Modern Foreign Languages

Curriculum Intent: Modern Foreign Languages

Quality of Education: The MFL Curriculum at RSA

 

We aim to create the very best Linguists. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working or living in this area would. We do this by equipping all our students with the knowledge and skills to thrive and succeed in language learning; encouraging and inspiring them with quality first teaching, broadening their awareness of other countries and communities and providing opportunities for participation in a broad range of linguistic and cultural educational experiences in and outside school.

Curriculum Intent

Mastery of languages is achieved through an intricate knowledge of grammar, the four language skills and the manipulation of new/unseen language independently.

The overarching aim is to ensure that our students can achieve the following skills:

  • Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied
  1. Curriculum model

KS3 – Spanish is taught over 5 hours per cycle

KS4 – Spanish is taught over 5 hours per cycle

Each week students complete

  1. Assessment and feedback- assessments must validate the curriculum intent
  • Progress and attainment data is collected three times a year from the exams sat in December, March and July. Exam questions are interleaved from the course content studied to date. Prior to assessment, students revisit and revise all material covered since the start of their course. Student’sreceive question level feedback about the areas they need to improve and are given time to respond.
  • Interim assessments take place each half term and are alternated between reading, speaking, listening and writing assessments.
  • Learners take part in weekly knowledge drills during starter activities and have extended homework which are assessed through weekly knowledge drills to consolidate their understanding.
  • Each half term, learners receive feedback on their strengths and targets on assessed pieces of writing which they respond and reflect on. They also have opportunity for guided self and peer assessment to help further progress over time.
  • Students have access to online learning platforms (Language Nut) and each class teacher sets extra learning opportunities and monitors evidence of engagement every Monday.
  1. Monitoring 

High standards in education are monitored through half termly curriculum reviews, which consult with progress data to develop intervention strategies and are triangulated against lesson observations, work scrutiny, staff and learner voice.

  1. Staff development

All MFL staff are expected to make a positive contribution to departmental developments and to stay well read about current pedagogies and practices to support excellence in teaching and learning with and maintain a strong sense of scholarship. Staff development and ambition is supported through engagement with AQA training resources, planning educational visits and extra-curricular events.

  1. Blended Learning

Knowledge organisers and schemes of work are available to the students on Microsoft Teams. For each unit of work, there are key resources, assignments and activities set through Microsoft Teams where student progress can be tracked and monitored.  As a department, we also utilise the online learning platform ‘Language Nut’ which really focuses on knowledge retention and revision, providing teachers with an extensive report on student engagement, knowledge and allows students to work at their own pace according to their ability.

  1. Cultural capital

Cultural awareness and enrichment opportunities are embedded into the curriculum, offering learners a broader experience of languages including literature.  Lesson resources link languages to the wider world and help learners prepare, with ambition, for future progression and careers. At RSA, we aim for all learners to be culturally aware and linguistically competent by keeping up to date with events and news in Spanish speaking countries and communities around the world. Learners are equipped with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for work in other countries.

Impact

Impact of the MFL curriculum is measured through data produced at each key assessment point and through external assessments. The quality of work produced is of consistently high quality and results are in line with national average.  

As a knowledge engaged curriculum we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. As a department we define the powerful knowledge our students need and help them recall it by having a carefully planned progression through our curriculum with content and skills clearly defined in our schemes of work which revisit and build on existing knowledge. We are very clear from the outset that we teach grammatical structures, syntax and vocabulary; using the correct terminology and making explicit links to English and other foreign languages’ grammatical structures and vocabulary.

We build the Cultural Capital of our students by embedding their linguistic acquisition within a framework which introduces them to a wide range of knowledge which goes beyond their own cultural experience and sets them up as intercultural citizens. We do this by teaching language contextually within topic areas. We use authentic resources, particularly through the Internet to offer immediacy and authenticity to the MFL learning experience. Study of foreign language films, music, YouTube videos and texts are all commonplace in the MFL classroom. Further rationale behind our curriculum design includes the revisiting and building on existing knowledge. The topic areas and grammatical structures which are introduced at KS3, are seen as building blocks for more in-depth learning at KS4 and the use of IT programmes such as Language Nut are well-established for reinforcing newly acquired knowledge or for setting lagged homework for supporting longer term memory.

Implementation

We are committed to embedding challenge, metacognition, memory techniques and literacy into our departmental curriculum alongside our schemes of work, we are developing knowledge organisers at KS3. This is enabling us to define the core knowledge our students need to master.

In MFL, we also implement our curriculum through using a variety of teaching approaches and tasks which encompass the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.