Subject Overview    

In the Modern Foreign Languages faculty it is celebrated that every pupil is a successful language learner in at least one language and the teaching develops pupils skills from this pointof view. A Modern Foreign Language is offered to all pupils in Key Stage 3 and in Key Stage 4 where it is an essential requirement of the EBACC.  

Starting from September 2017 all pupils in Year 7  will be taught either French, Spanish or Urdu. Currently French, Spanish and Urdu are delivered to the highest possible standards by experienced and innovative specialists using up to the minute materials and top of the range technology. Several of the textbooks and a lot of the teaching materials are available online for access by pupils in class and outside of lessons. A programme of support at lunchtime and after school is also in place.  

Pupils develop essential learning, literacy and communication skills, which they can use to make connections with other subject areas. Pupils can use these skills to continue learning the same language at a higher level and learn new languages.  Learning a language is a way to open new gateways into the world, build awareness of other cultures and raise pupils’ self-esteem.    

MFL Faculty provides a survival kit on FrogLearn for extra support. For Key Stage 4 a variety of resources are available on the school network (X Drive) for easy access.

Year 7    

Pupils start at the very beginning but due notice is taken of any prior learning at primary level. The topics covered are greetings, classroom, personal identification (name, age, birthdays, country, and nationality), physical description, likes and dislikes, family and pets, school and time, technology, holidays and discovering language. Pupils learn grammar: definite and indefinite articles, gender, possessive adjectives, agreement of adjectives, simple connectives, intensifiers, regular, reflexive and high frequency verbs in the present tense. Pupils should be able write 2 paragraphs on a related theme and take part in a conversation of at least 4 exchanges.   

Year 8    

Pupils build on their previous work and recycle language as well as embarking on the following new topics of daily routine, food, town, directions, home, free time and technology. They learn the grammar: immediate future, imperatives, adverbs, more connectives and possessive adjectives. Pupils will be writing longer pieces in paragraphs and take part in a 2 minute conversation or presentation.    

Year 9    

By the end of Year 9 pupils will have completed a foundation language course, which will be the basis for further study. They will be able to operate in three time frames which gives them access to the higher grades at the end of Key Stage 4. The topics covered are weather, holidays, media, fashion, food and healthy lifestyles.  Pupils undertake an independent project at the end of the year. Grammar is tackled at a more in depth level as pupils learn perfect tense, simple future, more connectives, and subordinate clauses. Pupils should be able to create coherent essays of more than 150 words, using paragraphs and take part in a 3 minute conversation or presentation.   

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 pupils learn to cope with unpredictability, deal with a wide range of problems, discuss issues and give full descriptions and accounts.  

GCSE French, Spanish and Urdu (2016 Specification)

The AQA GCSE specification has changed and is divided into  three main subjects areas called THEMES. Each theme is divided into four Topics, making a total of twelve topics to study during the course.

Year 10

Pupils in Year 10 will Study Theme 1 'Identity and Culture'  and Theme 2 'Local, national, international and global areas of interest' with the contexts of me, my family and friends, technology in everyday life, free time activities, customs and festivals in French/Spanish speaking countries/communities  and home, town, neighborhood and region.  These themes apply to all four questions papers. Pupils are expected to understand and provide information  and opinion about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people. The exam is divided up according to the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each one of these has its own separate exam.   

Year 11 (French, Spanish and Urdu)

In Year 11 pupils are expected to complete studies of Theme 2 and Theme 3 ‘Current and future study and employment’. They work on Grammar: relative pronouns, passive voice, position and order of object pronouns, pluperfect tense, conditional tense, idiomatic expressions and exclamations.  

Assessments

GCSE French, Spanish and Urdu has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

Paper 1: Listening

Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.

How it's assessed      

Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)   
40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)
25% of GCSE
(Each exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.)

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier     
Section A – questions in English, to be answered in English or non-verbally
Section B – questions in Target Language (French, Spanish or Urdu) , to be answered in Target Language or non-verbally

Paper 2: Speaking

What's assessed?

Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes.

How it's assessed

Non-exam assessment 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time
10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time
60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier and Higher Tier
The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, but with different stimulus questions for the Photo card and different stimulus materials for the Role-play. The timings are different too:
Role-play – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)
Photo card – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)
General conversation – 30 marks (3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)

Paper 3:Reading

What's assessed

Understanding and responding to different types of written language.

How it's assessed

Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
25% of GCSE

Questions

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

Paper 4: Writing

What's assessed?

Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.

How it's assessed

Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)
50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier
25% of GCSE

Questions

Foundation Tier

  • Question 1 – message (student produces four sentences in response to a photo) – 8 marks
  • Question 2 – short passage (student writes a piece of continuous text in response to four brief bullet points, approximately 40 words in total) – 16 marks
  • Question 3 – translation from English into Target Language (minimum 35 words) – 10 marks
  • Question 4 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks

Higher Tier

  • Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks
  • Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 32 marks
  • Question 3 – translation from English into Target Language (minimum 50 words) – 12 marks   

 

(Reviewed September 2018)