KS3 Curriculum Guide
As a department we are committed to instilling in pupils a sense of the value, importance and pleasure of learning languages, and to ensuring maximum pupil achievement. We also aim to widen pupils’ cultural awareness and to inspire a life-long interest in the countries of study. Pupils are encouraged to use the foreign language to express themselves as much as possible.
We are very fortunate at the Sweyne Park School to be able to offer the opportunity for all pupils to learn both French and German at Key Stage 3. In Year 7, all pupils study French for two hours per week. In Years 8 - 9, pupils continue to learn French (2 hours per week) but also start learning German (also 2 hours per week). Pupils are set according to ability in both French and German. Our most able pupils are also offered the chance to study Chinese from Year 9 and can also take it as an option at GCSE. At Key Stage 4, pupils can either opt to study one language or may be encouraged to study two languages. All three languages are offered at KS5.
A wide range of topics is taught:
- Everyday activities, including home life, school, food, health and fitness
- Personal and social life, including communicating about yourself, family, free time, social activities, holidays and special occasions
- The world around us, including your home town and local area, the environment, people, places and customs.
Pupils’ language skills are developed in four major areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. The course encourages pupils to use the language creatively and to acquire a useful level of competence in real life situations. The course also promotes language awareness and, where appropriate, an understanding of grammar.
Pupils are assessed regularly in the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Regular diagnostic tests allow both staff and pupils to identify areas of strength and possible weaknesses and consolidate or address them as appropriate. Pupils are constantly encouraged to think about their learning and regular teacher feedback is given to help plan for future progress.
Home learning is an essential part of ensuring that pupils achieve their full potential and we expect pupils to complete two half-hour home learnings in Year 7, of which one will be a learning home learning. In Year 8, pupils will complete one half-hour home learning per week in each subject. In Year 9, pupils will complete 40 minutes of home learning in each subject. Home learning is marked regularly by the class teacher who will give feedback, encouragement and advice on how to improve further.
Beyond the Classroom
The department runs a number of trips designed to help pupils in their language learning, including residential trips to Cologne and Berlin in Germany and Normandy in France. We have also recently run an inaugural visit to Beijing in China.
How Parents Can Help
Parents/carers play an extremely important part in helping pupils to achieve their full potential. We would like to encourage parents/carers to help in the following ways:
Parents/carers will be notified either by letter or telephone of any serious concerns experienced by the department following a pupil’s progress and level of achievement. Following such contact there will be an opportunity to discuss matters further in person. Should parents/carers feel their son/daughter is not making progress, they should contact the subject teacher or the staff named below.
Head of MFL - Tania Dickens