Subject Leader: Mrs Ellie Lefevre
Languages at QKS
At The Queen Katherine School, languages are for all. We are members of a global community and staff at QKS are passionate about bringing languages to life. We provide opportunities for students to not only learn to speak a language but also to explore the culture of the countries in which they are spoken. Let's find out in which country Guinea Pig is a national delicacy! What actually happens on the Day of the Dead? Does everyone really eat croissants for breakfast, snails for lunch and frogs legs for dinner in France? We hope to broaden horizons and give pupils a glimpse of life beyond our own borders.
It goes without saying that lessons are fun! We know that pupils who are engaged, confident, motivated and challenged are more likely to remember the words, phrases and structures studied. We play lots of games, run competitions and challenges and carefully sequence our work so that everyone, regardless of experience or ability, can make excellent progress.
“Languages are invaluable for a generation growing up in an increasingly connected world. If the UK is to be truly global post-Brexit, languages must become a national priority. There are few more important languages for the UK’s future prosperity than Spanish and French”.
Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser at the British Council.
Key Stage 3
Every student learns Spanish from Year 7. The focus is on bringing everyone together so that students with different experiences of languages from primary school feel confident and are able to make progress. To this end, in addition to topic-based work, we focus on phonics and memory strategies and we are always impressed by students' capacity to recall vocabulary and pronounce words like a native! Highlights in Year 7 include Spanglovision- a competition where classes memorise and perform a song in Spanish and of course the languages Spelling Bee. In Year 8, we build on students’ understanding of Spanish grammar and by the end of Term 2, we are able to narrate events in 3 tenses. In addition to the grammar covered, topics include transactional language so that students can confidently order food from a café, ask for directions, or make arrangements. In Term 3 we listen to Spanish music and give our opinions. In Year 9, we take the opportunity to consider our future ambitions, the world of work and also discuss the importance of learning languages. We also take the opportunity to develop students’ cultural understanding through the study of a film. From Year 9 students also have the opportunity to pick up French which they may go on to study for GCSE should they wish.
Key Stage 4: French and Spanish
Technology makes amazing advances every day, but it will never replace human interaction. The world will always be in need of language speakers. By the end of Year 11, we hope to create confident communicators equipped to continue further study or access a global job market. We aim to develop students' passion and interest for languages as well as supporting them to get the best GCSE grade possible. We follow the AQA GCSE specification and students are required to listen and respond to different types of language, communicate in speech for a variety of purposes, read and respond to different types of written language and communicate in writing for a variety of purposes.
AQA: GCSE French specification
AQA: GCSE Spanish specification
At KS3 we have a successful Languages Club which runs on Thursday lunch times along with various drop in and revision sessions for KS4. We run House competitions such as our MFL Bake Off and Day of the Dead competition with the Art/RS departments and now that Covid restrictions are easing, we can now recommence trips and visits. In the pipeline for example- a Key Stage 3 trip to a Spanish restaurant, a visit from Department of European Languages and Culture (Lancaster University) and we are exploring the possibility of an educational visit to Spain.