Learning a foreign language is a vital part of any school curriculum and provides an opening to and a better understanding of other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our aim is to broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world and becoming global citizens.
Our teaching enables students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied, improving the functionality of the brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate. Our curriculum provides students with ‘powerful knowledge’ that helps them develop a competency that is both broad and deep in the skills of listening, speaking reading and writing based on a sound foundation of core grammar, vocabulary and phonics.
Our languages lessons also help students to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy. This skill boosts students’ ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks.
Critical learning, high frequency language and key communicative functions are revisited receptively and productively many times as we progress through the curriculum.Our ultimate goal with our students is to develop their ability to be self-efficacious and to create the optimal conditions to succeed and be able to thrive in a diverse world.
In Spanish last year, 56.7% of students achieved grades 9 to 5; and 83.3% achieved grades 9 to 4.
Students’ learning and understanding is assessed throughout each term. Firstly, through a variety of formative assessments; through home learning tasks, vocabulary tests, whole class questioning and writing tasks. These assessments lead to live verbal feedback students can act upon immediately to close the gaps in their learning.
A summative assessment also takes place at the end of every term, focusing each time on one or two of the following skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. These summative assessments are marked against the GCSE criterion. A written bridging feedback is used for students to act upon to improve their work and make progress.
Mrs Celine Hatcher, Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Ms Elizabeth Burnett, Languages Teacher and Head of Kingfisher House
Mrs Natalie Easton, Languages Teacher and Rewards Lead
Spanish is taught to the students in the extended pathway throughout KS3 at The Dorcan Academy and they may choose to continue to follow through to GCSE.
In Year 7, 8 and 9, extended students have 3 lessons a fortnight.
Students in Year 10 and 11 that select Spanish as an option will receive 5 lessons a fortnight. Choosing a language is compulsory for all students in the extended pathway, to support their attainment of the EBacc suite of qualifications.
The languages faculty offer after an after-school club called “Languages Leaders”: students from all year groups are invited to share their love of languages and design activities which are used to teach primary school students.
We also offer trips abroad: traditionally year 8 students have had the opportunity to go on a 5-day visit to France to discover both the culture and the history of the region of La Somme.
www.linguascope.com (ask your teacher for the login details)
www.wordreference.com (the best online dictionary)