At The Warren School we are fully committed to developing languages and offer to students the opportunity to communicate successfully. In our school every student studies a foreign language. Currently in KS3 they study Spanish. In KS4 pupils can opt to continue with the language or start French from scratch. The language is taught in mixed ability classes. Homework is set for both KS3 and KS4 students once a week. Homework provides opportunities to extend knowledge and offers the opportunity of using the language in real life tasks such as interviews or reports. Students also benefit from homework and revision clubs.
At Key Stage 3, students study a varied Language curriculum based on real life topics. Students are then assessed in each of the four key skills; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing at the end of each module. Other tests are undertaken to ensure every student achieve their full linguistic proficiency. This assessment information is used by staff to monitor progress and set measurable specific targets. We aim to nurture a love of languages by incorporating a variety of cultural aspects into our teaching as well as creative lessons such as practising songs in the Target Language (TL). We also focus on using creative writing to encourage students to develop their confidence as effective communicators.
In Y9 our students start the AQA GCSE course that provides complete preparation the new stages in years 10 and 11. During this year, Y9 students have the opportunity to study GCSE related topics in which they are assessed using a combination of class assessment and past papers in Spanish.
By the end of KS3, students will learn how to use at least three tenses and a range of grammar and vocabulary structures that will enable them to communicate effectively in another language.
At GCSE, pupils will learn about a variety of topics following the AQA GCSE course in either Spanish or French. Pupils undertake tasks in speaking and writing and they will be tested using past examination papers in reading and listening to track their progress and prepare them for their final examination at the end of year 11. During Year 10, pupils will be able to complete assessments in speaking and writing and they will have the opportunity to take listening and reading exams throughout the year which will help the teachers monitoring the progress and set specific targets. In year 11, pupils will continue with new written and speaking assessments on the GCSE topics and they will undertake ‘mock’ examinations in December and March at either higher or foundation level. These assessments are used as a basis for target setting and monitoring purposes and ensure all of our pupils reach their full potential. Consistent oral and written feedback is given by teachers and regular catch-up sessions and vocabulary tests are set up throughout the year.
How the course is assessed
The course is assessed through a range of assessments in all four skills. Students will sit a listening, reading and written examination and also a speaking test based on a general conversation and a role play (25% each).
What 6th form options does this course lend itself to?
GCSE in Languages offers a range of transferable skills to take into other sixth form subjects. As well as the obvious links, such as English Literature due to its literacy based nature, there is also links to Law, Sociology, Media Studies, History and Politics as Languages are strongly linked to cultural and political factors. Also, the enquiry element means it reinforces those subjects which are enquiry based.
Extra-curricular opportunities/Homework expectations
Throughout the year students will be expected to complete homework on a variety of topics and language structures at least once a week. There are also regular homework clubs and revision sessions after school and at lunchtimes. The department organises annual trips to Boulogne (France) and Paris and we are looking to re-launch our popular annual Granada (Spain) trip.
Links and how to support your child at home
www.kerboodle.com (ask teacher for login instructions)
www.linguacentral.co.uk now español-extra
www.euroclubschools.co.uk – for great facts and cultural aspects
http://1jour1actu.fr/ French news site for teenagers excellent for Higher GCSE and A Level pupils of French.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/french/ BBC Bitesize French provides good practice for GCSE. Excellent as a revision aid.