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Modern Foreign Languages

Head of  Department: Mrs R Cox 

‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures’.

As a member of The Cam Academy Trust, one of our core principles is the ‘International Principle’, which means that we have a strong international emphasis in our educational provision, both within and beyond the classroom. A strong international aspect to all young people’s education is crucial in its own right and because it is crucial for the positive functioning of all societies: Languages promote curiosity about and an appreciation of different cultures and ways of life, as well as encouraging a more open-minded view of the world.

Our curriculum builds on the foundations provided by pupils’ study of MFL at KS2. All pupils study Spanish as their first modern foreign language. More than 60% of the cohort also study a second modern foreign language – either French or German - which they take up in October of Year 7. The vast majority of pupils study at least one of these languages to GCSE level and we use the AQA specification for all three languages.

 

If you would like to view related Key Stage 5 courses, please click the links below:

 

Key Stage 3

Detailed KS3 curriculum information can be viewed in the documents, which can be downloaded from this page.

Key Stage 4

 

GCSE Spanish

What is GCSE Spanish?

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world in terms of numbers of native speakers. Being able to speak and communicate in Spanish is therefore a skill which is highly valued by employers, particularly when combined with another skill area. The course includes the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as well as translation skills. It will also improve your social skills, give you a sense of achievement, and the language skills that you develop could be a valuable tool when you travel abroad for either business or pleasure.

What skills will I develop?

As well as improving your ability to communicate in Spanish, GCSE Spanish teaches you communication skills, adaptability and cultural awareness. Learning how to interact with speakers of another language means you are less likely to be stuck in one mode of thinking.  It can help you see things from a range of perspectives, develop your problem-solving skills, and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative.

What syllabus will I follow?

AQA GCSE Spanish (8698)

What will the course look like?

Topics covered during the two-year course will include: Me, my family and friends; Technology in everyday life; Free-time activities; Customs and festivals in Spanish speaking countries; Home, town, neighbourhood and region; Social issues; Global issues; Travel and tourism; My studies; Life at school; Education post-16; Jobs, career choices and ambitions. Pupils taking GCSE Spanish will have the opportunity to complete one week of their work experience in Cantabria, Spain. This is an excellent way to improve language skills, develop cultural understanding, make international friends and really impress a future employer!

What homework will I get?

Pupils are expected to complete regular homework. This will include weekly learning, and a variety of activities including verb formations, practice in the use of grammatical structures, reading exercises, speaking presentations, extended pieces of writing, and online learning.

How will I be assessed?

The course is 100% final exam with each skill area (listening, speaking, reading and writing) worth 25% each.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

There are many opportunities to travel or work with organisations abroad where some knowledge of Spanish is a clear advantage: , translator, journalist, sales executive, marketing executive, tour manager, editor to name but a few!

There is a huge range of combined degrees and further education courses involving Spanish; from accountancy to theatre studies with Spanish. Many universities even offer funding for students to continue or extend their Spanish knowledge by travelling or working abroad during the long vacations or during a year abroad as part of a degree course.

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

Pupils need to have studied Spanish in year 9 to follow this course.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

It is extremely important for pupils to have access to a bilingual dictionary and/or reference materials on the internet to assist them with language homework. Revision guides are also available and class teachers will inform you about support sessions.

GCSE French

What is GCSE French?

Knowledge of French is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life skill, like being able to drive a car or touch-type, and it is a skill highly-valued by employers. French is spoken on five continents, in over 40 countries, including two G8 countries, it’s one of the six official languages of the UN, and it’s one of the most common languages found on the Internet. Studying French will not only develop your language skills, it will improve your social skills, expand your cultural knowledge, and allow you to experience a sense of achievement.

What skills will I develop?

GCSE French teaches you communication skills, adaptability and cultural awareness. Learning how to interact with speakers of another language means you are less likely to be stuck in one mode of thinking.  It can help you see things from a range of perspectives, develop your problem-solving skills, and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative. Learning French, you will develop language-learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare you for further language study and use in school, higher education or employment.

What syllabus will I follow?

You will follow the AQA GCSE French syllabus (8668). AQA’s objective is to enable pupils of all abilities to develop their confidence in a variety of contexts with confidence.

What will the course look like?

Topics covered during the two-year course are divided into three themes and each theme covers four topics.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free-time activities
  • Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school/college
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Pupils taking GCSE French are strongly advised in year 10 to take part in the French interaction day in June and the school immersion trip to France. This is an excellent way to improve language skills, develop cultural understanding and make international friends.

What homework will I get?

You will be expected to complete homework on a weekly basis. This will include learning vocabulary (using Quizlet) and verb formations, practice in the use of grammatical structures, reading exercises, speaking presentations, extended pieces of writing and online learning.

How will I be assessed?

The course is 100% final exam and each skill area (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be worth 25%. Skills are assessed at Foundation (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9). The use of dictionaries is not permitted in any exam.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

There are many opportunities to travel or work with organisations abroad where some knowledge of French is a clear advantage: , translator, journalist, sales executive, marketing executive, tour manager, editor to name but a few!

The range of combined degrees and further education courses involving French is limitless – from accountancy to theatre studies with French. Many universities even offer funding for students to continue or extend their French knowledge by travelling or working abroad during the long vacations

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

Yes, you must have studied French in Year 9 to follow this course.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

It is extremely important for pupils to have access to a bilingual dictionary and/or reference material on the internet to assist them with language homework. Revision guides are also available and class teachers will inform you about support sessions.

GCSE German

What is GCSE German?

Knowledge of German is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life skill, like being able to drive a car or touch-type, and it is a skill highly-valued by employers. Germany remains the largest single export market for British goods outside of the USA, and Europe's largest economy – with a GDP of more than €3.3 trillion – continues to defy the Eurozone downturn. So, it's no surprise that UK companies want to hire employees who know their umlauts from their eszetts. Studying German will not only develop your language skills, it will improve your social skills, expand your cultural knowledge, and allow you to experience a sense of achievement.

What skills will I develop?

GCSE German teaches you communication skills, adaptability and cultural awareness. Learning how to interact with speakers of another language means you are less likely to be stuck in one mode of thinking.  It can help you see things from a range of perspectives, develop your problem-solving skills, and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative. You should develop language-learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare you for further language study and use in school, higher education or employment.

What syllabus will I follow?

You will follow the AQA GCSE German syllabus (8668). AQA’s objective is to enable pupils of all abilities to develop their confidence in a variety or contexts with confidence.

What will the course look like?

Topics covered during the two-year course are divided into three themes and each theme covers four topics.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free-time activities
  • Customs and festivals in German-speaking countries

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school/college
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

During your GCSE German course you are strongly advised to take part in the well-established and popular exchange we offer to Bad Hersfeld. This is an excellent way to improve language skills, develop cultural understanding and make international friends.

What homework will I get?

You will be expected to complete homework on a weekly basis. This will include learning vocabulary (using Quizlet) and verb formations, practice in the use of grammatical structures, reading exercises, speaking presentations, extended pieces of writing and online learning.

How will I be assessed?

The course is 100% final exam and each skill area (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be worth 25%. Skills are assessed at Foundation (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9). The use of dictionaries is not permitted in any exam.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

There are many opportunities to travel or work with organisations abroad where some knowledge of German is a clear advantage: , translator, journalist, sales executive, marketing executive, tour manager, editor to name but a few!

The range of combined degrees and further education courses involving German is limitless e.g. law, music, philosophy, history or English could all be combined with German. Many universities even offer funding for students to continue or extend their German knowledge by travelling or working abroad during the long vacations.

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

Yes, you must have studied German in Year 9 to follow this course.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

You should have access to a bilingual dictionary, either online or in a paper version, at home. Your class teacher will inform you about revision guides and about support sessions offered.

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