The Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum
At Epsom & Ewell High school we draw upon the basic vocabulary learnt at Key Stage 2 in a language and provide a broad curriculum when students enter in year 7. Upon arrival, all pupils will complete a term on each language (French, German and Spanish) . This gives students an insight into the three main European languages. Students are introduced to the various skills that underpin language learning, whilst increasing their linguistic knowledge across a number of topics.
In year 8 students continue one of the three languages for the entire year. Students are able to create their own bespoke curriculum and can choose their preferred language. The curriculum in year 8 once again develops students’ linguistic knowledge and skills over a number of different topics, developing what was covered in year 7 and introducing a number of key linguistic elements.
In year 9 modern foreign languages are now optional subjects. Students begin their GCSE course in year 9 due to the amount of content for the course and the varied nature of the examination process. From years 9 to 11, focus is spread across the four main skills at GCSE; listening, reading, speaking and writing. A range of topics are covered, from family and friends to social issues and the environment.
Opportunities for cultural enrichment are explored within lessons and through school trips. In years 8 and 9 students study a foreign language film to accompany a topic. This helps to broaden students’ cultural awareness and provides links with their learning in other subjects. Students have enjoyed trips to Barcelona, Cologne, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Berlin.
Students who continue with their language learning through to A-level cover a range of topics during the two-year course, from artistic culture to multiculturalism in society and the social issues this brings. Students also study a foreign language film and a piece of literature. These pieces of literature help students to understand the cultural identity of the language they are studying. This is a skill akin to University degree programmes and has benefitted past students in their future studies. In fact, a number of A-level students have left Epsom & Ewell High School to continue their language studies at Universities throughout the country.
At Epsom & Ewell High we aim for all students to R.O.A.R.
Resilient: In the MFL department we challenge students to analyse and evaluate foreign languages and how they are constructed. Students are challenged to see links between languages and discover new patterns for themselves.
Open-Minded: By placing importance on cultural aspects of the language, students are challenged to broaden their horizons and understand the different traditions and cultures throughout the world.
Aspirational: We aim to give our students the opportunity to communicate with millions more people across the world. Through use of deep learning and specific F.I.T (feedback improvement time) we ask students to take a decisive role in their own progress.
Reflective: Students are often asked to reflect upon their progress throughout the key stages, as well as reflect and compare the cultures and languages throughout Europe and the world.
Year 7: We aim to introduce all students to three languages. We introduce knowledge in the form of basic and topic vocabulary, but back this up with the skill base of opinion and reason across the topic areas.
Year 8: Students bespoke their curriculum in year 8 and study one language for the year. The focus is on increasing students’ vocabulary knowledge but also increasing the skill base for students by practice and development of opinions and reasons. An introduction to different tenses is also intended to further develop students’ linguistic skill.
Year 9: Students begin their GCSE course. Further development of students’ vocabulary knowledge and opinion and reason skill is intended. More advanced opinions and in-depth reasons are tackled over a range of subjects. A more detailed look at recognising and using different tenses is developed.
Year 10: Students continue to develop their vocabulary knowledge and skill base. A further tense is introduced where applicable and tenses are re-capped over new topics to ensure that their use becomes accurate and proficient. Students focus on the speaking and writing exams in the latter half of the year to prepare for their GCSEs the following year.
Year 11: Students continue to develop vocabulary knowledge through interleaving and retrieval practices. Students’ skill focus is on proficiency in using 3 tenses accurately. A large focus is placed upon exam skills, in particular the active skills of speaking & writing.
Course specifications can be viewed by clicking on the links below.GCSE specification - French