“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Nelson Mandela.

Click here for MFL curriculum outline

Why do we study Modern Foreign Languages?

In today’s increasingly interdependent global society, proficiency in a second language is a vital skill that provides students with the opportunity to meaningfully communicate and connect with others, enabling them to better understand the world, build lasting relationships and enhance their own perspectives. The MFL curriculum at Studley High School is designed to enable students to make substantial progress in at least one foreign language (French or Spanish – and for pupils joining prior to September 2021, German). We endeavour to equip students with the knowledge and understanding to become inquisitive and passionate linguists, skilled in manipulating target language and confident to communicate in a range of settings. Firmly embedded in the curriculum are the four key communicative skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, which are supplemented by grammatical understanding, translation and vocabulary acquisition. The curriculum also enables the discovery of new cultures, broadens intercultural awareness and promotes global citizenship through participation in enrichment opportunities. Students will be able to locate target language speaking countries within global, historical, social, political cultural contexts. Schemes of work have been created to encourage discussion of a range of engaging and relevant contemporary topic areas, with students able to describe past, present and future events, compare a range of viewpoints and become adept at justifying their own preferences. Alongside academic progress, the curriculum promotes the many cognitive benefits of foreign language learning with a focus on independence and self-regulation through developing metacognitive strategies.

Curriculum Intent:

In today’s interdependent global society, proficiency in a second language is a vital skill that provides students with the opportunity to meaningfully communicate and connect with others, better understand the world, build lasting relationships and broaden their perspectives. The MFL curriculum at Studley High School is designed to enable students to make substantial progress in at least one foreign language (French or Spanish – and for pupils joining prior to September 2021, German). We endeavour to equip students with the knowledge and understanding to become inquisitive and passionate linguists, skilled in manipulating target language and confident to communicate in a range of settings. The curriculum also enables the discovery of new philosophies, increases intercultural awareness and promotes global citizenship, with students able to locate target language speaking countries within global, historical, social and political contexts. Schemes of learning explore a range of relevant themes in which students can describe past, present and future events, compare a range of viewpoints and become adept at justifying their own preferences. Alongside academic progress, the curriculum promotes the many cognitive benefits of foreign language learning with a focus on independence and self-regulation through developing metacognitive strategies. We hope to resume the MFL enrichment offer this academic year through the launch of new extracurricular clubs and planning for overseas residential visits.

Curriculum Implementation:

At KS3, students principally follow the Dynamo (French), Stimmt (German) and Viva (Spanish) programmes of study, supplemented by a variety of other resources including authentic materials, multimedia and IT. The curriculum is carefully planned for student progression through stimulating quality first teaching and schemes of learning which continually revisit and build upon existing knowledge. Firmly embedded in the curriculum are the four key skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, which are supplemented by grammatical understanding, translation and vocabulary acquisition. From September 2021, all Year 7 students will study French and Spanish. The Year 9 curriculum for 2021-22 has been enhanced to ensure that students benefit from a rigorous and diverse programme of study that combines catch-up KS3 content and skills with increased transactional topics to provide an engaging taster of GCSE content. This is to ensure that students can make informed decisions during the Options process.

At GCSE, the curriculum area uses the Edexcel exam specification and matching programmes of study for each language. Grammatical understanding is taught explicitly using subject-specific terminology, logically sequenced to complement the vocabulary taught contextually in topic areas. Students work independently, in pairs, as groups and as a whole class to develop their understanding and teachers work hard to meet the needs of all learners. To enhance their language learning experience, students who continue with MFL at KS4 will be offered the opportunity to visit a target-language speaking country, usually as a cross-curricular experience with another faculty. Regular vocabulary learning is a feature of independent study, as well as providing support and extension tasks to challenge all learner abilities.

Curriculum Impact:

Since the transition to 9-1 GCSEs the curriculum area has experienced positive outcomes, and we are working hard to ensure that subsequent cohorts enjoy similar success. Pupil progress is monitored through self, peer and teacher assessment, with pupils regularly contributing to a learning dialogue where they reflect on their learning and progress and consider their ‘next steps’ through target setting. Formative assessment such as teacher questioning and observation continually measures individual progress whilst summative assessment in at least two of the four key skills is scheduled at the end of each module of learning. The four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are equally weighted at GCSE and therefore lessons are designed to include an element of each of these wherever possible. Studying a foreign language at Studley allows pupils to flourish as individuals and develop a wide range of lifelong transferable skills such as improved memory, communication, problem-solving and decision-making, as well as cultivating qualities such as tolerance, resilience, compassion, and intercultural understanding. These skills and qualities benefit pupils not only during their MFL lessons, but as they move on to further education, the world of work and form future relationships.