Our main aim supports that of the whole school: to bring out the best in each child, in a positive environment in which pupils will feel safe, valued and happy. To the Department team work is at the very heart of our endeavours, a sense of a shared set of goals is dependent on trust, respect and honesty. The Department works for the pupils and has high expectations of pupils, students and colleagues alike.
Our philosophy is based on our belief that Modern Languages are an essential, indeed central, part of the school curriculum. Young people by nature are inquisitive: they like to know answers and investigate. In an age of multi-media and information overload it is important that pupils understand how to write in more than one time frame, express opinions with a wide variety of vocabulary and have a good knowledge of grammar. All of these skills are central to the study of Modern Languages as a discipline which is built from the formative years and encompasses:
- the knowledge of vocabulary;
- the ability to apply linguistic knowledge and skills to understand and communicate effectively;
- understand how a language works and how to manipulate it;
- recognise that languages may differ but share many common grammatical, syntactical or lexical features, and
- appreciate the richness and diversity of other cultures.
Within Key Stage 3, the pupils develop linguistic skills within the four main attainment areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. It is crucial that in our teaching of the Key Stage 3 curriculum past events are recollected in a way that stimulates interest, and encourages participation. Ultimately we aim to ensure that each pupil at the end of year nine has a good understanding of some of the most important grammatical concepts. Moreover, they should also be enthused by Modern Languages and have developed the skills to enable them to make excellent progress at GCSE and enable them to take a continuing interest in their more adult years.
At Key Stage 4 we continue to develop their linguistic skills and to stimulate their interest in the subject by following the AQA syllabus supported by “Mira” and “Expo” textbooks and related resources which compliments and builds on their learning in Year 9. Our broad aims, that is to enable each child to do their best, remains the same. We hope that pupils will continue in their study of Modern Languages into Sixth Form where our syllabus is put together in such a way as to enable students to gain a deeper insight into a variety of issues such as popular culture, healthy living, family relationships and the media.
Whilst we encourage each child to do his or her best within the subject we are aware that at each stage within the curriculum the pupils’ needs varies and change. As a department we try to look the pupil as a whole and hope to not only give them a superb understanding of a language, but to provide them with a sense of achievement, confidence, independence, and ability to learn and think for themselves, at whatever age.