Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of the Sir Graham Balfour Multi-Academy Trust

Modern Foreign Languages

Subject overview

The MFL team at Sir Graham Balfour is committed to providing a meaningful and enjoyable learning experience for all our students. Our aim is to promote the status of language learning throughout the school and to encourage young people and parents to recognize the valuable cross-curricular and life skills which foreign languages bring. We set and work towards achievable yet challenging learning objectives in order to provide our students with a useful level of linguistic competence.

Linguistic skills and confidence are the keys to becoming successful communicators. Through learning French, German or Spanish at Sir Graham Balfour, our pupils build on their literacy skills in English and improve their ability to communicate their thoughts and ideas. Alongside linguistic competence, we teach our students about other cultures; pupils are encouraged to reflect on their own culture and language and compare it with that of other countries. The four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are developed during language lessons and pupils are often required to work in pairs or groups as well as independently. As pupils progress in their language acquisition, they are increasingly able to cope with a variety of situations in which they can communicate with speakers of different languages. The MFL team works to develop pupil confidence and to prepare our students to become responsible and tolerant citizens in a multi-lingual world.

A-Level

A-Level French.  Awarding Body AQA.

Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing.

What’s assessed?

• Aspects of the Target Language-speaking society: current trends

• Aspects of Target Language-speaking society: current issues

• Artistic culture in the Target Language-speaking world

• Aspects of political life in the Target Language-speaking world

• Grammar

How it is assessed.

• Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes

• 160 marks in total

• 40% of A-level

Questions

• Listening and responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources.   Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail. Students will have individual control of the recording.

All questions are in French.

• Reading and responding to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources.   Material will include complex factual and abstract content and questions will target main points, gist and detail.

All questions are in French, to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French (60 marks)

• Translation into English; a passage of minimum 100 words (20 marks)

• Translation into French; a passage of minimum 100 words (20 marks).

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Paper 2:  Writing

What’s assessed?

• The study of one film (Les 400 Coups by Francois Truffaut) and the study of one book (Un Sac de Billes by Joseph Joffo).

• Grammar

How it’s assessed

• Written exam: 2 hours

• 90 marks in total

• 30% of A-level

Questions

• One question in the Target Language on the text studied from a choice of two questions and one question in Target Language on the film studied from a choice of two questions

• All questions will require a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the work and a critical and analytical response to  features such as the form and the technique of presentation, as appropriate to the work studied (e.g. the effect of narrative voice in a prose text or  camera work in a film).

No access to texts or films during the assessment.

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Students are advised to write approximately 300 words per essay.

Paper 3 : Speaking

What’s assessed?

• Individual research project

• One of four sub-themes i.e. Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends, Aspects of French society: current issues, Artistic culture in French society,  Aspects of political life in the French world

How it’s assessed

• Oral exam: 21–23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)

• 60 marks in total

• 30% of A-level

Questions

• Discussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus card (5–6 minutes). The student studies the card for 5 minutes at the start of the test (25 marks).

• Presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (9–10 minutes) of the student’s individual research project (35 marks).

Assessments will be conducted by the teacher.

GCSE

Exam Board – AQA French, AQA German, AQA Spanish.

Students are assessed in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing exams at the end of Year 11. The GCSE course has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Pupils will have regular homework and assessment tasks to complete across the two years of study. They are expected to use a wide range of vocabulary across all the themes, as well as demonstrate a clear understanding of grammatical structures in the past, present and future tenses. Students will show understanding and provide information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of other people, including people in countries/communities where the foreign language is spoken.

The specification covers three distinct Themes.

Theme 1: Identity and Culture

These topics include:

Relationships with family and friends, marriage/partnership

Technology in everyday life, social media, mobile technology

Free-time activities, music, cinema and TV, food and eating out, sport

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

These topics include:

Home, town, neighbourhood and region

Social issues, charity/voluntary work, healthy/unhealthy living

Global issues, the environment, poverty/homelessness

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment.

These topics include:

My studies, life at school/college, education post-16, jobs, career choices and ambitions

KS3

Curriculum overview

Aims of the SGB curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • Language teaching provides the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.

Year 9

The topics studied include media, past holidays, eating out and free time. Students become confident in applying all three tenses present, past and future in addition to justifying opinions. They are able to manipulate key irregular verbs. The assessments completed after each module test students in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Each term students sit a knowledge test to indicate deep understanding of vocabulary and grammar, which encourages knowledge retrieval. Homework is set on a fortnightly basis and involves vocabulary revision and written work. Students start to practise GCSE language skills such as the preparation of a photo card in a speaking test.

Year 8

The topics studied include life at school, food, local area and home. Students learn to conjugate regular and irregular verbs as well as learning to use the past and future tenses. Students also become more confident in expressing opinions on these topics. The assessments completed after each module test students in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Each term students sit a knowledge test to indicate deep understanding of vocabulary and grammar, which encourages knowledge retrieval. Homework is set on a fortnightly basis and involves vocabulary revision and written work.

 

Year 7

The topics studied in Y7 include family; talking about yourself; free-time activities and school equipment. Students study the following grammatical concepts: present tense regular verb conjugations, gender of nouns, syntax rules, plurals of nouns and adjectival agreement.  The assessments completed after each module test students in speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Each term students sit a knowledge test to indicate deep understanding of vocabulary and grammar, which encourages knowledge retrieval. Homework is set on a fortnightly basis and involves vocabulary revision and written work.

 

Address

Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
Stafford
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ

Phone

01785 223490

Email

office@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk