At Gosford Hill School we firmly believe that learning a foreign language should be fun and engaging. Teachers create a learning environment in which students have the opportunity to use new vocabulary and grammar in a creative and genuinely communicative way, often learning through language games, pair or group work and team competitions. This creates confident learners who enjoy using their new language skills to write and speak imaginatively.
Key Stage Three
At Key Stage Three all students study both French and German in turn, meaning that the same amount of each language is covered by the time students choose their GCSEs. In Years Seven and Eight we start with our own course in both languages, based on proficiency in phonics, essential grammatical concepts and a wide range of key vocabulary taken from the 1000 most frequently used words in each language. We aim to help foster a love of language learning and enable linguistic competency by embedding key concepts in students’ long term memory so that they can then apply them fluently. This means that our language lessons are very practical, engaging and creative. Varied home learning tasks are regularly set and a computer based resource helps students learn at home for weekly vocabulary tests. We also want to introduce students to the cultural heritage of French and German speaking countries through short literary texts, films and the study of cultural events. Weekly lunchtime clubs run for each language at Key Stage Three.
In Year Nine we use a mixture of our own resources and the Pearson Studio and Stimmt textbooks. The emphasis is still on regular revisiting of vocabulary and grammar so as to enable students to communicate efficiently in both spoken and written form, and to increase comprehension skills. Year Nine finishes with a film study with activities covering all four skill areas. Year Nine students can apply to follow our Language Leaders course where they have the opportunity to become ambassadors for Modern Foreign Languages in school and also prepare and teach a French or German lesson for a local primary school.
Key Stage Four
Both French and German are offered at Key Stage 4. We follow the Edexcel GCSE course and base much of our teaching on the Pearson Studio and Stimmt textbooks and online resources for GCSE. We supplement these courses with authentic materials, literary texts and up to date audiovisual resources. Grammatical competency is reinforced throughout the course, alongside the study of specific topics including identity, customs and festivals, school life, ecological issues, new technology and a study of a geographical area where the target language is spoken. As languages are rooted in communication, our GCSE courses aim to produce linguists who not only have an excellent knowledge of the vocabulary and grammar covered at GCSE level, but linguists who can readily use this knowledge to communicate. Year 10 students are encouraged to participate in the Language Leaders course, where they are given opportunities to develop not only their language abilities, but also leadership and communication skills.
Key Stage Five
Both French and German are offered at Key Stage 5. Using the Hodder AQA A Level course, students are able to study cultural, historical and political topics pertaining to a variety of francophone and German-speaking countries. They will also have the opportunity to undertake their own in-depth research into an area of their own choice, which will form a large part of their final speaking examination. Literary and artistic appreciation in the target language is taught through the study of a novel and a film and is examined in the written paper.