We are a team of specialist linguists who teach all three languages, French, Spanish and German, from Year 7 to Year 13. We not only believe in providing languages for all, but we also want to empower our students to choose the languages they love to learn.
Our curriculum is based on the principles of language learning being phonics, vocabulary, and grammar: these are the key components in allowing students to develop their linguistic ability and self-efficacy.
Vocabulary acquisition is an important component of language knowledge. To support vocabulary learning, regular vocabulary revision and testing across all Key Stages is consistent. Vocabulary is carefully selected to include high frequency vocabulary, topic specific vocabulary and cross topic vocabulary. Grammar is taught explicitly throughout our curriculum, tailored to the complexity and ability of the students, and practised through listening, reading and in productive use in writing and speaking.
Retrieval practice is embedded in our lessons to promote distributed/spaced learning to allow students to gain and consolidate vocabulary and revisit grammatical understanding, learning more, remembering more.
Our use of classroom target language not only develops students’ understanding of phonics but encourages students to use and practise target language themselves. Teachers’ use of target language is carefully planned and tailored to students’ ability level, whilst building on prior knowledge. Target language is intentional for classroom routines, praise and more.
Our curriculum allows for the four modalities of language (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) to be developed and reinforced through authentic resources; the use of the language lab further enhances this experience.
The MFL department’s passion for languages for all is pivotal in the running of our department. We believe in the opportunities that languages offer our students, not only during their time in school but also the horizons they broaden in later life. Languages give our students experience and confidence like no other subject; a freedom to explore, appreciate and celebrate other cultures. Our students have been enthused to go on to not only study languages at university, but also languages in their careers, working in Martinique, Nicaragua, Mongolia and Austria amongst others, all whilst keeping in touch and doing their bit to enthuse future linguists.
Key stage 5 information
To be able to study a language at A-level, you need to aim for at least a grade 5 at GCSE. The A level Modern Language course is structured so that you will study four modules each year. These will form the basis of the reading, writing and listening exams and also the speaking test. Translation also forms part of the course. There is no coursework for this A level. With around five hours of class time a week dedicated to learning your language, this is a fast-paced environment, where you will quickly see noticeable improvements in your language skills. You will have to do exams in both years of study.
The topics that you cover will be really varied, so you not only greatly improve your language speaking ability, use of grammar, different tenses, and know more vocabulary, but you will also learn about culture, history, literature, society, the environment and lifestyle. Broad themes you will study include:
- social issues and trends including families and citizenship, youth trends and personal identity, and education and employment opportunities.
- Understanding the Spanish/French/German speaking world focusing on regional culture and festivals; customs and traditions; historical sites and heritage, trends in media and art, film and music in the lives of young people.
- Diversity and difference including migration and integration, cultural identity and marginalisation, cultural enrichment and celebrating difference, the positive aspects of a diverse society, discrimination and diversity.
- Depending on the language of study, elements of World War II and post war.
A level students also study a minimum of one film and one book which form part of the exams.
A measure of the success of language learning at John Kyrle is the number of students who go on to read modern languages at university. Employment rates after languages degrees are amongst the very highest, with employers particularly welcoming graduates with good communication skills and who offer one or more modern foreign languages.
French A level specification A level specification template (eduqas.co.uk)
German A level specification A level specification template (jkhs.org.uk)
Spanish A level specification A level specification template (jkhs.org.uk)