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Modern Languages

Modern Languages

Bienvenue, ¡Bienvenidos!

Welcome to the Modern Languages Curriculum Area at Cleethorpes Academy!

Studying MFL at Cleethorpes Academy helps our students to develop the cultural knowledge and linguistic competences to one day be able to compete in the international arena.

Students can study French and Spanish to GCSE level with Spanish being taught at GCSE for the first time in September 2016. All Students learn a Modern Language in years 7 and 8 and Students in band 5 also learn the second language. The principal language for years 7 and 8 changes yearly with Spanish being taught to all bands in year 7 in September 2016.

Please explore these pages to find out more about what we offer.

Ethos & Values

We pride ourselves in the Modern Languages department on our ethos of achievement and enjoyment. Through hard work and dedication, we aim to:

  • Enhance the students' experience of language learning through the effective delivery of an engaging curriculum using outstanding resources
  • Encourage independent language learning with an international focus
  • Have consistently high expectations and match these with high quality resources and learning strategies
  • Provide a range of educational experiences both inside and outside the classroom, appropriate to the age, ability and needs of our students
  • Adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement in all aspects of the delivery of all subjects within the Curriculum Area

Knowledge & Skills

During their Modern Languages studies, students develop their four linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in a variety of context and topic areas in order to prepare them for language use in the global community.

We cater for a range of different learning styles in the department and there is scope for students' personal growth as learners as we encourage independent study. Through active participation in lessons and in homework, students are able to develop their confidence and communication skills.

As well as linguistic skills, students will also gain key skills which can be applied to a variety of scenarios in real life such as time management and revision techniques. We also encourage thinking skills in our lessons which will help students with problem solving and logical reasoning; again, skills that can be applied to real life situations.

In Modern Languages, we also encourage knowledge and understanding of grammar in the target language and many linguistic terms are transferable and applicable to English which will help students to better understand their own language and improve literacy. Finally, we will promote and develop knowledge of different cultures and societies within lessons and through whole school activities such as Bastille Day, Hispanic Day and the French Breakfast Trip.

Resources & Facilities

There are currently three language classrooms in the Curriculum Area, one of which is a language laboratory, equipped with twenty seven computers and specialist language learning software (Sanako). This sort of technology enables the students to work on their speech and pronunciation as well as interacting on a one-on-one basis with the teacher and other students. All classrooms are equipped with digital projectors and are well furnished. In addition to all this, we provide the students with the latest edition textbooks and exercise books and we make full use of mini whiteboards and other resources.

Courses & Qualifications

In Key Stage 3, students study a language in all bands with band 5 students studying a second language as well. Students study a range of topics and language based upon the National Curriculum but with a focus on grammatical competence and understanding. Students are assessed formally 3 times a year through 3 skills (reading, listening and writing) and speaking is assessed in lessons. Students are also assessed regularly through classwork and compulsory written work in books.

In Key stage 4, students prepare for the New AQA GCSE qualification in French and Spanish through years 9, 10 and 11. Students are assessed formally at the end of year 11 with exams in listening, reading, speaking and writing. An emphasis is placed upon clear communication of language in year 9 and grammatical understanding. In year 10, we continue to pursue linguistic competence and introduce the spoken exam more formally in preparation for the final exams in year 11.

Each skill area is worth 25% of the final grade and students are entered either for foundation or higher tier exams. Students may not mix foundation and higher together.

From September 2016, students may also opt for a GCSE in Spanish. Pupils must have studied Spanish at Key Stage 3 in order to take Spanish at GCSE and Students wishing to take both languages can do so in consultation with the Curriculum Leader.

In addition, students with native languages such as Polish, Turkish etc. may have the opportunity to be entered for GCSE in that subject dependent upon Exam board regulations. All languages count towards the English Baccalaureate Qualification.

Learning Outside The Classroom

In the Modern Languages Department we endeavour to provide students with engaging and motivating opportunities for learning both inside and outside of the classroom. We offer the following opportunities:

Key Stage 3 French and Spanish Club

French club and Spanish club run every week for Key Stage 3 students during lunch time. The club offers students the opportunity to complete a range of activities which are designed to boost cultural understanding and enjoyment. The clubs offer students the opportunities to explore areas which interest them but which sometimes aren't given as much time in lesson. This year students have completed research projects, looked at French and Spanish music and developed knowledge of film and literature. Language clubs also offer the opportunity for students to seek and access support for homework and for areas of the subject that they don't understand. There are a number of students who attend regularly and some who come on a more ad-hoc basis – either is fine with us!

Year 8 French Breakfast Trip

For the last 4 years we have run a cultural trip to a local French restaurant which enables students to taste authentic French cuisine and to use the language in a real-time scenario. This has had the effect of giving students the opportunity to see how language learning can be applied to everyday life. It also gives students the opportunity to boost their confidence and linguistic competences. We have found that the students thoroughly enjoy the trip and it has become one of the highlights in the Academic calendar.

Bastille Day Celebration

Every year we celebrate Bastille Day on or close to the 14th July as we aim to broaden students' knowledge and cultural understanding. We change the menus in the outdoors servery into French and the kitchen sells croissants and pain au chocolat.

Hispanic Day Celebration

In October 2016, we celebrated Hispanic Day for the first time at the academy. We changed the menus in the outdoors servery into Spanish and the canteen sold some Spanish cuisine. We organised a treasure hunt around the school for all the students at the Academy. It was a fun activity and it helped students to get to know more about the Spanish- speaking countries all around the world.

Key Stage 4 French Trip

In June 2016, we ran our second biannual French trip to the Opal Coast in Northern France. We took 40 year 9 and 10 students and the trip was a huge success which all the students thoroughly enjoyed. Students were able to experience a French market and see the NAUSICAA Sealife Centre in Boulogne. We also visited a real working traditional Snail Farm and tasted some snails, but the undoubted highlight of the trip was visiting and tasting at the Chocolaterie de Beussent Chocolate Factory.

French Plays

For the second year running, we have invited an authentic French languages theatre company to come and perform French language plays for our students in KS3. The plays are interactive and require audience participation, and the students have thoroughly enjoyed them over the last 2 years.

Upcoming events planned for 2016 – 2017

Our Year 8 French Breakfast Trip was very popular this year so we have organised two trips to Petit Delight in Cleethorpes.

We are organising a Year 9 Spanish tapas event as we aim to broaden students' understanding of the Spanish culture and the Spanish food as a key element.

In March, we have organised a Key Stage 3 Spanish play, and in July, the Key Stage 3 French play will take place.

Where Does This Take Me In The Future?

A GCSE in a Modern Language can open up a variety of opportunities for students in the future. A language will of course facilitate the opportunity to work and travel abroad in the future as well as opening up working opportunities in a variety of professions such as translation, teaching and international business.

Languages also combine well with other subjects to enable and facilitate further and higher education. There are a vast range of courses at University level which combine well with languages and many universities offer funding to enable students to travel and work abroad as part of their course.

A qualification in a language can also boost earning potential in any future careers as employers look to compete more on a global scale. Languages learning will help students to gain vital skills which are transferable and applicable to a range of careers such as communication and problem solving skills.

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Cleethorpes Academy Principal

Janice Hornby