Modern Foreign Languages
- Miss A Boyd (Spanish and French) Curriculum Leader
- Miss Laura Hayhurst (Spanish and French) Assistant Curriculum Leader
- Teaching Staff:
- Mrs PJ Stephenson (French and Spanish)
- Miss O Duff (French and Spanish)
- Mrs C Yeseyev (French and Spanish)
- Miss Inma Pena (Spanish)
- E Baccalaureate Teaching Assistant Staff: Mrs K Crowder
"Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom."
The Modern Foreign Languages department seeks to provide students with competent linguistic skills and cultural knowledge to enable them to see beyond their own language and culture. Through learning languages at Hartford Church of England High School, we endeavour to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their communication and adaptability skills, expand cultural awareness and increase their cultural capital. We promote a passion for language learning and the wider benefits of speaking another language, such as increased employability and greater flexibility to travel and work abroad.
Learning a language is a liberation from insularity and encourages students to appreciate and celebrate differences. Through various teaching methods, we help students to improve a variety of cognitive abilities including memory and problem solving skills, critical thinking, creativity and improved alertness. Such skills go hand in hand with enabling students to reflect on their own mother tongue and identifying linguistic patterns and behaviours, which can be applied when learning more languages in the future.
The curriculum draws its core structure from the areas of phonics, vocabulary and grammar, which are taught via the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Key Stage 3 is designed to provide students with the relevant underpinning of language learning (phonic, vocabulary and grammar) that is then widened at Key Stage 4.
At both Key Stages, the design aims to expose students to a wide range of vocabulary from various topics as well as universal language that applies to all contexts. In terms of grammar at Key Stage 3, students are introduced to grammatical structures in all three tenses and gender agreements. These concepts are regularly revisited in each topic to allow for greater proficiency in grammatical understanding and application in Key Stage 4. Furthermore, in both Key Stages there is an equal emphasis on ensuring that pupils become competent linguists in each skill (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing).
The Modern Foreign Language curriculum is delivered in a logical sequence to allow for progression and retrieval. Lessons adopt a consistent approach to ensure that content is delivered via a range of teaching and learning methods. Lessons commence with a retrieval quiz to consolidate prior learning, improve recall and embed key vocabulary and grammatical structures for language acquisition.
Students are made aware of Lesson Objectives and Outcomes before the teacher uses target language to introduce new language content. Clear and reliable pronunciation and the links between sounds and spellings are integral parts of our lessons. New language is presented in chunks and is regularly revisited. Modelling of language and scaffolding allows for greater pupil understanding and independent language production. Students complete tasks in all four skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) during one lesson or over a series of lessons. Feedback is given consistently and misconceptions are used as a learning tool, as language acquisition involves making mistakes and showing resilience and perseverance to overcome them.
The effectiveness of curriculum implementation is measured by student progress; progress means knowing, remembering and producing more and is the direct result of excellent learning.
To track progress, we follow a three layered assessment structure.
High Stake Testing
High quality summative assessments (twice or three times a year) interleave knowledge and skills to support students in developing long-term memory. Stand-alone lessons ensure that students reflect and respond to teacher feedback.
Mid Stake Testing
Typically purposeful practice tasks completed independently in lessons at least twice per half-term. These tasks are used to identify learning gaps prior to high stake testing. Students receive personalised written feedback to which they respond in lessons.
Low Stake Testing
To embed knowledge in long-term memory, every lesson starts with students quizzed on prior knowledge (Do Now Tasks). Student performance is then used effectively by teachers to identify misconceptions and plan accordingly to narrow knowledge gaps.