At St. Aidan’s we value languages and believe they are an indispensable skill in the modern world. This is reflected in the department’s vision of educating our students to become highly skilled, well rounded and truly global citizens.
Initially pupils build on language skills that have been introduced at KS2. Throughout the seven year curriculum journey, students develop MFL knowledge and skills that provide the perfect pathway for further study at university. There is a keen focus on active learning as this is engaging and it also encourages students to interact successfully; vital for anyone learning a language. We also take time to develop a cultural knowledge of the countries who speak the foreign languages we teach. We believe this is vital for nurturing well rounded and broad minded young citizens.
As students gain maturity, they develop communication skills on a range of topics including tourism, healthy living, technology, popular culture, citizenship and environmental issues. Extra-curricular activities in MFL help students further practise their language skills and help to promote the importance of languages. Language competitions, foreign film cinema trips, language trips, spelling bees and university led MFL careers events all serve to develop our students’ skills, confidence and broaden their cultural understanding.
- To ensure that pupils can communicate in MFL by the time they leave our school.
- To develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and also appreciate how these skills are interconnected.
- To help students understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
- To enable students to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
- To ensure students write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
- To allow students to develop a sound grammatical knowledge, so that they invent structures for themselves and communicate in a range of different tenses.
- To develop confident, independent and reflective language learners.
- To raise pupils’ awareness of different cultures, giving them a broader perspective on the world.
- To highlight the career and enrichment opportunities available to students who can communicate in another language.
The implementation of MFL is via our programme of study that spans from KS2 to KS5. There are 3 key themes that are studied from years 7 to 11. These themes are subdivided into key concepts that are introduced and re-visited several times. The themes will of course increase in complexity as students’ grammatical knowledge and maturity develops. This ensures that students can both consolidate course content, but also communicate at a level that is appropriate for their expertise. Progress is assessed by tracking students’ ability in listening, speaking reading and writing skills, for each of the topics studied. We ensure we consistently follow our ARR handbook by testing through two frequent processes: formative and summative. Students will complete low stake and high stake tests to ensure knowledge of key concepts are being embedded and fully understood. DIRT time will be allocated to allow students to be able to reflect on PEN comments and work on their areas of weakness. Retrieval practice is embedded into our curriculum, through the use of SMART activities at the beginning of each lesson, regular assessments, which are then subject to DIRT time and Enrichment projects to allow further application and development of the skills covered.
Exams will measure how students have achieved the following assessment objectives.
AO1: Listening – understand and respond to different types of spoken language.
AO2: Speaking – communicate and interact effectively in speech.
AO3: Reading – understand and respond to different types of written language.
AO4: Writing – communicate in writing.
St Aidan’s Catholic Academy considers the greatest impact of the curriculum to be high rates of student progress.
- The mastery in key knowledge and skills relating to listening, speaking reading and writing.
- The acquisition of both knowledge and key grammar concepts in the context of 3 main themes: ‘Identity and Culture’, ‘Current and Future Study and Employment’ & ‘Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest’.
- The development of pupils’ cultural knowledge and understanding leading to a much broader outlook on the world and the opportunities it can offer.
- Awareness of post 16 pathways available to language students.
- The ability to understanding and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of sources
- Developed confidence in speaking, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
- The ability to write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.