Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages Department
Because we are "we all come together to learn", there is a strong universal element to our curriculum: we give all learners, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.
By studying another language, students gain a deeper knowledge of language systems (including that of their own), a broader knowledge and understanding of other cultures and ways of thinking, and a sense of empowerment that will enhance "who […they] could become". Our curriculum ensures they benefit from increased enjoyment of travel and other cultures, enhanced cognitive skills (in listening, speaking, reading and writing), improved employment prospects – and a growing love for languages that continues beyond school, whatever their chosen career.
Students study French and Spanish: France is our nearest neighbour and (so French opens many career paths), and many students visit Spain given its popularity as a holiday destination for Liverpudlians. This choice also maximises the opportunities for progression from primaries.
Not all students study Languages post-14. So pre-14, we equip students for life-long language learning (by reinforcing the basics of a language system), and for basic linguistic competence to support future foreign travel. Topics include Personal Identity, Tourist Information, etc.
Post-14, students study themes linking more to future study and employment opportunities – eg through a broad theme of Identity and Culture.
Our course choices focus on phonics and translation, integrating grammatical structures and content as well as regularly recycling vocabulary.
Lessons are designed to begin with recall questions which focus on the previous lesson's learning as well as material covered in previous units Indeed, checking learners' understanding is central to the implementation of our curriculum – both in lessons and over time. This is done through targeted questioning and the use of hinge questions; responsive teaching and feedback are regular features of our lessons. Students are set regular vocabulary tests and low-stakes, end-of-unit quizzes. Assessments in all four skills take place at the end of each module.
In line with our intent, we choose resources to immerse students in foreign culture (eg films, songs) – and to motivate, challenge, an enhance understanding. We use ICT heavily to revisit prior learning and to promote engagement, to help engender a love of language learning for life.
We further seek to inspire a passion for our subject through a range of activities outside the classroom, including educational day trips, a weekly French film club, trips abroad, cookery classes, baking competitions and an annual week-long celebration of languages.
For our academic intent, we judge impact through changes in students' long-term memories, measured through exams and end-of-module tests.
We also judge the impact we have made in inspiring a love of language learning through student voice and option-process uptake data.