The MFL Department at JSCHS aims to provide students with a stimulating environment in which to learn a language. The experience of learning and using a foreign language makes a unique contribution to the curriculum by taking pupils out of the familiar environment which is pervaded by English and allowing them to explore the lifestyle and culture of other lands through the medium of their languages. It can give the learner the experience of entering a foreign environment and existing within it. Coping for a while with a different linguistic medium, whether in the classroom or a foreign country can be a liberating and enjoyable experience. By learning a foreign language pupils improve their personal and social skills by learning to communicate, co-operating and contributing in class, considering the views of others and having to adjust to different social conventions.
Over the course of KS3, students study a variety of topics from stories and fables to historical events and media entertainment.
Students in KS3 receive 4 x 1 hour lessons per fortnight. Year 7 continue with their French experience. Year 8 Seta 1 and 2 receive one lesson of Spanish per fortnight. Year 9 receive a 6 week block of Spanish lessons prior to their option choices. They have the opportunity to study Spanish at GCSE.
Students in KS4 receive 5 x 1 hour lessons per fortnight.
At KS4 students study the Edexcel syllabus for GCSE. The four skills are assessed – Writing and Speaking controlled assessments account for 60% of the final grade. Reading and Listening skills are examined at the end of the course and each account for 20% of the final grade at GCSE.
As a Department we are keen to encourage extra curricular cultural experiences to further enrich language learning.
Educational visits are a fantastic opportunity for children to build on their schoolwork / interests in an exciting, interesting and informative way. Educational travel companies often have a wealth of experience in organising successful educational visits, and are committed to providing safe, educational and enjoyable trips that also offer real value-for-money. The knowledge and expertise they provide ensures that each group has an individually tailored trip to meet their needs. Our visits always prove to be a valuable and enjoyable experience
The MFL Department organises annual visits to France in either the summer term or at Christmas. The groups normally stay in Paris or Normandy and have the opportunity to visit Christmas markets, the Eiffel Tower and Stade de France. They also spend a day at Disneyland and Parc Astérix and take a boat trip along the river Seine.
A seven day visit to Spain in July afforded us the opportunity to travel by coach to Northern Catalonia and visit the cultural areas of Northern Spain such as Girona and Figueres.
Attractions such as the Salvador Dali museum and Barcelona city’s with famous cathedral, Castle of Montjuic and Nou Camp Stadium were all visited.
Students took part in a visit to Cambrils museum and it’s underground caves. And there was also the opportunity to visit the attractive outdoor market in Salou. The itinerary also included a full day excursion to PortAventura.
Due to the success of this trip, planning for another visit to Spain in 2013 is already underway.
The MFL Department is now a member of the Big Challenge Club which is the first pen pal club in Europe where both teachers and students can organize letter or email exchanges simply and safely. The best and most interesting way of learning a language is by practicing it in real contexts. A number of students have signed up and have already made contact with pupils across Europe. We aim to increase our links with schools in France and Spain and have already had requests for a pen pal exchange from schools in Normandy and Paris.
We have a merit system this year to award those pupils who we feel have made a great effort and therefore improvement.
It is our intention to run an annual Modern Languages and Business event. Students who will be selected to take part in the event will display a talent and an interest in language learning. The event is run by North Tyneside Business Partnership and involves business ambassadors from the local area who run an interactive workshop on the importance of learning a language and the skills/knowledge the students could therefore acquire.
The Department aims to develop it’s programme of extra curricular activities.
All pupils should be offered the opportunity to enjoy their language experience outside the classroom environment with quality clubs, opportunities to take part in visits abroad and experience a wealth of visits and visitors.