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Modern Foreign Languages

In Modern Languages, we aim to develop students’ ability to communicate accurately and with confidence in French and Spanish both orally and in written form. During our language lessons, students use traditional and new media to complete activities using all four skills. We place a huge emphasis on student engagement and aim for students to enjoy their lessons and have fun experimenting with the language.

Listening and speaking exercises are designed for students to extend their vocabulary and ultimately autonomously improve their communication, pronunciation and fluency. Speaking activities are conducted in pairs or in groups in the target language with an emphasis on collaborative support and peer assessment. This helps students to build their confidence when speaking another language and to foster their imagination and competence when creating their own speaking activities. Writing and reading exercises reinforce and extend their knowledge of vocabulary as well as focussing on spelling and grammar. Part of our homework strategy is to encourage students to read texts independently and to write their response to a set task as well as to research cultural and social topics. In addition, we expect students to commit to learning vocabulary on a regular basis. This knowledge is tested in class. We also aim to promote students’ independent learning and enjoyment of the language across all Key Stages, by playing games and team-based activities using technology and games. We also have subscriptions to interactive language software which can also be accessed from home.

We are a hard-working and dedicated team that come from a wide variety of educational and personal backgrounds. Our team consists of one native speaker and staff who have spent time in French and Spanish speaking countries and as a result are extremely talented linguists. We are an experienced team and look forward to welcoming new teachers and trainee teachers in a supportive and friendly department. In addition, we have embraced fully the opportunities that Google has offered us and regularly seek opportunities to embed technology into our teaching so we develop as teachers.

Key Stage 3

KS3

Our modern language students will be able to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.  We will also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read texts in the original language. They will develop an appreciation for the languages studied and gain a deeper understanding of the culture of French and Spanish speaking countries.  From September 2020, students in year 7 will study either French OR Spanish based on their House.  They will then continue with either French OR Spanish throughout KS3 in order to best prepare them for the challenge of the new GCSEs. 

Students are taught in a mixed ability setting in years 8 and 9.  In year 7, we broadly follow the setting model followed by students’ English ability.

Topics studied in MFL include:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
Personal information Personal details Personal details
Numbers Descriptions of friends Hobbies/leisure activities
Family Clothes Technology
Physical descriptions Food & drink Health lifestyles, illness & parts of the body
Pets House and local area Transport and visiting cities abroad
School & subjects Weather Media (films, books & tv)
Time Holiday last year Parties & festivals
Sports Holidays Environment
House Inviting a friend out Part-time jobs
Food Local area/places in town Describing clothes
Places in town Technology Family life and home
Clothes Media Rules at home
  Parties & festivals Jobs and ambitions
    Resolutions for the future

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

KS4

In Key Stage 4, our modern language students can choose to benefit from further language learning and add a European dimension to their choice of GCSE subjects, which is something that many future employers and higher education providers look for.  The new GCSE course offers the opportunity to study some literary texts as well as transactional language in the speaking exam. They will learn many skills which are useful in a wide range of careers, such as the ability to communicate clearly, confidence in speaking in public and off the cuff and using problem solving strategies to respond to a range of text types.

The MFL course itself is split into 3 main themes:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

The new GCSE is examined at the end of the two year course:

There are four papers, each covering one skill:  Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

For 2021 - speaking will not be tested formally due to COVID 19 restrictions but students will receive a grade for their classwork in speaking.  This will not contribute to their final GCSE grade but will be an extra mark.  Students will be assessed ONLY on Listening, Reading and Writing for 2021 and these will be worth 33% of the grade each.  

All set and marked by AQA with 25% equal weighting for each skill.  There are tiered papers in all four skills, students must sit either Foundation Tier or Higher Tier in all four skills.

The department follows AQA and more information about the course and subject specification can be found at: www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages

Students are taught in a mixed ability setting.

French including Enrichment & Extra-curricular

FRENCH

We are delighted to be able to offer extra-curricular visits as part of our curriculum.  We hope to be able to offer these next year.  We also ran a pen-pal scheme with a school in France last year and hope to renew this in the future with a view to setting up a whole school exchange.   We hope to offer a school trip to Paris for KS4 in July.

We offer a French support session on Wednesday lunchtimes which aims to support students who would like support with their language learning.   We also hope to offer an extra-curricular film club in the summer term to enrich our students learning and to enthuse students further and to learn more about the culture of a target language country.  In addition, we are researching the possibility of having a French theatre company come to visit KS3 as a further opportunity for students.

Spanish including Enrichment & Extra-curricular

SPANISH

In Key Stage 3, our Spanish students will be able to express their ideas and thoughts in Spanish and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing.  We will also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read texts in the original language. They will develop an appreciation for the languages studied and gain a deeper understanding of the culture of Spanish speaking countries.   Spanish is taught both as explicit elements to the course and within appropriate topics.

Students are taught in a mixed ability setting in years 8 and 9.  In year 7, we broadly follow the setting model followed by students’ English ability. We used Zoom I and Zoom II.

Y10 SPANISH STUDENTS - LANGUAGE & CULTURAL TRIP TO BARCELONA

The trip includes: a two hour intensive Spanish course at a language college in central Barcelona, a visit to Park Güell, La Sagrada Familia including some delicious tapas whilst enjoying some flamenco!

For the football fans, we visit Camp Nou and spend an afternoon soaking up the atmosphere of Las Ramblas with a visit to the Mercado Bocanegra, where we taste some Spanish delicacies.

"The school trip to Barcelona was the best trip I have ever done with Tring School and was an experience that I will remember for my entire life. One of the best bits of the trip was going to the languages school and being taught lots of new vocabulary in a very fun and interesting way. I loved going to the amazing cultural locations and particular favourites were La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell. The trip was also a great opportunity for us to practise our Spanish with some locals."      Sam

"Mi parte favorita del viaje fue cuando fuimos a la Sagrada de familia porque fue muy emocionante y muy hermoso  para mirar. También me gustó la clase de español porque fue muy útil para nosotros. Si tuviera la oportunidad visitaría España más a menudo, pienso que mi español  mejoraría mucho."       Jodie

MFL Department

Subject Lead for KS3 Mrs J Baker
Subject Lead for KS4 & KS5 Ms K Simón
  Mrs E Ferris
  Miss H Spargo
  Mrs E Thorndyke
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