students are assessed in line with the Pearson Assessment framework and this gives greater clarity to track their progress. They have the opportunity to complete at least 2 mock speaking exams, done under ‘real’ exam conditions, to best prepare them for the spoken element of the assessment process, thereby removing any anxieties and increasing their individual confidence.
Extended Learning Schedules:
Mrs M Francis (Head of MFL)
Miss K Owen
Exam information and any revision support
GCSE French 9-1 Pearson Edexcel Specification 2016
2 Year course (Years 10-11)
- Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French Revision Workbook
- Target Grade 9 Writing Edexcel (9-1) French Workbook
- Target Grade 5 Reading Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French Workbook
- Target Grade 5 Writing Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French Workbook
Students should speak to their teacher to see which workbooks would be most beneficial to their individual needs.
Extended Learning Schedules
Out of School Learning
All students of French are required to complete vocabulary learning as homework on a weekly basis. Each student has been issued with an A5 red exercise book to facilitate their independent language learning. Students will also have access to login information for www.linguascope.com, and they can get this information from their teacher.
Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 will also have access to GCSE online learning platforms to facilitate their vocabulary learning and grammar practice.
Students are required to learn the words set for each week of the half term and they are tested on these words at the beginning of each lesson. Scores are collected every three weeks. Those who score highly will receive post cards home and extra house points.
Students requiring extra support are invited to attend French vocab club on Tuesdays, at lunchtime, from 1.10pm in either F83 or F84.
This retrieval practice is designed to boost independence and to accelerate progress during lessons. Students will receive a new vocabulary booklet at the start of each half term.
M FrancisHead of MFL