MFL –

Curriculum

Intent:

Our vision in the Modern Foreign Languages department is that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world.

We aim to support students to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences; ensuring that each topic contains an element of cultural reference to not only the target language country, but also the wider Hispanic or Francophone spheres.

The department is committed to developing strong, lifelong linguistic skills and to encouraging students to become curious and interested in the world.  Ultimately, we want our students to have a love of languages, and aim to achieve this by nurturing a linguistic curiosity and an intrinsic motivation to explore and respect other cultures and people.

Pupils will be able to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and writing. Pupils communicate with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, using a variety of grammatical structures that they have learned.

We endeavour to inspire all MFL practitioners/peers through collaboration, support and modelling exceptional practice, no matter what stage practitioners are in their career journey.

Implementation:

The MFL Department is a dynamic, passionate, and enthusiastic department with a collaborative and creative approach to teaching and learning which is consistently embedded in all lessons.  The department endeavours to make learning languages fun and meaningful, providing students with many opportunities for both collaboration and independent work in each lesson.

Detailed curriculum plans are designed to ensure that all four skills (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) are covered in every unit and that opportunities to revisit key skills, in different ways, are built in.  Retrieval activities are used every week across all key stages to ensure that our students are fully prepared for the rigours of the linear exams at the end of KS4 & KS5.

Grammar is the foundation for building language skills. Learning grammar enables students to speak and write more accurately, confidently and fluently.  Consequently, grammar skills are taught explicitly through every unit of work, and are regularly revisited; emphasis is on equipping students with the linguistic skills to unpick and decode unfamiliar language.

Lessons are engaging and seen as bricks in the ever-growing bridge of language learning. We strongly feel that students need to be involved in tasks they find interesting in an environment where active and successful learning is encouraged. The MFL department has high expectations for all students and the climate for learning encompasses the contributions of all abilities.

Learning in the classroom is enhanced through self-study.  All of our students are provided with knowledge organisers which contain all of the key vocabulary and grammatical structures required.  Our KS4 knowledge organisers contain full GCSE mark schemes to ensure they take responsibility for their progression and exam requirements are made explicit at all times. Knowledge organiser tests are set every week, and consist of learning key vocabulary and grammar.

We explicitly teach revision skills to each year group to enable them get to grips with independent language learning.  In Yr7 and Yr11, we invite parents in to school to teach key phonics and MFL specific revision strategies to further support independent study.

KS5 lessons are complemented with FLA sessions where students have the opportunity to practice their speaking skills with native speakers.

Students need to be resilient language learners.  Within the MFL classroom, we consistently emphasise that it is ok to make mistakes. We believe where students learn is in deciding how they move on from these errors. This open environment allows students to grow in confidence and not feel intimidated in speaking out in front of the class.  Opportunities for reflection are built in at regular intervals, and the curriculum is designed to build students’ independence.

To further enrich the MFL curriculum and to help develop a love and enthusiasm for languages and enhance the cultural capital of students, the MFL team provide a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities.  From Foreign Language Film club in year 7, our Gifted and Talented program in year 8, to Speaking clinics in KS4, university workshop visits in KS5 and the annual Barcelona and Picardy trip, students are exposed to a culture where languages are alive and easily accessible for all.

The MFL team actively seek to hold whole school activities to raise the MFL profile – highlighting the importance of language learning in our diverse world that we live in today; celebrating the European Day of Languages, Spanish and French Spelling Bee, El día de los muertos, El cinco de mayo and Navidad.

Impact:

We have designed our curriculum to ensure that every student has the opportunity to make outstanding progress in languages at Rainford High.  We consistently deliver excellent results at both KS4 and KS5.  We intend for every student that has studied a language to leave Rainford equipped with a wide range of skills including problem solving, communication, resilience and an improved knowledge of their own language.  They will be equipped with the skills necessary to become global citizens, enabling them to study and work in other countries in the future.

 Possible careers and opportunities

There are all kinds of beneficial reasons to learn a foreign language, including:

Language graduates find it easier to get jobs
Language graduates have lower rates of unemployment than graduates in the great majority of other subjects – only 2.6% of German graduates were still unemployed at the time of last year’s survey, as opposed to 5.9% of those with degrees in Business Studies, and 8% of those who did Computing.

There is a wider choice of jobs for graduates with languages
By choosing languages, you’re not limiting your career options. Language graduates have a whole range of career opportunities open to them. A recent survey shows that about 29% go into business services, and around 10% go into each of the following: manufacturing, sales, banking/finance, community/social services, transport/communications.

Languages teach you adaptability and communications skills
Learning how to interact with speakers of other languages means you are less likely to be stuck in one mode of thinking. It can help you to see things from a range of perspectives – making you more adaptable, creative, and insightful. The ability to operate cross-culturally is becoming just as much valued by employers as straight language skills.

Staff

Facilities

Four dedicated classrooms and an ICT suite.

Support

Drop-in support sessions, Revision sessions, 1 to 1 speaking workshops at KS4 and 5.

Extra-Curricular

The MFL department offer a variety of extra-curricular activities which include: film club, progress club and for sixth formers we have the Foreign Language Leader Award. The department is committed to providing extra opportunities for language learning and enhancing the status of languages within the school. There is a wide and developing range of links with outside agencies, activities within school and visits and trips to Europe. These include clubs such as MFL film club, events such as European Day of Languages, Spelling Bee, El día de los muertos, links with local universities and trips to Barcelona and Paris. All members of the department are active in establishing links with other departments and areas in the school to further cross-curricular developments. A focus this year is developing our gifted and talented program in Year 8 which enables students to study French as an additional subject.

To download subject overviews please follow the link/s below:

MFL – French & Spanish