The vision of the MFL department is:
To equip our students with the knowledge and understanding of how to be successful language learning practitioners
To make our students become competitive players in the global jobs market
To ensure that the vast majority of our students opt to continue with at least one MFL at GCSE within the academy
To make maximum use of the latest courses and teaching methods in order to engage and motivate our students
To attract students to continue learning MFL at Post-16
‘I love being able to communicate in a foreign language’
‘My teacher makes sure that all the lessons are fun and engaging’
‘I am making a lot of progress and know what I need to do to achieve’
‘Languages are essential in the 21st century’
Available Extra Curricular Activities
Ex-students have visited for talks about their university year abroad and from 2016 there is now a weekly club in Spanish and French for students to fine-tune their speaking skills and to learn more about the countries where the languages are spoken.
In 2017 we will be running a Key Stage 4 exchange trip to Spain and a cultural visit will be on offer for our students in Key Stage 3. In addition, there are a number of drop-in and revision sessions available to help support our students who will be taking examinations. Thursday’s Grammar and Translation clinic is proving particularly popular!
As part of our on-going work to support the teaching of primary languages, the MFL team regularly visit local primary schools within Plympton to work with class teachers and to teach students French and Spanish. This has been a fantastic way to get to know students before they come to Plympton Academy. We have also set up a local Spanish club where primary students have been learning how to master the basics. This has also proved very popular with parents!
Year 7: Key Stage 3
Current year 7 students are learning both Spanish and French. We are keen to build upon the French that many students have learnt at primary school and we teach Spanish at a beginner level.
For French, we use a course called ‘Studio’ which aims at helping students make the successful transition from Key Stage 2. In addition to this, students complete project work and learn a lot about French culture and the countries where the language is spoken along the way.
For Spanish, we use a course book called Mira1 and other bespoke resources and materials to enable students to progress quickly in the language.
Although both the French and Spanish courses form the foundation for our Schemes of Learning, we are constantly supplementing our courses with additional materials to help students learn and maximise their progress. Students have five hours of lessons a fortnight. Three of Spanish and two of French. Topics covered in both languages during Year 7 can broadly be outlined into the following areas:
The Language Bridge (a course which equips students with the skills to be successful language learners)
My Local Area
My Free Time
Year 8: Key Stage 3
Students continue to learn two languages with topics split into the following areas:
French (From the course books Studio 1 and 2)
Where you live
Using Creative language
Spanish (Mira 1 – as above)
My Free Time
Year 9: Key Stage 4
With many of our students within the academy choosing to study a language at Key Stage 4, Year 9 acts as a transition year with students learning more grammar as well as how to practise the skills that are required as part of the new GCSE. We place a big emphasis on perfecting students’ speaking skills and linguistic spontaneity so that they become accustomed to the demands of the new courses. Topics can broadly be defined into the following areas for both languages:
* Grammar Master Class: Past, Present, Future and Conditional
* How to respond to stimulus (Picture-based discussions, role plays and other topic-based questions)
* My daily routine
* Healthy living and lifestyles
* TV and Cinema
Year 10/11: Key Stage 4
Description of the Course
At Plympton Academy, we follow the Edexcel Viva Course for Spanish at GCSE and the Studio course for French
Students will be studying language within a range of topics that can be categorised under the following headings:
At home and abroad, Personal & Social Information, Education & Work and Everyday situations.
As part of the GCSE, students will ‘revisit’ topics that they have studied in the past but they will be looked at in greater detail.
Students will also be equipped with the skills needed to translate passages and respond to unknown stimuli in both the speaking and writing elements
Each of the four skills below contributes towards the final GCSE grade:
Listening 25%, Speaking 25%, Reading 25%, Writing 25%
All GCSE exams are sat at the end of Year 11
Meet the staff
Mr G Foxley – Head of Department
Ms J Edwards – Spanish specialist
Mrs C McGill – French and Spanish specialist
A knowledge of one or more foreign languages can be useful in a wide range of careers. At university many of our students have gone on to combine a foreign language with their degree. For some jobs, such as translating, interpreting and language teaching, language skills are one of the main requirements. For other jobs a combination of languages and other qualifications, knowledge or skills may be needed. For example, people with languages plus IT, law, finance or sales skills are much sought after.