KS3: On entering the school students are able to study French or Spanish. They will study this in two periods per week.
Classes are set based on mixed ability and the teachers ensure that work is set at an appropriately challenging level for the ability of each student. All students should by a bilingual dictionary for the language they will be studying as this will enable each students to produce at home a better independent learning homework.
The objectives of the Year 7 languages course are to enable all students to have a basic vocabulary and knowledge of grammar in order to be able to use familiar language in familiar contexts up to National Curriculum Level 4a on a series of topics.
Year 8 and Year 9 follow similar lesson patterns and the aim is for students to consolidate their knowledge of grammar to be able to independently manipulate language to create paragraphs in the future and past tenses. The most able will also include complex features and tenses.
The teaching of Languages at GAC is very good and the department is staffed by very enthusiastic, experienced linguists. We devise our own Schemes of Work designed to make language learning enjoyable and engaging, whilst developing a strong linguistic foundation in knowledge of grammar. We carry out projects including researching areas and traditions of the French and Spanish speaking worlds, film analysis and story writing alongside the traditional topic areas of Home and Town, Family, Hobbies, Healthy Living.
GAC believes in the importance of studying languages to enhance cultural awareness, to extend literacy in our native language and to build communication and problem solving skills.
A very small number of students who would benefit from baseline Literacy and Numeracy support are withdrawn from MFL classes but this is at the discretion of the school. Students who make a real effort and work well in class and at home achieve very strong results.
GCSE: We currently use the Edexcel examination board and build on the sure vocabulary and grammar foundation built at Key Stage 3. The GCSE course is begun in the final term of Year 9 and after students have made their options. We aim that all students can produce short passages from memory, accurately applying grammar rules and knowledge about a range of key subjects laid down by the examination boards.
Students studying a language at GCSE level will have to produce two pieces of written coursework and two spoken pieces. A rough outline is given below and letters will be sent detailing the dates and titles for full GCSE assessment pieces in advance of each test taking place. Information regarding the new GCSE structure will be added at a later stage.
As at Key Stage 3, the department devises its own Schemes of Work for Key Stage 4 but supplements this heavily with the examination board endorsed Textbooks ‘Edexcel GCSE for French’ and ‘Edexcel GCSE for Spanish’.