Modern Foreign Languages

Intent

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. 

If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela

Students learn French from Year 7 until Year 11.  We aim to build on students’ previous knowledge and understanding, thereby ensuring that at the end of Key Stage 3 students are fully prepared to meet the demands of GCSE French.  At Key Stage 3 students learn vocabulary and grammatical structures, which we expect them to apply in their independent work.  We give them the tools and the confidence to develop their translation skills to and from the target language.  We inspire them to be ambitious and accurate in their work and to foster in them a passion for French and all things francophone.

We encourage all language learners to develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a global world, which respects other peoples’ cultures, religions and race.  Language learners are good communicators and have to become flexible and such skills are highly sought after in the job market. We endeavour to foster these skills in our students throughout their language learning career at Loreto College.

It is our Intent:

  • To ensure the curriculum for French is consistently delivered in order to allow for optimal preparation for Key Stage 4 in French.
  • To ensure that the delivery of the curriculum is accessible to all students. It is important that socially disadvantaged pupils have access to resources.
  • To enable students are able to communicate for real purposes.
  • To ensure subject knowledge and problem solving skills are developed in preparation for Key Stage 4.
  • To provide “out of classroom” opportunities for a variety of cultural and linguistic experiences which are all inclusive. These include French plays for both Year 7 and Year 9 and a Year 8 MFL day.

At Key Stage 4 students build on the strong foundations they have established at Key Stage 3.  They add to their repertoire of vocabulary, understanding of grammatical rules and their ability to speak spontaneously.  They translate to and from the target language more difficult texts than at Key Stage 3.  They are also encouraged to read and respond to literary texts.  Students are encouraged to give their own opinions on a range of topics and to justify them with reasons.  This allows them to prepare effectively for studying the subject at A-level.

At A-level we aim to foster in our students a love of literature in the form of an appreciation of the two set texts they study. They learn about the background of the author, the historical and social context, the themes and writer’s craft. We build students’ ability to converse in the target language on a wide range of current and stimulating issues. This is done in the context of the French-speaking world and their own country.  They are encouraged to compare and contrast the differences between cultures.

Implementation

Key Stage 3 French

By the end of Key Stage 3, students will be able to communicate effectively and spontaneously with others in the target language. They will also be able to use three tenses and justify their opinions using a range of structures which will provide them with the skills needed to ensure a smooth transition onto the KS4 curriculum.

To facilitate this, by the end of Year 7, students need to master regular and irregular verbs in the Present Tense. In Year 7 the French Department contributes to PSHE by considering the importance of learning about education in France/ UK and online safety and Careers promoting the benefits of our education system and the importance of gaining qualifications.

In Year 8, students build on their knowledge from Year 7 and develop their understanding and application of the Past and Near Future tenses.  In Year 8 the French Department contributes to PSHE by promoting positive characteristics of positive and healthy friendships and Careers by promoting language learning for travel and employment prospects in these countries.

By the end of Year 9, students will be able to form more complex opinions using a wider range of structures in order to describe, narrate and inform. They will revisit high frequency language and grammatical structures already covered in previous years and build on their understanding and application of a range of tenses, modal verbs and reflexive verbs. Students will increase their confidence in translation skills both into and from the target language, in preparation for GCSE.  In addition, they will develop how to read and listen for detail and to use a range of strategies to work out meanings from different contexts. In Year 9 the French Department contributes to PSHE by considering opportunities online, promoting healthy lifestyle- well/ being and Careers by considering career aspirations and their parents work.

Assessment is continuous in lessons using strategies such as retrieval practice, questioning and student self and peer assessment.   We also regularly use mini whiteboards to quickly assess whole class understanding, gaps in learning and progress. At the end of every module, students are assessed in two skills and do an evaluation based on the strengths and areas which need to be improved upon. This evaluation should impact their future learning.

In Year 7 students study:

  • What they like/ dislike
  • How to describe themselves and others
  • School
  • Winter celebrations
  • Past-times
  • Where they live
  • Holidays

In Year 8 students study:

  • Activities with different weather
  • Activities in Paris (Past Tense)
  • Activities completed last weekend
  • Where they live/ would like to live
  • Talking about a forthcoming event (Near Future)
  • Chandeleur
  • Entering a talent competition

In Year 9 students study:

  • Describing themselves/ other people (jobs)
  • What they do/ did in their free time
  • Explaining why they can not do something
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Differences in schools in France and England- school day/ rules
  • Where they live/ used to live

Key Stage 3 Homework

Students receive approximately 20-40 minutes homework a week. This may take the form of listening, reading, writing or speaking activities.  Furthermore, they learn vocabulary on a regular basis and are tested on this.

Extra opportunities

At Loreto College, the French Department organises an exchange programme for our Year 8 girls with a Catholic school in Lyon. This is very successful, as it gives them a context to language learning, and they can apply their language skills in the native country. They can also experience a different culture, which gives them an important insight into other perspectives. This is a very rewarding and enjoyable experience for the students.

We promote literacy in French by promoting World Book Day in our lessons.

GCSE French

Our students follow the Pearson Edexcel French 1FR0 specification.

At Key Stage 4, teaching needs to build on prior knowledge acquired during Key Stage 3. Students will be taught how to communicate in more sophisticated ways. They will consolidate their knowledge of the three main tenses (Present, Perfect and Future).  Students will be taught and have an awareness of other tenses.  They will acquire more in-depth knowledge of the geography and culture of France through the learning of festivals, holiday destinations and important landmarks.
They will have exposure to exam style questioning and the skills needed to be successful.

In Year 10 the French Department contributes to PSHE by discussing positive and healthy friendships, being safe online and Careers by examining the advantages of having a modern foreign language on your CV. In Year 11 the French Department contributes to PSHE by discussing the importance of well-being and happiness in relation to volunteering and to Careers by discussing career choices.

Students will take exams in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing at the end of the two year course.  Each skill is worth 25% of the total marks.  Students will do the speaking exam with their teacher, but Pearson will mark them and all the other skills will be set and marked by Pearson.  Students will be entered for one single tier across all four skills.

We would expect Year 10 and 11 students to spend around two hours a week doing homework.  If students have any problems with homework they should speak to their teacher, to Mrs Fitzsimons (Head of French), or attend the French Clinic which is held in St Joe’s every Monday lunchtime for Year 11 and every Tuesday lunch-time for Year 10.  Students may also borrow books from the Library to help improve their literacy in French.

In Year 10 students study:

  • Family/ friends- who am I?
  • Free time
  • Daily life/ cultural life
  • Local area
  • Holidays and travel

In Year 11 students study:

  • School
  • Future aspirations, study and work
  • International and global dimension

Useful websites:

A-level French

Students are working towards the A Level exam, which will take place at the end of the two year course.  We are following the Pearson Edexcel 9F0 specification.

Students will be examined on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.  They will translate into and out of French.  They will be examined on key literary texts.  They will also do an independent research presentation as part of their Speaking exam.

Students should spend between three and four hours a week doing homework.  They should do as much independent study as possible, including recommended websites.  If they need any advice and help with this, they should speak to Mrs Fitzsimons.  Attending French films and/or plays (at the Institut Français, for example) would also prove very beneficial.

We often ask our Sixth Form students to help younger students with their work, as this often reinforces their own understanding.  We also encourage them to take on the role of French prefect and promote French throughout the school.

In Year 12 & 13 students study:

  • Theme 1: Les changements dans la société française
  • Theme 2: La culture politique et artistique dans les pays francophones
  • Theme 3: L’immigration et la société multiculturelle française
  • Theme 4: L’Occupation et la Résistance
  • Two texts: Un Sac de Billes (Joseph Joffo) and L’Étranger (Albert Camus)

Useful websites:

zut
france24
newsinslowfrench
institut-francais
quizlet – French A-level Edexcel flash cards
quizlet – quotations “un sac de billes” flashcards
sparknotes – stranger
youtube 1
youtube 2

Impact

Key Stage 3

By the end of Key Stage 3, through regular informal and formal assessments of all four skills, students will be equipped with the skills necessary to communicate effectively in the target language through the use of different tenses and extended sentences. They will be able to justify their opinions on a variety of topic areas and will also have an awareness of different cultural aspects of France. They will have developed the necessary skills to embark on the GCSE course with confidence.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, teaching builds on prior knowledge acquired during Key Stage 3. Pupils will be taught how to communicate in more sophisticated ways. Progress is assessed throughout Key Stage 4 through the use of regular assessments in all four skills. There will also be formal mock exams for students in Year 10 and Year 11. All these assessments require revision and recall skills and the effective use of homework and revision opportunities.

Assessment is continuous in lessons using strategies such as retrieval practice, questioning and student self and peer assessment.   We also regularly use mini whiteboards to quickly assess whole class understanding, gaps in learning and progress. At the end of every module, students are assessed in two skills and do an evaluation based on the strengths and areas which need to be improved upon. This evaluation should impact their future learning.

MFL Fun Day (Y8)

 

MFL News – French Plays (Y7 & Y9)

 

World Book Day fun! 

 

MFL & Careers@Loreto

Students who study French at A-level can go on to take an undergraduate degree in the language at university.  The subject is well regarded for students who decide to apply for competitive undergraduate degrees i.e. law and medicine.  The skills students acquire from studying a foreign language at A Level are exceptionally valued in the world of business and other jobs in our modern globalized world.

The languages most in demand in the UK – LINK

Want to find out more about MFL work skills, then check out this infographic poster, which can also be found on the Maths corridor.