WELCOME TO modern languages
Studying MFL equips all students with a toolkit of skills for life in an evolving employment market and as part of a global community, with literacy being an important strand of learning within languages. At Bitterne Park School, Key Stage 3 students are taught French or Spanish which they choose on entry in Year 7. At GCSE, French and Spanish courses are currently offered and there are opportunities for students to study both languages should they wish. Both French and Spanish are also offered to A level in our attached Bitterne Park Sixth Form College. All pupils follow the recently revised AQA GCSE and A level specifications at Key Stage 4 and 5.
By carefully planning opportunities for students to make outstanding progress, the MFL department encourages all students to gain communicative confidence, a life skill highly valuable in both professional and social situations. As British culture becomes increasingly diverse, our students are encouraged to become as involved as possible and explore multilingualism to its full in order not to be left behind.
The aims of the Modern Foreign Languages Department are:
- To foster students’ enjoyment of language learning.
- To have high expectations of students’ achievement and behaviour.
- To promote understanding and appreciation of the cultures and ways of life of other countries.
- To encourage pride in successful linguistic achievement.
- To ensure that students achieve their full academic potential in the subject.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, all students learn either French or Spanish for two 50 minutes lessons each week. The four main skills are listening, speaking, reading and writing, which are frequently assessed. Additionally students are encouraged to develop intercultural understanding.
Teaching staff use a range of bespoke resources which are shared across the department and access is available to Studio, Allez and Zoom textbooks. The department also subscribes to electronic versions of key textbooks and encourages the use of a wide range of interactive resources.
Year 7 students also complete a Beginner Course in French or Spanish to bridge the gap between their diverse range of learning experiences at Key Stage 2 and their exploration of languages from the moment they start their education at Bitterne Park School.
Vocabulary learning and translations, linked to lesson content, are set for homework and students complete vocabulary tests every fortnight. This integration of homework and classwork is designed to help all students with their written work and enable them to make progress at Key Stage 3.
Key Stage 4
French and Spanish are currently available for students to pursue at GCSE. The AQA GCSE specification is followed for accreditation in both of these European languages. For current Year 11 students, the GCSE course is divided into 60% Controlled Assessment and 40% Examination. For the Controlled Assessment, four pieces are submitted, a mixture of speaking and writing. Three tasks are completed in Year 10 and one in Year 11. The examinations assess listening and reading and take place at the end of the course, in May of Year 11.
Students in Year 10 onwards will follow the new specification which will be 100% Examination. Each of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be assessed at the end of the course with equal weighting for each skill area.
Homework is set on a weekly basis. It is expected that students spend at least 45 minutes on homework each week in MFL. Homework may consist of vocabulary learning (set from the GCSE handbook by the class teacher), preparation/revision for Controlled Assessments, listening and reading tasks, grammar exercises or writing tasks.
Inclusively, the MFL department supports students with English as an Additional Language to gain accreditation. Students can take examinations in their native language in either Year 10 or 11. For example in 2016 the following languages were studied by students with English as an Additional Language: French, Spanish, Punjabi, Polish and Portuguese. GCSE German, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, Italian, Czech, Greek and Arabic have also been successfully supported in the past. Gifted and Talented students are also further supported by through the MFL department’s offer of early entry GCSE French or Spanish as an after school club.
Key Stage 5
French and Spanish are currently offered at A-Level. The AQA course comprises of four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing). These are assessed across both AS and A2. At AS level, students explore engaging and current topics such as media and technology, popular culture (music, cinema and trends), healthy lifestyles and family and relationships.
At A2, students undertake enquiries into the environment, contemporary social issues and multiculturalism. There is also a focus on French/Spanish culture and students have the opportunity to research cultural issues, literature, the arts, a geographical area or a period of contemporary history from a target language speaking county or community. For example, in French, students can choose to study a novel or play by a famous author such as Victor Hugo or study a film by Louis Malle. Students can also learn about the French Revolution or study up to date issues, such as immigration within France. In Spanish, it is possible for students to read a novel or piece of drama by a famous author such as Federico García Lorca or Mario Bendetti, study a film by Pedro Almodóvar or learn about the Spanish Civil War or Catalan Nationalism.
100% of the A-Level qualification is assessed through Examination, taken at the end of each year.
Students beginning their A levels in September 2016 will follow a new specification in French or Spanish. More information about the new specification will be available in the spring term.
Facilities & Resources
The department currently has five teaching rooms and all classrooms are equipped with interactive whiteboards.
Trips & Extra Curricular Activities)
Year 7 Day Trip to Boulogne (July 2016)
Mrs K Wellnhammer – Head of MFL, Y8 Academic Manager (Spanish and French)
Miss E Mercer – Assistant Head of MFL (French and Spanish)
Miss K Broom – Teacher of MFL, A, G&T Co-ordinator, Y7 Academic Manager (French and Spanish)
Mrs L Mouland – Teacher of MFL, Year 11 Pastoral Manager (French and Spanish)
Mr N Obagi – Teacher of MFL (French and Spanish)
Ms. R Underwood – Teacher of MFL (Spanish and French)