Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Students learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.
In learning a language students develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity.
The Scheme of Work at Knole Academy covers a range of topics relevant to young people in contemporary society and provides for a sound development of grammar skills. This is supported by a variety of resources. The Department has high expectations and all staff use a range of teaching and learning techniques to enable students to progress and reach their full potential.
Key Stage 3
All students are taught French in teaching groups throughout Key Stage 3, developing their language skills in listening and responding, reading and writing and cultural awareness. All skills are regularly assessed at least every term. Students follow a skills-based scheme of work which also fits in to the new Modern Language Framework of Objectives. They have the opportunity to use ICT software programs, videos and TV, language magazines and reading books for independent reading.
Homework is set once a week and may include activities set from Samlearning.com or Doddle Translation exercises may also be included. Thorough learning which also boosts students 'confidence is actively encouraged.
Students are expected to try to speak as much French as possible in the classroom. Learning activities regularly include peer assessment and role plays, group work and activities enabling students to develop all four skills.
Key Stage 4
French is an option subject at GCSE but compulsory for Grammar stream students. The exam board is Edexcel and the new GCSE course enables students to take their assessments in speaking and writing in stages. Students are encouraged to visit France or French-speaking countries to develop their speaking and listening skills. Students are actively encouraged to use French websites in order to develop their general comprehension skills.
Homework is set once a week, however it is essential that students spend at least one hour a week learning spellings or revising vocabulary from their Revision booklet which all students are issued at the beginning of the course.
Key Stage 5
The Exam Board is Edexcel and students are assessed in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing at the end of each year.
Students are strongly advised to spend as much time as possible in a French-speaking country, as well as reading authentic French materials and watching French films and videos on the Internet.
Extra-curricular activities and trips
The Languages Department runs an active and varied programme of trips and activities both in the academy and beyond throughout the year.
Within the academy, revision sessions are organised on a weekly basis for year 11 students who wish to improve their exam grades .
At Key stage 4 Mrs Beaumont and Ms Hughes run the Intervention French Club every Friday at 1.15pm in L4. Students are welcome to attend the Club at any point in the year in order to improve their speaking and/or writing skills.
In terms of visits abroad, the department runs a year 7 day trip to Boulogne. It is an ideal opportunity for them to experience a taste of France. We visit the market, do some shopping and after a picnic in the park, visit the sea life centre and then later the old walled town. For some students it is their first time abroad and therefore most memorable.
In year 9 the History and French departments join forces to organise a one-day trip to the First World War Battlefields in February. The visit includes time spent in the trenches and British cemeteries, as well as museums and the Menin Gate ceremony.