Modern Foreign Languages

The MFL Department at Marden High aims to provide students with the opportunity to build on the language they bring with them from KS2, and to equip them with the skills to become confident and competent language speakers.

Over the course of KS3 students study a variety of topics of interest to young people through the medium of French and German.  They also look at the wider world where the languages are spoken, other thanFranceandGermany, as well as the importance of languages in today’s world.

These include:

  • Personal Identification
  • Leisure and Holidays
  • House and Town
  • School

At KS4 students study the AQA syllabus for GCSE.

Themes studied are;

  • Lifestyle and Health
  • Leisure, Free Time and the Media
  • Home and Environment, Home and Local Area.
  • Work and Education, School/College and Future Plans

Lessons are taught through the 4 skills, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing throughout both KS3&4.  These skills are given equal weighting in KS3, whereas in KS4, Listening and Speaking Controlled Assessments each account for 30% of the final grade at GCSE (60% combined), and Reading and Listening are final exams at the end of the course, each worth 20% of the final grade.

Because of this skills based approach, we endeavour to address all preferred learning styles in the lessons, and students are encouraged to work both in groups and pairs when the opportunity arises, particularly for oral work.

Students are expected to be independent in their learning, especially when preparing for assessment tasks, and they are expected to spend at least 30 minutes per week on learning outside the classroom.

Lessons are delivered using ICT and the 4 dedicated MFL classrooms are equipped with Interactive Whiteboards.  Students access ICT classrooms when these are available, and IS tasks are set which allow the creative use of ICT.  Exercise books are used for class work, homework and language note taking in both Key stages, and in KS4 students are expected to keep their preparation work for Controlled Assessment in folders.

Assessment at KS3 takes the form of tests at the end of each module of work, approximately half-termly.  There is regular assessment in KS4, particularly in the build up to the Controlled Assessments in Speaking and Writing, and these Controlled Assessments are conducted by the class teacher when the students are ready.  In both Key stages, there is regular vocabulary and grammar testing.

As a Department we are keen to encourage extracurricular cultural experiences to further enrich language learning, including a trip in Year 9 to France and Germany.  We have established a link with a school in Halluin, which is twinned with North Tyneside, and some of our students are corresponding by email.

Russian is offered as an extracurricular subject to Able and Talented students, with the opportunity to continue this language to GCSE level.

The MFL Department at Marden High continues to have excellent links with its feeder schools – Mrs Mellor is the Primary Link Teacher, and she also teaches French in the schools.