Modern Foreign Languages

Key Stage 3 MFL Curriculum Intent

The Holmesdale School is committed to providing a curriculum that is broad, ambitious and challenging and which fosters a love of learning. We match our curriculum to the abilities, interests and aspirations of our students, to give every child the opportunity to strive for personal excellence.

MFL Department Curriculum Intent

At The Holmesdale School we believe that Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are an important and integral part of our young people’s education. There are so many personal, cultural, social, and career benefits in being able to communicate in another language that every child in our school should have the opportunity to develop their own MFL skills. We want our pupils to be enthusiastic, engaged and challenged in their learning, so they can achieve excellence and develop their ability to use and understand another language. Our MFL curriculum also aims to enhance the awareness of it being ‘more than just a language’ by celebrating the diversity of different cultures and having an open mind to make a positive contribution to society.

Sequence and structure of the curriculum

All pupils at The Holmesdale School study Spanish in KS3 (years 7 to 9) to ensure a broad and balanced curriculum. In their lessons, our pupils will gain systematic knowledge of key vocabulary, phonics and grammatical structures of the language they study, and will further develop their understanding of how these are used by native speakers. Lessons are sequenced in a logical order to ensure there are opportunities to build on and embed this knowledge. We want to develop confident, successful and independent pupils who are not afraid to communicate in a different language and just ‘give it a go’ using a growth mindset.

Despite MFL being a non-core subject, during KS3 we dedicate more curriculum time to language learning and to promote the Ebacc qualification beyond year 9. This enables us to embed our delivery of the subjects so that our students are fully-prepared and equipped with the skills and knowledge ready to continue to GCSE if they choose this as an option. The GCSE curriculum builds on this prior knowledge from Key Stage 3, and we further develop the four key skills in Modern Foreign Languages; Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

Opportunities for memory, recall and retention

The pure nature of Modern Foreign Languages enables pupils to build their memory as they progress through their language studies. Key vocabulary and grammatical structures are consistently embedded and revisited as the course continues.

Meeting the needs of all students

We strongly believe that all students have the ability to learn Modern Foreign Languages, particularly as the studying of foreign languages improves their English literacy and wider curricula. Through the nature of MFL pedagogy all pupils systematically reflect on prior learning. This again supports SEND pupils through constant repetition of blocks of learning where they can then build more and more language as they develop.

National curriculum coverage

The National Curriculum for MFL at Key Stage 3 is used to inform our planning and lesson content. The purpose of Modern Foreign Languages is for pupils to be able to express themselves in another language and gain an understanding of foreign cultures, and this is exactly what is set out within the National Curriculum where pupils develop their language skills.

Cultural Capital, British Values, PSCHE and careers guidance

At The Holmesdale School our teaching of Modern Foreign Languages celebrates the wider world around us and shows pupils that we need to be accepting of other cultures and that we can all live successfully within society. We believe our pupils gain an excellent understanding of the countries of which language they are studying, without undermining our core British Values. The content within any Modern Foreign Language lesson is to be able to express oneself in another language, and there are clear links between our content and that of PSCHE. Our curriculum is planned to ensure there are clear career focused lessons showing pupils how important languages are for our development as a country, and that there are many more careers where languages are involved than they might think.