Ethos and Aims
Languages are for life. We value the study of a modern foreign language as an extremely important part of our student’s education. We want our students to leave school with a world of languages in the palm of their hands, enriching their understanding of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. We strongly believe that learning languages contributes to a mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Learning a language not only gives you a whole different and new way of thinking, but, most importantly, it gives you an insight into the culture of the people who speak it. Charlemagne would even argue that “to have a second language is to possess a second soul”.
The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in our country and throughout the world. Having such competencies will unlock student’s technological, enterprise and vocational abilities which enhance the employability skills of our students.
Our main priority is to continually improve standards through an engaging and challenging curriculum which values the strengths of all in order to make develop our young people into global citizens of the 21st century.
The three key elements students should be able to take with them after having studied a language at LVC are:
• The ability to understand and communicate in another language
• An understanding of the cultures of where the language is spoken
• The linguistic understanding to enable further language learning in the future
KS3 Curriculum Content
Currently half of the students in Years 7 study French whilst the other half study Spanish. In both languages, students follow a course which allows them to consolidate previous learning from primary school and to use transferable skills to start dipping into authentic material and grammar. Students will study various themes and topics including basics to describes themselves but also discussing hobbies, family members, holidays plans and schools. Students have the opportunity to have discussions and debate about the differences between cultures using authentic material. Students also have the opportunity to take part into a big French and Spanish spelling bee competition against other schools in the Anglian Learning Trust.
In Year 8, students will consolidate the work they have done in Year 7, but there is more emphasis on grammatical structures including tenses. Students will start looking at complex grammatical structures, authentic reading, films, etc. The topics include media, food, holidays, town, and a case study of Paris and Madrid. Students also have the opportunity to take part into a big French and Spanish conjugation bee competition against other schools in the Anglian Learning Trust. We are also hoping to be able to launch a Year 8 trip to France and Spain.
In Year 9, students have a very good understanding of the language and are given various opportunities to really use it in different contexts. We start to discuss themes and topics from the society, in French and Spanish, such as happiness, health, future career, money, etc. This is a real foundation year to equip students with the right tools to have a successful start at GCSE in Year 10.
We regularly assess student’s progress in the four key skill areas: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing, alongside grammar and vocabulary tests. All the essential information for those assessments is detailed in the student’s vocabulary booklets, which supports students in their learning. We encourage students to make use of them regularly at home to foster independent learning.
KS4 Curriculum Content
All students follow the AQA specifications. The GCSEs assesses their ability in Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing, with a terminal exam at the end of Year 11. Each skill is worth 25%. The GCSEs in French and Spanish are set to develop more spontaneity in speaking and there is a greater focus on grammatical competency and translation. In addition to this, there an emphasis on cultural knowledge.
The course will cover three key themes:
• Identity and Culture (free-time, technology, self and family customs and festivals).
• Local, national, international and global matters of interest (home town, social and global issues, travel and tourism)
• Current and future study and employment (my studies, life at school, education post 16 and jobs, careers choices and ambitions)
We equip students with a GCSE booklet which contains all the details, vocabulary, grammar and skills required for the exam. We also have a French and Spanish assistant who works in small work or individually with students to support with speaking and grammar skills.
Enrichment/Extra Curricular Opportunities
We offer a KS4 trip to France and Spain in the summer of Year 10. We are hoping to launch a Year 8 trip to France and Spain in June 2023.
In school, we also offer a Latin club once a week. This is an excellent opportunity to discover the roots of languages and civilisation.
This year, we have started to launch a lunch time French/Spanish series/cinema club.