Bluecoat Aspley Academy Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum Intent Statement
Throughout Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 the Modern Foreign Languages’ curriculum aims to develop pupils’ ability to communicate confidently and coherently in Spanish and French. We aim for students to be confident in speech and writing, conveying what they would like to say with increasing accuracy, to express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently, to listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech at near normal speed. Students learn how to extend and add interest, intonation and expression to their speech as they advance. Pupils are also encouraged to grow through learning, deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts.
The MFL curriculum aims to give pupils the opportunity to acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through the ability to understand and respond to a rich range of authentic spoken and written materials including literary texts. Pupils grow by developing awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where French and Spanish is spoken, and are encouraged to make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, where the language may become a medium for constructing and applying knowledge.
Our MFL department is an enthusiastic and dedicated team of linguists who work collaboratively and who encourage students to progress in all four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing while bringing languages alive though a range of interactive and varied lessons.
Intrinsically linked to our Ethos and Values, we courageously encourage students to develop belief in themselves in order to be the best they can be. Our students are resilient, they can work independently and have a good understanding of where they have come from and who they are.
We recognise the importance of languages and therefore aim to provide our pupils with opportunities both within and outside of lessons, offering trips to France and Spain at Key Stage 3 and 4, as well as work experience at Key Stage 5. We also offer a variety of clubs and Raising Achievement and Progress support sessions in order to enhance language learning, as well as encourage and develop resilience and self-discipline in the use of French and Spanish to turn pupils into real linguists.
Our students enjoy working independently, in pairs and in groups within the classroom. There is a positive learning environment in our lessons, whereby students willingly step out of their comfort zone and actively take part in lessons.
Language lessons incorporate cultural and creative projects, grammar and translation activities, vocabulary learning games as well as tasks that develop the four skills, to enable students to achieve their potential and become confident independent young linguists.
To support and challenge our students, we provide them with additional resources such as vocabulary, grammar, revision and classwork booklets, which develop and extend classwork and homework. Students also have access to interactive language learning resources, such as Microsoft and Google Forms Quizzes, Kerboodle, our own revision website or the language learning app Memrise, which students use on a weekly basis and which provides a fun way to learn a language independently.
The MFL team inspire a love of language learning and strive for pupils to make outstanding progress at all levels. We believe that the study of a foreign language helps students develop a sense of cultural pluralism, an openness to and appreciation of other cultures, while promoting tolerance and respect for ‘the other’. In a globalised world characterised by international links and intercultural connections, linguistic skills are crucial for employment and career as proficiency in a foreign language enhances career opportunities. Students feel part of a local, national and global community, believing in others and working together towards a common purpose.
We are confident our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum is effective, as evidenced through the engagement of students throughout the school, both observed in lessons as well as through feedback in student voice surveys. The quality of teaching and learning in languages has been praised consistently during departmental walks and lesson visits by observers.
Increasing numbers of students chose it as one of their options at GCSE, with two or three groups every academic year, consisting of over half of the entire cohort. At Key Stage 5 we offer two A Level courses and our numbers within a national context are high. Many of the students who study A Level MFL courses have gone on to study foreign languages at university, either as a full degree or as a module.
We also provide opportunities for students to take a GCSE or A Level in their home language, and support them in achieving these qualifications.
Students excel at Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 and achieve good results according to their ability, which places the Modern Foreign Languages department and Bluecoat Aspley as a top school to learn a foreign language. Most importantly, students frequently express their enjoyment of the lessons and the subject, mentioning the quality of the teaching, the support and the opportunities from which they benefit.