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Figures, Rudiments, Lower Grammar

Pupils follow a combination of plans and resources for the three years of work in KS3. In Saint Mary’s Hall pupils attend 3 periods of French a week in addition to the 3 periods of Spanish.

All resources and activities are clearly linked to the MFL framework in order for pupils to achieve the following aims:

Linguistic competence
Knowledge about language
Intercultural understanding

Each unit uses a combination of audio recordings, DVDs and worksheets with a strong emphasis on Assessment for Learning.  It is cross-referenced to the Renewed Framework for Modern Foreign Languages, and Personal Learning and Thinking Skills.  Work includes frequent short, fun tests, including visual spelling tests, which ascertain levels of understanding and which the pupils enjoy tremendously as it gives them a sense of achievement.  Differentiation is always paramount and, when necessary, a different format test is given to SEN pupils. Importantly, the children benefit from weekly sessions with our French assistante either individually or in small groups.

We use online programmes, such as BBC Languages and Linguascope games for fun and enjoyable learning.  Relevant cultural programmes about French speaking countries are shown in the classroom. We use praise words in lessons and when correcting exercises.  In addition, SMH pupils can obtain stickers with the same praise words for their written work. All units have various activities, including extension activities to provide differentiated tasks for individual pupils. We have a variety of resources such as DVDs and CDs and graded readers and use worksheets, flashcards and other print resources.  Most of them, however, are created by the teacher, taking into account all abilities.  Whenever possible the French teacher will use the target language to address the class, or to explain different tasks.  There is a big emphasis on correct French pronunciation.

Most pupils study two foreign languages in Lower Grammar, and the options are French, Spanish and Beginners’ German. There are three, thirty-five minute periods, and one studies per week for each language. As a minimum, pupils choose one modern foreign language to GCSE, we encourage as many as possible to continue with two, given the importance of foreign languages in the modern work-place.