In an increasingly globalised world, the need for us to learn and understand different languages and cultures has never been greater. Our aim in the Modern Foreign languages department is to encourage students to develop their ability to use languages effectively for practical communication. We want students to develop their understanding and enjoy spoken and written language.
We offer students insights into the way of life of the countries where the language is spoken, and encourage positive attitudes to other cultures. Students are taught to be aware of the nature of language, and encouraged to show enthusiasm for language learning.
|Head of Modern Foreign Languages||Mr J Wright|
|Second in Modern Foreign Languages||Mrs G Hollman|
|Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages||Mrs E Boross-Toby|
In years 7, 8 and 9, students will study either French or German. Our aim is to give students an excellent grounding in some of the key building blocks of the language. They will develop a large and wide vocabulary across a number of topics, and be able to employ grammatical rules. Lessons include a variety of traditional teaching, use of new technologies and interactive games.
Our hope is that students will feel comfortable and confident when trying to express themselves. Topics learnt by the students include introducing yourself, family, free time, holidays, home, where you live, school and food & drink. Students in KS3 are assessed formally four times a year, at the end of each learning module, as well as by the end of year exam.
At Key Stage 3, formal homework will usually be set on a fortnightly basis. This may consist of listening or reading exercises, a writing task or spelling or grammar practice, or alternatively time reviewing and learning vocabulary. With learning vocabulary, our motto is 'little and often' and parents/carers can help their children by encouraging them to review and practice vocabulary a couple of times during the week. Vocabulary learning homeworks should be taken as seriously as any written piece of homework, as it provides vital extra work in committing vocabulary to long-term memory.
Studying a language up to GCSE is an interesting, stimulating and valuable experience. At The Highfield School, we strive to develop confident, enthusiastic linguists who can express themselves accurately and thoughtfully when speaking and writing.
As of 2017, we are training students for the new GCSE examination with AQA, which is assessed entirely at the end of Year 11. All four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are assessed and worth 25% each. The GCSE qualification places a high emphasis on a wide vocabulary and grasp of grammar, and they are trained in this right from the start of Year 7.
Topics build on those already studied at KS3, but go onwards to include some more thought provoking topics such as crime, poverty and the environment. Students are taught to express themselves freely and accurately through a combination of traditional teaching, new technology and interactive activities.
At Key Stage 4, shorter exercises and extended tasks will be set as homework in two or three lessons out of the five per fortnight, depending on how long they will take. GCSE students will also need to set aside time each week to review the language covered in lessons that week, practising spelling and pronunciation of new vocabulary. It is extremely important that vocabulary is being learnt, so as to ensure as much as possible is in students’ long-term memory for the exams at the end of the course. They will be set vocabulary learning homeworks, which should be taken as seriously as any written piece of homework.
In the sixth-form, students will move on from topics learnt at GCSE to look into more challenging topics, such as racism, crime & punishment, politics and immigration. At key stage 5, they will look into these sorts of issues from the perspective of countries of the target language. They will also have the opportunity to study works of literature and film, which is a hugely rewarding and interesting experience.
By the end of key stage 5, students will have a profound knowledge of grammar and vocabulary and be able to express themselves clearly and fluently in high-level conversations. They will learn how to argue and reason, as well as the grammar that helps them do that. Students are still assessed across all four language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing.
In key stage 5, students will need to show their independence more than ever with regard to regular vocabulary and grammar learning, as well as keeping up to date with the notes and folders. With good learning habits learnt in key stage 3 and key stage 4, students will have the tools they need to enjoy success at key stage 5.