What happens in this subject?
The MFL department at DSTC aims to develop students’ skills and confidence to consider themselves as “World Citizens” who belong in a multicultural society by supporting them to understand other languages and cultures in the French -speaking world.
Our aim is to enable students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language allowing them to use their language skills for communication in the real world, for practical purposes, immediate needs or expressing their opinions on their interests. We aspire to give the students the opportunity to build their confidence to express themselves, gauge their own progress and develop skills such as the ability to work in a team, problem-solving skills and open mindedness. We aim to create a learning environment where pupils feel confident to make mistakes and learn from them.
Building on from KS2 or KS3
In Year 7, all students study Spanish or French giving the opportunity to either build upon their prior learning from KS2 or embark upon what may be an entirely new linguistic journey. Students will have different experiences of languages and parents are able to indicate their language preferences when students join DSTC, and we try our best to accommodate to the language of your choice. Students will continue with the language that they start in Year 7 throughout KS3 and up to GCSE if they choose to do so.
On the curriculum journey from KS3 (Year 7, 8 and 9) to KS4 (Year 10 to 11) students develop their linguistic competencies in each of the four skill areas; speaking, listening, reading and writing. In Year 7 topics include sports and hobbies, places in town, school and food, whilst learning how to become more confident with the language, adapting and developing the language with use of opinions, connectives, time phrases, and the use of different tenses.
In Year 8 students progress to cover various topics such as holidays, food and drink and family topics whilst developing understanding of grammar points including all three different tenses. In Year 9 students cover various topics such as free time, professions, holidays and health. They deepen understanding of grammar including complex sentences and more sophisticated vocabulary and syntax.
There are a number of opportunities for students to immerse themselves in local culture. We have currently organised a residential trip to Cantabria, in the north of Spain as well as a trip to the Christmas market in Lillie France. To further support language development we will be hosting a theatre company to show a production to KS3 students in French and Spanish.
In Year 10, pupils who have opted for Spanish or French as a GCSE Option start a two-year GCSE course with the AQA exam board. In Year 10 students study modules 1-5 and in Year 11 modules 6 to 8.
The examination comprises 4 components, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. All skills are equally-weighted and each contribute 25% towards a student’s final GCSE grade (9-1). Students are taught to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources. They are encouraged to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say. As far as writing is concerned, by the end of Key Stage 4, students should write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
We are exploring opportunities for future school trips to Spain or extracurricular activities within our country.