Mrs Z Weatherley: Subject Lead for MFL

Miss J Heitmuller: KS3 and KS4 German and French
JasminHeitmuller@alcesteracademy.org.uk

MFL

Key Stage 3

Curriculum Intent

The aim of the KS3 MFL curriculum at Alcester Academy is to: 

  • Enable students to effectively communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas on topics which are relevant to them in the Target Language. 
  • Ensure students are exposed to and use Target Language regularly as a purposeful means of communication within the classroom. 
  • Ensure challenge and rigour through the recycling of previous knowledge in every lesson to model and practise complex, more fluent production of the Target Language in new and different contexts. 
  • Offer enrichment activities which broaden students' horizons enabling them to flourish as global citizens. 
  • Fulfil the requirements of the NC at KS3. 
  • Teach grammatical knowledge with key structures to each topic, such as adjectives and time, alongside a study of knowledge which is transferable and relevant for future learning such as opinions and verb conjugation. 
  • Continual skill development will occur through the inclusion of the four key areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will make links between these areas to develop their understanding of how languages work. 
  • A range of skills within these key areas will be developed throughout each unit with repeated practice. Each assessment will be used to inform future learning in the next unit, allowing teachers to focus on areas of knowledge and understanding which may need more practice. 
  • Literacy is taught continually in French and German and the HOF liaises with the English HOF as regards to what terms students should be comfortable with. Numeracy is highlighted at every possibility. Numbers and dates are learnt as well as students having exposure of Venn diagrams, bar charts and statistics. 
  • Staff are encouraged to keep abreast of current issues and research in the field of MFL. At Faculty meetings, any course notes are disseminated and new initiatives discussed. 
  • Class teachers must ensure that the provided resources are differentiated for their classes and any suitable interventions for their students are put in place.

In a society with an ever-growing demand on communication skills, this subject is essential to the students at Alcester Academy. The department’s primary aims are to enable growth and confidence in learners whilst at the same time encouraging a love for languages and inquisitiveness.

The challenge within a supportive and encouraging environment where students can take risks and make mistakes as part of the learning process are at the forefront of recent changes to the KS3 curriculum, with a view to fully embrace the ethos and standards of the rest of the school. Year 7 and 8 students can then learn to become more resilient and effectively adopt coping techniques when challenges arise.

The curriculum is structured using sequences of lessons which allow for scaffolding, differentiation, spaced learning and retrieval. Grammar is built up through a series of topics which complement each other. All 4 key skills are monitored regularly through lessons which are fun and engaging. The skills that are learned at KS3 are transferred and built on at KS4. All students at Alcester Academy study both French and German in year 7 and the majority study either French or German in year 8. Before starting year 8, pupils were asked to select one language in order to broaden and deepen their skills and knowledge within that one language, with an aim to encourage more significant and sustained progress. 

The discipline in learning a language compliments other subjects within the curriculum, for example retaining new vocabulary and the practise and patience needed to build resilience. Pace and challenge within lessons encourages learners to move forward with optimum support and students will receive guidance and feedback through verbal and written forms by staff and peers. 

The early part of the year 7 curriculum is predominantly concerned with speaking skills. By reflecting on how they learned their mother tongue, students are able to concentrate more effectively on pronunciation at a stage which can then allow better and more confident conversational skills at this and future levels. 

In order for students to make more informed choices when considering French and German at GCSE level we aim to provide the students with as much information as possible. Talks are delivered to the students in year 8, which provide up-to-date knowledge on the course. Experiences are offered to students throughout KS3 such as a Paris trip, a visit to the Birmingham German Christmas market, foreign plays and involvement in competitions run by Routes into Languages. In addition to this, key dates are celebrated such as European Day of Languages, Mardi Gras and Le 14 juillet. 

Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)

KS4 topics are restricted by the exam board and therefore KS3 topics are chosen to reflect these.

Students’ progress is measured in many different ways. The department follows the academy policy of reporting. There are assessments every term which test the four key skills. Key stage 3 students are assessed in many of the same ways as those studying GCSE to provide some guidance to the expectations at the next level. As a result of these assessments, intervention groups are formed and sessions implemented. Within lessons, seating plans can be adapted to allow more confident, lead learners to work closely with those needing support. Students also complete set marked tasks once per half term, which allow for more structured feedback on their progress. 

Key Stage 4

Students in years 9-11 can opt to study one or both languages at GCSE. We currently teach to the AQA examination. We recommend that all students purchase a bilingual dictionary and a revision guide prior to starting the course.

Curriculum Intent

The aim of the KS4 MFL curriculum at Alcester Academy is to: 

  • Enable students to effectively communicate their thoughts, feelings and ideas on topics which are relevant to them in the Target Language. 
  • Ensure students are exposed to and use Target Language regularly as a purposeful means of communication within the classroom. 
  • Ensure challenge and rigour through the recycling of previous knowledge in every lesson to model and practise complex, more fluent production of the Target Language in new and different contexts. 
  • Offer enrichment activities which broaden students' horizons enabling them to flourish as global citizens. 
  • Teach grammatical knowledge with key structures to each topic, such as adjectives and time, alongside a study of knowledge which is transferable and relevant for future learning such as opinions and verb conjugation. 
  • Continual skill development will occur through the inclusion of the four key areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students will make links between these areas to develop their understanding of how languages work. 
  • A range of skills within these key areas will be developed throughout each unit with repeated practice. Each assessment will be used to inform future learning in the next unit, allowing teachers to focus on areas of knowledge and understanding which may need more practice. 
  • Literacy is taught continually in French and German and the HOF liaises with the English HOF as regards to what terms students should be comfortable with. Numeracy is highlighted at every possibility. Numbers and dates are revisited, money is discussed as well as students having exposure of Venn diagrams, bar charts and statistics. 
  • Staff are encouraged to keep abreast of current issues and research in the field of MFL. At Faculty meetings, any course notes are disseminated and new initiatives discussed. 
  • Class teachers must ensure that the provided resources are differentiated for their classes and any suitable interventions for their students are put in place.

Year 11 one year plan 

The intent of the year 11 curriculum 2020-2021: 

  • to prepare students for the revised GCSE exam 
  • to consolidate important topics that were taught during lockdown 
  • to ensure complete coverage of topics taught by non-specialist staff 
  • to complete the AQA course to complete retrieval activities on topics from years 9 and 10 
  • to consider the new AQA resources (Fundamental skills, The Learning Gap, Rediscover Learning) 

Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)

We have followed and implemented the 3 year programme suggested by AQA.  

French Curriculum Overview

Useful websites:

MFL Long Term Plans

French LTP Year 7 
French LTP Year 8
French LTP Year 9
French LTP Year 10
French LTP Year 11

German LTP Year 7 
German LTP Year 8
German LTP Year 9
German LTP Year 10
German LTP Year 11

The Curriculum Introduction Teacher
The Curriculum Introduction Chemistry
The Curriculum Introduction Biology