The Modern language department at The King’s School strives to provide a high quality language experience for our students. Our curriculum is broad and balanced, valued and understood by students with relevant, progressive, clear pathways through all key stages.
The department boasts expertise and an environment where students value and enjoy languages as well as being provided with opportunities to achieve their individual potential. Students are taught well and are given high quality experiences that allow students to feel confident in the languages studied.
At the time of writing, our department has been enjoying the presence of both a French and a Spanish assistant who have been invaluable in boosting students’ confidence in their speaking as well as bringing a real breath of international culture.
As a department, we are always striving to provide help for students, through an open-door policy, but also encouraging them to become independent and inquisitive, qualities that are essential for all successful linguists. Other the years we are constantly aiming at improving the language experience for our students and giving leadership opportunities for those who are keen on reinforcing the importance of learning a language amongst their peers.
In Year 7, students are provided with the opportunities to study 2 languages: French and Spanish, for an hour per week, per language. This stems from the variety of language experience that students may have had in their respective primary school. At the end of their first year at the King’s School, students are given the choice to opt for the language they are keen to explore further for the remainder of KS3 and KS4.
In Year 8 students will start to study more in depth the language of their choice, through increasing awareness of grammar and a variety of topics which will help them build confidence in areas such as speaking, listening, reading and writing, 4 skills that are part of the language learning journey.
In Year 9, an emphasis on grammar including tenses and securing more advanced knowledge, especially in productive skills, will constitute the basis of their future success for our GCSE students. Students will opt for their language at GCSE in January of Year 9.
At KS3, good habits of a successful student are being worked on and it is advised that committing a regular amount of the independent learning time by targeting vocabulary learning and revising of lessons, will ensure increase success in the following years.
GCSE French and Spanish
This highly regarded GCSE is certainly perceived favourably by colleges, universities and employers alike. Linguists are reputedly resilient workers who are always striving for perfection. Approaching this course with a certain degree of open-mindedness and willingness not to settle for the, sometimes wrongly perceived, easy options, and giving it a genuine effort will ensure grades to be proud of in the future. Our department has always been running extra clubs to facilitate or stretch students.
We can also pride ourselves with the degree of expertise of our staff, including a Spanish native and French native speaker.
Through a variety of resources and activities, students will be tackling varied topics, from the family to their future career plans, from social issues to the region they live in.
We are fortunate to benefit from having our own language laboratory and this is used efficiently by language exam classes, working on their listening and speaking skills, but also enjoying some competition element t reinforce topics or grammatical points seen previously.
Exam summary (final exams):
- Reading skills: 25% of the GCSE
- Listening skills: 25% of the GCSE
- Writing skills: 25% of the GCSE
- Speaking: 25% of the GCSE
A Level French or Spanish is the ultimate qualification in language we offer at the King’s School. Our students are able to enjoy an in depth immersion in the native culture from a variety of countries where the language is spoken.
The wide range of topics studied, from multiculturalism or technologies to more culturally orientated ones such as music and cinema are being studied.
As a department, we have chosen to study both a film in Year 12 and a novel in Year 13.
We are delighted by the films we are teaching and have found that they have been positively commented on by our students.
The literature element provides a new area to discover, with the opportunity to analyse a novel in the target language from a list of books considered now to be classics of the language studied.
Listening, Reading and writing
Written examination: 2 hours 30 minutes—50% of qualification - 100 marks
2 essays : 2 hours —20% of qualification - 80 marks
Oral exam assessment: 21-23 minutes - 30% of qualification - 60 marks