Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages

At Hadleigh High school we aim to provide all pupils with the skills they need to become successful lifelong language learners. In a world where the workplace is constantly evolving, the power of communication has never been so vital for our young people. The ability to communicate confidently in a foreign language is highly valued by employers, universities and colleges.

Pupils study both French and German in Years 7 and 8 and then choose which language to continue into Year 9. There is, of course, the possibility to continue to study both languages.  At Key Stage 3 all work is based on the national curriculum and delivered in the form of half termly topics. Through these topics, we focus on developing listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in French and German. Formal assessments are completed at the end of each topic and are usually assessed in two of the skill areas. The results are then entered and tracked using an on-line system called Go4schools which parents can view from home.

Topics covered in Key Stage 3 include holidays, hobbies, healthy eating and school, which allows for a smooth transition to key stage four and the GCSE specification. Grammar is also a key component of each topic, so that by Year 9 students are able to recognise and use, for example, at least three tenses, a sophisticated range of connectives, and a variety of complex opinions. We also have a strong focus on pronunciation so that students can independently extend their vocabulary.  

We are fortunate every year to welcome Foreign Language Assistants from France and Germany. They are with us from October to May and our pupils enjoy working on their language skills with them in small groups, learning to confidently express themselves in French and German. The Language Assistants bring to the classroom a real awareness of French and German culture and have, for example, cooked food for pupils to taste and brought in photos and items from ‘home’ for the pupils to see and discuss.

We regularly run a variety of trips abroad and we have recently had successful trips to Northern France and to Berlin. We have good links with schools in France and Germany and we exchange pen pal letters and host day visits to our school. Pupils are also encouraged to communicate via email with their pen pals so that they can widen their vocabulary and put into practise what they learn in the classroom and communicate in a real life context. At Christmas we had a parcel exchange which the pupils really enjoyed as they learnt about the differing traditions between countries.

Key equipment
A bilingual dictionary for both languages.  (Collins Easy Learning Dictionary is recommended).

Homework
Homework is set once weekly in years 7, 8 and 9 for each language studied.

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