Nowadays we live in a global society where languages are becoming more and more important. Lots of businesses need language speakers and those with a qualification in another language are in constant demand in the world of work. Language learning is ideal for developing your skills in literacy, problem solving and communication as well as helping to build confidence and resilience. Furthermore, we believe that learning a language is an opportunity to enrich the experiences that you have in life. There’s a big, wide world out there and lots to experience – we want to help you do this!
Here at Alder we teach French and Spanish at both Key Stage 3 and 4. The Modern Foreign Languages Department is comprised of three dedicated, specialist MFL teachers and a French and Spanish speaking Curriculum Tutor to support and guide you through your studies.
The large majority of students study a language at KS3 at Alder Community High School. Each year group learns either French or Spanish in Year 7 and continues this language through to the end of Year 9. Students study a range of engaging topics such as describing Myself and my family, my home and local area, my hobbies and my school. Lessons are primarily delivered in the target language and students are rewarded for their own use of French or Spanish. Activities are engaging and fun and students work independently, in pairs and in small groups to develop their skills in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. All year groups follow schemes of learning and complete assessment activities based on those required at GCSE and in Year 9 students complete the first year of the GCSE course.
Students can choose to study French or Spanish at GCSE level in Years 10 and 11. Students are examined by the AQA examination board and complete terminal exams at the end of Year 11 as follows:
- Listening (25%) – Foundation or Higher Exam.
- Speaking (25%) – Foundation or Higher Exam.
- Reading (25%) – Foundation or Higher Exam.
- Writing (25%) – Foundation or Higher Exam.
Students are regularly assessed throughout the two year course in each skill area including mock speaking exams at the end of Year 10 and mid way through Year 11. Students are given feedback on their performance in these examinations and are invited to attend intervention sessions at lunchtime and after-school for additional support.
Students study the following themes at GCSE level:
- Identity and Culture
- Local, national, international and global areas of interest
- Current and future study and employment
Homework and Independent Learning
All students at both KS3 and KS4 are given weekly vocabulary learning home work in order to develop their knowledge. Students will need to spend at least 30 minutes each week on revision and will be tested by their teacher. Students are also set written homework where necessary.
We celebrate European Day of Languages each September and are especially proud of the efforts made by Alder staff and students. We have a staff fancy dress competition, the school canteen serves traditional French and Spanish dishes, we have an inter-form competition in Y7 with students decorating their form room and competitions and quizzes in MFL lessons and around school on the day. We take part in the Routes into Languages Spelling Bee and were very pleased with our Year 7s last year – we even had some students in the regional finals! Students regularly take part in language enrichment events at the University of Manchester and in March this year, 40 students in Years 8, 10 and 11 visited the Opal Coast for a 3 day visit during which time we visited a number of attractions and practised our French at the French markets. In February 2018 we will be taking a group of 50 students to Barcelona in order to develop their Spanish.
Useful Resources to support learning
www.linguascope.com (Username: aldermfl / password: mfl456x)
www.languagesonline.org.uk (no login required)
www.quizlet.com (no login required) Search AQA GCSE French/Spanish
www.memrise.com (Create an account) Search: AQA GCSE French/Spanish