“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.”
Modern Foreign Languages at Kings Langley
Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) teachers at Kings Langley School have drive, determination, creativity and passion for languages and are therefore able to offer an outstanding, life-changing opportunity for students at Kings Langley School. The MFL department at Kings Langley School is one of the strongest in the county, staffed by a diverse and considerate, highly skilled team of classroom practitioners. The MFL team has vastly improved its results over the past couple of years and this dedicated team are ready to take the next step in providing children with the language learning opportunity that they deserve.
The core belief here is that students should be given as much exposure to the target language as possible. To this end, the MFL department work hard to ensure that students are given the opportunity to travel to France/Spain at least once during their time at Kings Langley School. Teachers here appreciate how much dedication it takes to learn a modern foreign language. In a society where people cry out for youngsters to be educated and to have a better understanding of the real world, we create citizens who have an understanding of human issues and of the reasons why tolerance and respect are valued by every member of society. It is only through understanding problems that we can begin to solve them. The ability to understand and command language is pivotal to this.
Mr P Burgin (Subject Leader)
Mrs El Lavecchia
Mr L Hashman
Mr J Shaw
The objective of the curriculum is to teach students to be able to use and understand the three key time frames, past, present and future, in the target language. By the time students leave they should have been taught how to be able to complete listening, speaking, reading and writing tasks competently and as per the descriptors set out by the examining body.
The MFL team has reviewed the units that are set out by the GCSE course and rearranged the units into a sequence that will best enable students to learn and review their progress regularly. For example, by teaching elements of each theme in year 10 we are able to use interleaving strategies so that students are consistently building on previous knowledge, often using cross-curricular links, in order to inform their progress. Kings Langley School employs quick start activities at the start of every lesson so that students are regularly reviewing their progress within one unit but also using the skills that would also help them to flourish in later units.
Learning a foreign language is, by its very nature, a test of an individual’s ability to learn, tolerate and empathise with others. Kings Langley School has a character programme that teaches our young people about the virtues of empathy, stickability and self-regulation. Within MFL, teachers actively promote these virtues within their lessons.
It is an expectation that students will be able to articulate why they enjoy learning in MFL and that they can see where useful words and phrases in one unit would be helpful within a range of contexts. Students at this school enjoy their MFL lessons because a dedicated and diverse team of teachers teaches them well.
The GCSE courses for French and Spanish have been redesigned. The students are all being taught a methodology based on interleaving and phronesis that allows students to reflect and grow as they move through the GCSE course. The GCSE course itself is merely an extension of what the students were taught in the younger year groups, so each academic year represents another layer of knowledge, understanding and practice that should allow students to succeed as individual people and through academic assessment.
Cross-curricular links are strong between MFL and English. The study and knowledge of grammar is extremely important for MFL study and it is a continuing benefit that the MFL and English departments at Kings Langley School are linked together under the umbrella of the Communications faculty. There are also strong links for numeracy given that the time, dates, numbers and money are taught from year 7 all the way through to year 13. The 7-13 curriculum covers all aspects of modern life, from Geography and History to Business and Politics, The Arts and Culture. If one can study it in English, one will probably study it in the foreign language at some point during the course.
The MFL department encourages students to progress by giving them regular examples of excellent marked work, by using praise and reward, by celebrating good exam and test results, by explaining when and where in our lives being able to speak a foreign language proved to be helpful. The MFL team encourages students to strive for the next step on the ladder and say to pupils that if they have understood at this level, they can make it to next level. MFL teachers actively work hard to dispel the myth that MFL study is hard by sharing grade boundaries and showing students how easy it is to achieve the next grade if they focus on improvement.
The MFL department differentiates its curriculum for different ability groups in various ways. First of all, by developing a class profile, by having an annotated seating plan and relevant data at fingertips. Teachers plan with student capabilities in mind, differentiate either by marking or by task & resource. Teachers set open tasks that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Teachers plan tasks that get progressively more difficult or teachers allocate different parts of the task to specific students. Teachers set the bar high and support students in achieving as well as possible, teachers use other students to differentiate by support through peer teaching, peer assessment, group work, class experts, coaching, varying roles and study buddies. Teachers use checklists, scaffolding, modelling and sentence starters to support. Teachers plan partner work, groupings and seating plans.
Teachers regularly talk to students about the best ways to learn a piece of information. Some students are much more adept at drawing pictures to learn vocabulary, or simply need to traffic light a list of words so they maximise learning time. Teachers are challenged to develop schemas to help students to perform in assessments. For example, by using PALM(W) to complete a foundation tier writing activity or SDOR(FJ) to complete a longer paragraph of text for a speaking/writing assessment.
Key Stage 3 MFL (Years 7 -9)
In Key Stage 3 the intention is to give students the basic building blocks for successfully using and understanding language. In order to achieve this, every aspect of the GCSE course is covered in some form at Key Stage 3 level, although the focus at this point is on student language acquisition.
Key Stage 3 Spanish Units at a glance
- All About Me
- My Personal Life
- My Hobbies
- My Home
- In My City
- My School Diet
- Health Holidays
- Fashion and Clothing
- Me and My World
- The Spanish Speaking World
Key Stage 3 French Units at a glance
- All About Me
- My Personal Life
- My School
- My Local Area
- My Lifestyle
- Sports and Leisure
- Daily Life
- French Life
- Home Life, Routines and Chores
- Keeping Fit and Staying Healthy
- Meeting Up
- Around the Francophone World
- Issues at Home and Abroad A Job
- A Career and A Life
Key Stage 3 (Claro & Allez Textbooks)
Students are formally assessed twice during the academic year. There are three papers in the first round of assessment. These consist of listening, reading and writing papers. In the second round of assessment a speaking assessment is also added in order to give a fully rounded view of a child’s ability.
Key Stage 4
Units at a glance (AQA GCSE Textbook)
- Self, Family and Friends
- Festivals and Customs
- School and My Studies
- Social and Global Issues
- Hobbies and Free Time
- My Town
- Education post 16 and Future Plans
- Technology in everyday life
- Revision of all units
- Terminal examinations begin
Year 10 students are assessed in listening, speaking, reading and writing in two separate rounds of testing during the academic year. There is one round of formalised mock examination during year 11 and a formal GCSE examination in the final two terms of year 11. There are four examinations in total and each examination is weighted at 25% of the student’s final grade.
- Listening 25%
- Speaking 25%
- Reading 25%
- Writing 25%
Useful websites and resources
Key Stage 5 (Edexcel A Level)
At A level students are required to follow a 12-unit course book which deepens their cultural and historical knowledge of the Spanish/ French speaking world. Students are currently required to study and analyse the content of a film and a novel.
A Level Units at a glance
|Term 1||Term 2||Term 3||Term 4||Term 5||Term 6|
|Year 12||Units 1 & 2||Unit 3||Trial Examination||Film Study||Unit 5 & 6||Unit 7 & 8|
|Year 13||Units 9 & 10||Unit 11||
|Novel Study||Revision & Terminal Examinations||Terminal Examinations|
Students are formally assessed twice in an academic year and informally each half term.
The final examination for this course is weighted as follows:
- Listening, Reading and Translation 40%
- Speaking 30%
- Writing and Translation 30%
Useful websites and resources