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‘Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own’
Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
The Birkdale modern languages curriculum aims to prepare students to become global citizens. We encourage learners to explore and appreciate the cultural differences of target-language countries and aim to foster greater tolerance and respect for others. We endeavour to nurture linguistic curiosity that will motivate students to take their learning forward and enhance their knowledge of their mother tongue. We expect our students to embrace the notions of both perseverance and being prepared to ‘have a go’ by acknowledging that while our expectations are high, the communication and exchange of thoughts and ideas is our key objective.
In our teaching, we are clear that we focus on grammatical structures, syntax and vocabulary, using the correct terminology and making explicit links to English and other foreign languages’ grammatical structures and vocabulary. We achieve this by teaching language contextually within topic areas and encouraging students to communicate in the foreign language. We use authentic resources, particularly through the Internet to offer immediacy and authenticity to the MFL learning experience.
Our curriculum focuses on promoting good communication across the four key skills
We build the cultural capital of our students by embedding their linguistic acquisition within a framework which introduces them to a wide range of vocabulary beyond their own cultural experience and sets them up as intercultural citizens.
As well as learning in the classroom, we aim to bring an international dimension to our pupils’ secondary school experience. This includes exploring traditions and festivals in French and Spanish-speaking countries, discussing cultural similarities and differences, and providing real and purposeful learning experiences abroad. We encourage as many students as possible to get involved in our well-established trips and exchange programmes. Students have the opportunity to spend five days in Paris in the Spring of Year 8 and participate in our exchange programme to Avila, Spain, which we run annually for pupils in Years 9 and 10.
Our aim is for all pupils to experience success in languages. We strive to achieve this by scaffolding challenging curriculum content. We offer a mixed ability setting from years 7 – 11 which allows all abilities to adopt a progressive approach and work towards improvement. We remove learning barriers by using lots of visual resources including flow charts, sentence builders and speaking ladders. We provide a wide range of support resources to all pupils including verb charts, work mats, spelling booklets and vocabulary booklets.
|Foundation Stage||Examination Stage|
|Spanish is taught for 3 hours per cycle - all pupils |
French is taught for 3 hours per cycle - 90% of pupils
|GCSE French (Edexcel) |
GCSE Spanish (Edexcel)
5 hours per cycle
|Curriculum Leader - Mrs Wadhwa|
|Teacher of French and Spanish - Mrs Devlin |
Teacher of French and Spanish - Mrs Walker
Teacher of French and Spanish - Mrs Whittle