Modern Foreign Languages

Key Stage 3

We offer French and Spanish in years  7-9 on an alternate years system whereby all pupils entering Year 7 in one year do French and the next year 7 all do Spanish.  The current Year 7 cohort is studying Spanish and the September 2017 cohort will study French.  Pupils continue to study the same language throughout KS3.  Pupils are taught in mixed ability groups.  In year 7 pupils have 2 lessons per week, 2 lessons per week in year 8 and 3 lessons per week in Year 9. 

In Year 7 pupils will study 3 modules which cover Personal Details, School and Family. In Year 8 the modules include Sport and Hobbies, Food and My Town and Area while Social Life, Music and Film are covered in Year 9.  There is an emphasis on learning French/Spanish phonics to empower pupils to decode the pronunciation of new French/Spanish words for themselves.  Pupils also explore the cultures of France and Spain and the wider French/Spanish speaking world.  Pupils are encouraged to explore the differences and similarities between English and the language they are learning. Successful and well attended trips run every year with our next one being ‘Paris at Christmas 2016’ – for which we have record numbers from both KS3 and KS4! 

Key Stage 4

French and Spanish are offered at GCSE where pupils have the opportunity to continue studying their KS3 language. We use the AQA exam board and pupils are assessed in Listening, Speaking. Reading and Writing – each area makes up 25% of their final grade. Pupils have the opportunity to visit universities such as York and we have a link with Sheffield University. This means that students from the Uni. create a blog once a month so that pupils at Don Valley can see the types of experiences – both social and academic - that studying a language abroad brings. KS4 pupils attend revision sessions, help support open evenings and attend trips abroad in high numbers.     

Extra –curricular opportunities

Trips abroad – 1 per year

Trips to universities to explore the campus and find out about potential courses 

By teaching MFL we hope to: -

  • allow pupils to escape from a restrictive monolingual view of their world.
  • promote social interaction within and beyond the classroom.
  • foster a range of attitudes which help to promote goodwill and to counter prejudice and insularity.
  • offer insights into cultures and civilisations other than a pupil’s own.
  • promote a disciplined and active approach to learning.
  • challenge and develop intellect and creativity.
  • promote the acquisition of linguistic and communicative skills which enable a full contribution to and participation in an evolving society.

By learning a MFL we hope pupils will:-

  • develop the ability to communicate effectively in the foreign language for practical purposes.
  • experience enjoyment, satisfaction and intellectual stimulation at appropriate levels.
  • acquire a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes needed for further study, for work and for leisure.
  • develop positive attitudes to speakers of foreign languages and an unprejudiced approach to other cultures and civilisations.
  • gain insights into the culture and civilisation of the TL country.
  • have an enhanced awareness of the nature of language and of language learning processes, thereby gaining a deeper understanding of facility with the mother tongue.
  • acquire learning skills of a more general application (e.g. selection, inference, analysis, prediction, memorising).