What does the Japanese art of Kintsugi have to do with Languages at Alderbrook?
Just like the Kintsugi art form where you take pieces of pottery and join them with gold to make the pot more beautiful, our joint philosophy in French and Spanish is to carefully piece together a diverse curriculum and range of experiences in order to inspire our students to become open-minded, confident and resilient language learners.
Teaching and learning focuses on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing and activities are aimed at challenging, engaging and motivating learners of all abilities.
Students who are allocated French will continue to study this language throughout years 7, 8 and 9 and are taught in mixed ability groups. This becomes an option subject at GCSE.
Within the French Department we have recently reviewed our Programme of Study and will be adopting the Dr Gianfranco Conti approach based upon his Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI) method starting with Year 7 in September 2022. This innovative and exciting programme of study will be rolled out across both KS3 and KS4 accordingly.
Here is an overview of the EPI approach which we strongly believe will improve students’ access, retention and engagement in language learning as well as potentially increase the uptake at GCSE.
Extensive drilling of chunks of target language through games and speaking activities.
Range of listening and reading tasks to develop students’ decoding skills and fluency .
Opportunities to consolidate and produce the target language in a structured and safe context.
Planned communicative tasks under a less controlled environment to allow students to work on their fluency and spontaneity with a strong emphasis on speaking and writing with the opportunity to unpick the main grammar introduced within the unit.
Please refer to our Topic Trackers for a breakdown of units covered and our assessment calendar.
Students who chose to study a language at KS4 follow the AQA GCSE course. We produce a workbook for each unit which contains materials covering all 4 language skills with appropriate support. We supplement this with a wide range of resources including Exampro, Quizlet, GCSEpod and our own dedicated website for independent study and revision.
In year 11 we offer individual/small group mentoring sessions tailored to the personal needs of each student. We also run additional listening sessions at lunchtime as our exam analysis has identified this as the weakest of the four language skills for the majority of students.
Overall, our intention is to offer the best balance of support and encouragement in order to instil in all our learners a desire for success.
We have created our very own French website which draws together all the key websites and resources to support independent study: https://sites.google.com/view/abk-ks4-french/home
Our Department is committed to promoting languages both in school and beyond as an invaluable skill for young people in an increasingly small world. Therefore, we are constantly seeking opportunities for our students to explore the French-speaking world and get creative with the language.
We have also established a range of meaningful and engaging activities with the Art, Geography, Music, Food Technology and English Departments.
We hope to foster respect appreciation for tradition, history, religion, and the liberal arts across all three KS in line with the school values.
Naturally, we understand the importance of signposting career links and employability skills in our programme of study. We have incorporated independent research projects at both KS3 and KS4 to raise the profile of languages and ensure that students are aware of the many benefits of learning a language in the job market.
Please contact the Head of French Mrs Sonia Oliver