Modern Foreign Languages KS3-5
The languages currently taught within the curriculum are French and Spanish, both to A2 level. All pupils study either French or Spanish from Years 7 to 11. Language groups are decided based on a combination of students' previous experience of language learning at KS2, parental preference and/or any relevant home language. Almost all pupils continue their language study to GCSE at the end of KS4, whilst a small number (around 20 pupils) follow an alternative curriculum which has an increased English and Maths input, but which does not include MFL.
In addition to their core foreign language, pupils with a home language will also be given the opportunity to take a GCSE in this language (if available) as soon as possible. Via this route pupils have achieved excellent GCSE results in languages including Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian and Chinese. These students will also be offered the opportunity to take an AS or A2 level in their home language if they achieve and A or A* grade in their GCSE.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 & 9)
Almost all pupils at Sacred Heart study French or Spanish; they are able choose their language before joining the school. During KS3 students work towards building their language skills and vocabulary in a range of different topics including self and family, free time, food and drink, home life and education. We also strive to introduce students to the life and culture of the countries where the language they are studying is spoken and hence include a number of special projects in our schemes of work including units on film, poetry, literature, traditional customs and festivals and Francophone/Spanish-speaking countries. Trips are also organised to bring languages to life. This year pupils are going on a French trip to Lille as well as a number of trips in London to universities, film showings, flamenco performances and tapas restaurants.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 & 11)
All pupils continue to study either French or Spanish at KS4. Students work to develop their competence in the 4 key language areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening with an equal amount of time devoted to each of these skills in lessons. The department has also launched a greater focus on mastery of grammar which has been very successful in ensuring that pupils are able to work more independently, as per the requirements of the new GCSE. Pupils sit the new Edexcel GCSE with all examinations taking place at the end of Y11. End of unit assessments take place regularly throughout Y10 and Y11 to ensure that pupils are making the necessary progress. The new GCSE is a demanding course which requires pupils to be able to speak and write spontaneously, as well as understand both written and spoken texts from a variety of contexts. There are also some new elements to the GCSE, including translation and comprehension of literary texts. Pupils who speak another language at home are also supported through an extra GCSE where available.
Key Stage 5 (Years 12 & 13)
At Sacred Heart, we offer A-levels in French (AQA) Spanish (Edexcel) Italian (Edexcel) and Portuguese (OCR).
Choosing an A-level language is a really smart move if you want a fascinating subject that offers you a range of career possibilities at the end and a lot of fun along the way. A-level language courses are interesting and varied subjects to study and give you a broad range of knowledge and skills. The A-level modern language course is structured in a way that you will study a number of topic areas (e.g. family life, tourism, the role of technology) as well as a film and novel. There is no coursework for this A-level, but you'll gain all the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the exams over the two years of study. With around six hours of class time a week dedicated to learning your language this is a fast pace environment with noticeable improvements. The topics that you cover are really varied so you not only greatly improve your language speaking ability, use of grammar, different tenses and vocabulary - but you’ll also learn about culture, history, literature, cinema, society, the environment and lifestyle.