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Departmental Staff
Subject Leader:-                   Ms M Lewin                          
Teachers:-                             Mrs G Matheson                  
                                              Mrs C Neilson
Contact / email address:-    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
What will a student learn in Key Stage 3, 4 and 5?
In Year 7 the students concentrate on learning French, picking up Spanish half way through year 8. In both languages at KS3 they study familiar topics which allow them to talk about themselves and their family, what they like to do and where they like to go. They also study the topics of healthy eating and the world of work. All the topics that students study at KS3 will feed directly into the GCSE language qualification at KS4; no new topics are studied at this level, students only build on the vocabulary and topic knowledge already acquired.
At KS5 students will have already been exposed to much of the grammar they will need. They will continue to build on the familiar topics they have been studying since year 7 such as family relationships and school, but they will also study new topics such as media and tourism at AS level, and more challenging topics at A2 such as the environment and immigration.
Learning a language is made up of small incremental steps, each step building on what has been learnt previously. The same topics are used at all levels in the school curriculum, therefore the student will be taught new material within a familiar framework. In this way they will feel supported and more confident about developing their skills.  Students are regularly assessed and given focussed targets to support their learning and development.  Rote learning is particularly important in languages and students will be asked to learn things thoroughly, this is still essential for developing their skills to listen, speak, read and write in a foreign language.
We received excellent examination success in 2013: A Level 100%
GCSE = Spanish 100%
            French 99%
(Above the national average which is 70%)      
 Why is this subject important today?
Never has the study of a foreign language been more important. We all operate in a global economy; companies throughout Europe compete for business. Unfortunately almost 80% of British exporters believe they lose business because they cannot communicate in other languages. Exporters who use language skills achieve on average 45% more sales. Fluency in a language is not needed. Businesses want only conversational ability in order to give a good impression, help to build relationships and, importantly, make new contacts. People are often surprised when they realise that just 5.5% of the 6 billion people on the planet speak English as native speakers, and only 6% speak it as a foreign language. This chronic shortage of linguists has even been discussed in Parliament. A high grade in a GCSE language may give a competitive edge for University applicants.
What skills will students learn / develop and how will they learn?
We use as many different ways as possible to engage the students, from up to the minute software, podcasting, blogging, to the use of drama, cookery and sport. Therefore students will develop many new skills in many different areas.
It is already well known that the study of a foreign language helps with the development of your native tongue. Students learn to analyse their own language as they analyse a foreign language, which helps to improve their grammatical accuracy and therefore literacy levels in English.
It has been proven that studying a second language can improve student’s skills and grades in maths and English. Research has shown that Maths and verbal SAT scores climb higher with each additional year of foreign language study, the longer you study a foreign language, the stronger your skills become to succeed in school.
At Key Stage 3 some students have the opportunity to study a language through Arsenal Double Club. After receiving several hours coaching from an Arsenal coach the students have the opportunity to visit Wembley Stadium to play in a bi-lingual football tournament. Other students have the opportunity to become young Language Leaders through the sports leadership awards scheme. With this award students are coached to develop their leadership and motivational skills through a foreign language. It is up to the individual how much they want to become involved with their language learning.
Where could the subject lead – Career wise?
The ability to speak a foreign language will transform any job into an opportunity to travel and work at the same time. Nursery workers, hairdressers, beauticians, plumbers, electricians and builders, to name but a few careers, can be employed on for example cruise ships or in hotels.
Language qualifications could of course lead to a career as a translator or interpreter. Less obvious careers could be a buyer for a retailer or bi-lingual secretary. Language is considered a major asset in marketing.
Any CV will be enhanced if it includes a language qualification, giving students an edge when it comes to applying for a job.
Homework in Key Stage 3 is set twice a week in Key Stage 4 at least one hour of homework will be set each week.