Modern Foreign Languages

In today's multicultural society, learning a language has never been more important. It's a myth that everyone speaks English.

The reality is that 90% of the world's population live in countries where English is not the native language and 75% of the world's population don't speak any English at all. Another myth is that the only jobs which use languages are teaching or translating. It's true that there is a great demand for language teachers and translators, but other types of work it could lead to are; sales and marketing, journalism, HM Forces, hotel/leisure industry, and banking and finance, to name just a few. In fact, languages are useful whatever path your career takes.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department here at St. Christopher's consists of seven specialist teachers. We offer French, Spanish and German from year 7 through to A-Level. The department has annual subscriptions to the websites Linguascope and Atantot, which enable pupils to access resources and games from home as well as school.


Key Stage 3

All pupils study French on entry to year 7, and the vast majority will also study either German or Spanish. Pupils have 6 MFL lessons per fortnight in years 7 and 8. At the end of year 8, pupils opt to continue with one of the two languages they have studied, and they have 3 hours per fortnight of their chosen language in year 9.

In their MFL lessons, pupils are given opportunities to practise the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing within a variety of contexts, using a variety of teaching methods and resources. Pupils are also taught the necessary grammar structures and skills including past, present and future tenses, and translation in preparation for the GCSE course.

The topics covered include:

  • Personal identification
  • School
  • Leisure
  • House and home
  • The environment
  • Food and drink
  • Daily routine
  • Travel and holidays


Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4, pupils follow the AQA GCSE specification. The topics build on pupils' knowledge from KS3 and are in three broad themes as follows:

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

These themes are broken down into sub-topics. Details of these are available on the AQA website. 


Assessments

The GCSE course 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.

There are 4 exams at the end of Year 11 - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each has equal weighting of 25%.

Specific details of the requirements for each paper are also available on the AQA website. 


Enrichment

We have links to two schools in the Ardennes region of France, and for many years we ran a very successful exchange programme with these schools. We are also in the process of setting up an exchange programme with a school in Seville, Spain.

We offer two lunchtime clubs: film club, where pupils are invited to come and watch films in either French, Spanish or German and games club, where pupils can play a variety of board games and interactive games in the target language.

In September we run a European Week of Languages, which includes a variety of events both within the MFL department and across other departments in the school. Activities last September included a European Bake-Off, which also raised over £250 in aid of MacMillan, as well as various quizzes and cross-curricular European-themed lessons. For more details and photos, please visit our Twitter page. 


Staff

Mrs H Wareham (Head of Modern Foreign Languages)
Miss J Stott (Head of German)
Mrs A Pollock
Mr M Greenhalgh
Mrs N Anderton
Mrs K Gerrard
Mrs O Hamey
Mrs K Holden (Exchange Co-ordinator)

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