Languages

‘A different language is a different vision of life.’ Federico Fellini

The MFL department encourages our students to foster an interest and an enthusiasm for languages.  Using imaginative content and a range of teaching and learning strategies, we engage students through relevant topics and interesting subject content.  We want our students to be citizens of the world who have a lifelong understanding of different cultures and people.  In MFL lessons, our students will gain a greater understanding of the cultures where the language is spoken.  Staff promote the values of tolerance and respect whilst valuing the difference of inter-cultural exchange.

KS3 Curriculum:

Year 7

Students in Year 7 are taught French for 2 hours per week in mixed ability form classes.  In lessons, students consolidate and build upon the language they have learned in Key Stage 2. During the course of Year 7, students will cover talking about themselves, describing their family, school and food and drink.

Year 8

Students continue with French and start to learn German as a 2nd foreign language.  In Year 8 sets 1, 2 & 3 have 2 hours of each language per week.  Students in sets 4 & 5 have 1.5 hours of each language per week.  Students in sets 2 & 3 are in mixed ability groups and students in sets 4 & 5 are also taught in mixed ability classes.

The Year 8 French curriculum covers TV and cinema, where you live, free time and hobbies.

The Year 8 German curriculum covers talking about yourself and your family, school, house and home town.

Year 9

Students continue with both languages in Year 9 and are strongly encouraged to study at least one language to GCSE level.

The Year 9 French curriculum covers Self and Family, Social Media and Holidays

The Year 9 German curriculum covers Food and Drink, Free Time, Holidays, Self and Family

KS4 Curriculum:

French and German students follow the AQA specification and cover the following themes: 

Theme 1:  Me, my family and friends, Technology in everyday life, Free-time activities, Customs and festivals.
Theme 2: Home, town, neighbourhood and region, Social issues, Global issues, Travel and tourism
Theme 3: My studies, Life at school/college, Education post-16, Jobs, career choices and ambitions
The final GCSE exam comprises of listening, reading, speaking and writing exams.  Each skill area is worth 25%.

KS5 Curriculum:

The A-level French and German specifications build on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to both the individual and to society. 

French A-level covers:

  • Aspects of French-speaking society:  The changing nature of family – La famille en voie de changement, The ‘cyber-society’ – La « cyber-société », The place of voluntary work  – Le rôle du bénévolat.
  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world: A culture proud of its heritage – Une culture fière de son patrimoine, Contemporary francophone music – La musique francophone contemporaine, Cinema: the 7th art form – Cinéma : le septième art.
  • Current issues: Positive features of a diverse society – Les aspects positifs d’une société diverse, Life for the marginalised – Quelle vie pour les marginalisés ?, How criminals are treated – Comment on traite les criminels.
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world: Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment – Les ados, le droit de vote et l’engagement politique, Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power? – Manifestations, grèves – à qui le pouvoir?,  Politics and immigration – La politique et l’immigration.

Students study the film ‘Un long dimanche de fiançailles’ (J P Jeunet) and the book ‘No et Moi’ by Delphine de Vigan.

German A-level covers:

  • Aspects of German-speaking society: The changing state of the family – Familie im Wandel, The digital world – Die digitale Welt, Youth culture: fashion and trends, music, television -Jugendkultur: Mode, Musik und Fernsehen.
  • Artistic culture in the German-speaking world:  Festivals and traditions – Feste und Traditionen, Art and architecture – Kunst und Architektur, Cultural life in Berlin, past and present – Das Berliner Kulturleben damals und heute.
  • Multiculturalism in German-speaking society: Immigration – Einwanderung, Integration – Integration, Racism – Rassismus.
  • Aspects of political life in the German-speaking world: Germany and the European Union -Deutschland und die Europaïsche Union, Politics and youth – Die Politik und die Jugend, German re-unification and its consequences – Die Wiedervereinigung und ihre Folgen.

Students study the film ‘Good Bye Lenin’ (Wolfgang Becker) and the play ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’ by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

A-Level Assessment

  • Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing (50%)
  • Paper 2: Writing – Essays on the film and play (20%)
  • Paper 3: Speaking – Based on a stimulus card and Individual Research Project (30%)

Extra-curricular opportunities

Through extra-curricular trips, students are encouraged to recognise the importance of languages beyond the classroom and appreciate the lifelong role languages play in the wider world through travel, study and career opportunities.

Year 10 French students are offered the opportunity to visit Paris, whilst Year 10 German students visit the Rhineland.

In addition, St Thomas More has a long-standing exchange with the Willy-Brandt-Gymnasium, in Oer-Erkenschwick.  Students from Germany visit their partners in Year 9 and in Year 10 St Thomas More students visit their German partners.

Click here for Learning Resources

Staffing:

Mrs R Dickinson

Mrs M Fenwick

Mrs L Fisher – Curriculum Leader

Mr A Jones

Mrs R McEwan

Mrs J Ritchie

Mrs J Sennitt-Woods –  Assistant Curriculum Leader

Miss E Trabichet

Mrs M Wakeman