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Coombe Dean School

Coombe Dean School

Languages

Subject Intent  

We want our curriculum to provide students with the necessary tools to be motivated and effective learners of languages and to become able communicators in the modern world. We want our students to acquire a solid linguistic foundation on which to independently build further knowledge and skills.  

Knowledge 

We want our students to acquire a solid knowledge of the language they are studying based on three pillars: vocabulary, grammar and phonics. Modern Languages lessons will teach:  

  • The phonics system of either French, German or Spanish 

  • A core vocabulary sufficient to enable students to manipulate the language and communicate effectively  

  • How to conjugate high frequency regular and irregular verbs in a variety of tenses.   

  • Grammatical terms and concepts to articulate their understanding of language as a system. 

  • How to construct simple and gradually more complex sentences.  

  • Facts about key aspects of culture (e.g traditions, food, celebrations, history, music)  

Skills  

We want our students to be able to:  

  • Use their knowledge to make sense of written and spoken language, including carefully selected authentic material. 

  • Use the language they know creatively in writing and speaking. 

  • Work independently to master key vocabulary and linguistic structures . 

  • Engage in and learn from culturally enriching activities in order to build their cultural capital. 

Key Stage 3  

Our KS3 curriculum combines the directives of the National Curriculum with the key elements of effective language learning established by the NCELP, the National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy. Building on the literacy knowledge in English acquired at KS2, students are taught the grammar and structures of the new language as well as essential vocabulary chosen for its high frequency in the language. Pronunciation and ability to decode spoken and written messages are also an essential part of each lesson.  

Key Stage 4 

 Students build on their knowledge of high frequency vocabulary and grammatical structures to develop the skills which will be assessed in the Edexcel GCSE. Currently, the content of the GCSE is built around five themes:  Identity and culture, Local area, holiday and travel School, Future aspirations, study and work and finally, International and global dimension. Students will take four exams, each worth 25% of the final grade, in speaking, listening, reading and writing. 

Post 16

Students further their studies from GCSE to the Edexcel A’ level in their chosen language. The course is either run on site or at a consortium school. Students are now in a position to use their language skills to study in depth authentic materials and aspects of the contemporary countries whose language they are learning. The course is structured around four themes based around aspects of society, culture and history. The study of a film and a book is also included.