Modern Foreign Languages

Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8 most students at Maltings Academy study either Spanish or French throughout Key Stage 3 in ability groups. A set 1 in years 7 and 8 will study both Spanish and French. 

Spanish students follow the Mira course book whilst French students follow the Studio course book. 

During year 7 students learn to give information about themselves, their school, their family and their hobbies. This continues in year 8 with students learning to give information about future plans, past holidays and shopping for clothes. Students are regularly assessed in each year using National Curriculum levels in the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

All students will have the option to continue French or Spanish to GCSE when they make option choices at the end of year 8. 

Progress and attainment at KS3 has been maintained over the last 2 years with approximately 80% on or above their minimum expected levels by end of summer in both French and Spanish. 

Progress also improves rapidly and pupils acquire knowledge quickly with approximately 98% of students in year 7 reaching their expected minimum level by the end of the first year. 

Key Stage 4

From year 9 onwards students in Spanish and French follow the Pearson Edexcel GCSE course. The Edexcel GCSE course in Spanish and French consists of four units based on the following skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing.

The course will enable students to develop:
  • an understanding of Spanish/ French in a variety of contexts 
  • a knowledge of Spanish/ French vocabulary and structures 
  • transferable language learning skills 
  • the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish/ French 
  • awareness and understanding of countries and communities where Spanish/ French is spoken 
GCSE Speaking and Writing will be assessed by 2 Controlled Assessments in each of these skills over years 10 and 11, whilst GCSE Listening and Reading will be assessed by terminal exams in year 11. Overall summer 2013 MFL results A*-C in French and Spanish were 60%. Spanish GCSE 2013 A*-C was 75%, above the national average of 73%. GCSE MFL results in both French and Spanish 2013 A*-G was 100%; higher than the national average of 99.6%. Pupils gaining 3 levels of progress in year 11 Spanish GCSE 2013 were 70% way above the national average of 61% from the previous year. Pupils gaining 4 levels of progress in year 11 Spanish GCSE 2013 were 50% again way above the national average of 35% from the previous year. The average point score in French GCSE 2013 was 38.5 and in Spanish GCSE 2013 46.

Key Stage 5

Pupils who have gained a B grade or above at GCSE have the option to continue MFL in French and Spanish at KS5 to GCE AS and A2 levels in the MTA 6th form.

The AS course consists of 2 units examined in the summer in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing related to the following current affairs topics:
  • Youth Culture and concerns, music and fashion, communication technology, relationships, drink/drugs/sex
  • Lifestyle: health and fitness, sport/exercise, food and diet, health issues
  • The world around us: travel, tourism, environmental issues and the Spanish-speaking world 
  • Tourist information, weather, pollution and recycling 
  • Education and employment, policies and student issues, the world of work 
The A2 continues in the second year with again 2 units examined in the summer in Speaking and Writing only, related to the same current affair topics as AS with the following in addition:
  • Customs, traditions, beliefs and religions 
  • National and international events 
  • Literature and arts 
Attainment at KS5 GCE Spanish has been maintained above the national average with 100% A*-E grades for the past three years.

Why Should I Study a Language?

In her address to the House of Lords on 3rd December 2009, Baroness Coussins pointed out that the UK economy could be missing out on contracts worth up to £21 billion a year because of the lack of language skills in the workforce. She also said that three and a half years after completing their university degrees, modern linguists earn more than graduates from any other discipline except medics, architects and pharmacologists. The message to young people is clear, especially in today’s economic climate where jobs are difficult to find; not only will you benefit from language qualifications, the UK economy will benefit also. 

It is also likely that employers and university admission officers will expect able students to have at least one MFL at GCSE level. Some universities have already made this a condition of entry. 

In studying a foreign language, you will also learn about the cultures and customs of the countries where the language is spoken. This will add an international dimension to your range of qualifications; a quality valued by employers and higher education providers. You will also create greater opportunities for yourself to work abroad or for the growing number of companies in the UK, which trade internationally. 

You will learn a range of skills, which are useful in a wide range of careers, such as the ability to communicate clearly, being confident about speaking in public and using problem solving strategies. 

A recent article of 19th June 2013 in the Telegraph newspaper explained how learning a foreign language can also boost certain cognitive processes, such as building multitasking skills, improving memory skills, perception skills and decision-making skills, as well as improving your own English!
Tips for Helping at Home

The MFL Department value the support that parents and carers provide, especially when it comes to encouraging them to do additional study outside of the classroom. There are some tips in the following document to help you support your son/daughter in learning a new language. Click here to download (PDF). Students should also look at the following list of useful website to help with their study.