Plymstock Modern Foreign Languages Department
A thriving and committed department fully staffed with 7 full time and 3 part time specialist MFL teachers. We offer a policy of ‘Languages for All’ from Year 7 through to GCSE. In Year 7, students learn French or French and German. We build on the languages skills learnt at KS2.
In Years 8 and 9, all students continue with either French or German and the most able continue with two languages. In Years 10 and 11, for GCSE, the majority of students continue with at least one foreign language. We encourage our best linguists to continue with two languages. GCSE Spanish is also usually offered where appropriate. At KS5 French and German are offered to A2 level, with the opportunity of fast-track GCSE Spanish offered as part of enrichment activities.
MFL Homework expectations:
- In Key Stage 3 students are set 1 Languages homework per week of 30 minutes duration. A variety of tasks will be set such as learning vocabulary; preparing work for the next lesson; “flipped learning” where students have to find out the phrases or grammar needed for the next lesson; exercises to practise what has been learned.
- In Key Stage 4 homework should take 40-60 minutes depending on the tasks set. Some variety of tasks are set as above, although much homework in Key Stage 4 is preparation for the Controlled Assessments, worth 60% of the overall GCSE. It is vital that students complete this homework by the deadline and that learning for the Controlled Assessment takes place little and often over a number of weeks, not immediately before the assessment takes place.
- MFL homework support for all years is in LA10 on Tues and Thurs after school and includes access to computers if needed.
- Where homework is set from a website language learning course, switching on the sound is important to help with pronunciation of new words. Students are asked to bring evidence such as screen shots or parents will be asked to confirm that the required time has been spent on the homework.
- MFL homework can involve learning vocabulary and parents can support in KS3 with testing and encouraging students to use “look-cover-write-check” as with primary school spellings.
Working with Languages from Year 3 onwards
From Sept 2014, all KS2 pupils will learn a language, so we have been working closely with our local primary schools to ensure a smooth transition of the skills they have learnt. Plymstock teachers are working with the primary teachers to support the language skills necessary for this change to the KS2 curriculum, meeting regularly to help with specialist knowledge. A programme of opportunities to showcase Language learnt, and for joint primary events at Plymstock is planned for 2014-2015 which will be led by the Language Leaders in Y10 and Y11. Our Language Leaders also run primary language clubs after school in some of the local schools.
- KS4 Language Leaders, alongside staff plan a series of events for our younger students over the year, including film club, global citizens, Spanish club and various one-off taster sessions in languages such as Japanese.
- French theatre company visit
- Foreign Language Assistants also run a Y7/8 club during lunchtime
- Opportunities via Network for Languages and the various Embassies (eg Y10 taster day at Plymouth Uni; master classes)
We run a full programme of trips, usually including:
- Y8 German Christmas Markets weekend;
- Y7 Activity long weekend
- Residential to the Moselle Valley, Germany (part of curriculum enhancement week)
- Residential to Paris theme parks and culture including WW1 battlefields (part of curriculum enhancement week)
- Berlin (Y12/13)
- Brittany (Y12/13)
- There are also opportunities for general exchanges and we are working towards a Y10 Work Experience exchange in Germany for Summer 2015