Modern Foreign Languages
As a high performing Specialist School we were invited to take on a second specialism in Modern Foreign Languages in 2008.
This has allowed us to create more opportunities in Modern Languages learning for our students and for the wider community in and around Harpenden.
We work closely with our main feeder primary schools on the provision of appropriate Modern Language learning so that the transition to secondary school languages learning happens within a clear framework of progression.
YEARS 7 AND 8
All students begin Year 7 studying both French and German, although some may continue with one language after consultation between the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, parents and languages staff. In both French and German, students study a range of topics which develop the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in the foreign language. The study of both languages follows the National Curriculum and each unit of work plans for progression of the skills. Students are helped to develop a range of techniques of learning and dictionary skills so that they can build up their own vocabulary as efficiently and as independently as possible. Students are set during the first half term of Year 7 and are placed in groups according to their minimum expected level for Years 7-9.
The sets are reviewed regularly based on students’ classwork, home learning and assessments. Throughout each unit of work students are assessed in the productive and receptive skills in each language, as well as their skills in translation and dictation. At the end of each unit of work students are assessed in one productive and one receptive skill in each language. At the end of the academic year students take an exam which, along with teacher judgement, informs the setting arrangements for the following year. At the end of Year 8 students choose to continue with French or German or both. In addition, the option of starting an ab initio Spanish course is also open to students in Year 9.
Work continues as in the previous two years within the National Curriculum and classes continue to be set. At the end of Year 9, students are able to opt for languages at GCSE and all students receive a certificate after the end of year exams to mark the progress made over the duration of their KS3 language learning. From Year 9, students have the opportunity to become a Language Leader which involves teaching languages to younger learners and developing leadership, team work and communication skills.
YEARS 10 AND 11
The study of a modern foreign language is not compulsory, but a large majority of students in Key Stage 4 choose to study a language. Most students prepare for the Edexcel GCSE exam for French or German. Students are taught in mixed ability classes.
Trips and visits
In year 9, students can take part in the Paris Trip to France or the Rhineland Trip to Germany. Both trips are very popular and greatly enjoyed by the students. The German Exchange with our partner school in Dusseldorf runs for year 8 and KS5 students and has been very successful. We are hoping to begin a French exchange soon. The French KS5 students enjoy a trip to Paris in December.
Results/other points of interest
- In year 9 and 10, students can apply to be Language Leaders and gain a leadership qualification and new skills through working with local primary schools and running events at RPS.
- There are lots of clubs and activities to take part in.
- In July the whole school celebrates Bastille Day with activities including a French breakfast, cross-curricular lessons, face-painting, French games and much more!
- Every year we celebrate European Day of Languages in September.