Philosophy and Vision
Language teachers at Wellfield School support the beliefs expressed in both National Curricula of 2014 and 2008 before it. We whole-heartedly and passionately agree that ‘Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. The teaching should enable students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. Language teaching should provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping students to study and work in other countries.’ (NC 2014).
We know from personal experience that ‘Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfillment. Students learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.’
Our simple vision is that all learners enjoy communicating confidently in a modern foreign language, irrespective of ability. We always remember that we may not always get things right and that we may not be successful with every learner. As Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Confucius (551 – 479 BC)
All students study a Modern Foreign Language. In year 7, most students learn German but students in upper bands initially learn both French and German before being selected for one language only from January. In year 8, students continue with their language from year 7. Depending on their Key Stage 4 Pathway, they may continue studying the language to GCSE from year 9.
KS4 Curriculum (Y9-11) – links to GCSE specifications
KS3 Curriculum (Y7-8)
Teaching in years 7 and 8 is designed to initiate, secure and deepen students’ understanding of essential grammar, structures and skills that they will need to be successful at the new GCSE with its increased demands for the ability to understand, apply and manipulate grammar in the productive skills of speaking and writing, including translation into the target language. Learning will be in a functional context as far as possible, bearing in mind the expectation that students will quickly grasp and be able to apply essential grammatical rules. The main intention is to prepare students for the GCSE specification and build confidence by creating and cementing new language as well as reinforcing prior learning with a distinct focus on grammar, rather than topic function. An emphasis is on the use of the full verb paradigm for the most able learners and less for the least able, whilst retaining an ability to function linguistically across different contexts.
In year 7, students learn to understand and communicate in present and future tenses using a good range of regular and irregular verbs.
In year 8, students also learn past tenses, perfect and imperfect, using an increasing range of regular and irregular verbs, including modals.
Throughout the academic year, students are prepared for and formally assessed in all four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing to mirror the expectations and demands of the future GCSE examinations.