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French and Spanish

Our French and Spanish curricula ensure that all students develop fluency and can communicate confidently. We allow students to explore and value different cultures. We commit to building our student's understanding of language. Students produce varied and richvocabulary, as well as grammatical structures and phonics. Students have the opportunity to apply language principles to understand and produce the target language clearly in written and spoken form. Students produce complex language through adding detail to, and successfully manipulating, the language they produce. Furthermore, students understand spoken and written language successfully by decoding and inferring meaning and apply the concepts of translation versus literal translation in their transcription of the language.  

We recognise that developing the skills of listening, reading, writing, speaking and translation are crucial for success in French or Spanish. Through all five skills, students have a receptive understanding of language and can produce it. Students are equipped with receptive skills, such as recognising small but important words to making correct inferences; they recognise patterns of language, understand questions and can translate into English. Moreover, students develop productive skills such as producing language in various sized chunks, responding appropriately to stimulus and questions, and adding detail through opinions and reasons. Students manipulate language through tenses and translation into French and Spanish. Our MFL curriculum develops mastery of initially small chunks of language to encourage confidence and language fluency. 

Learning a language is essential in developing inter-cultural understanding. Our MFL curricula are therefore committed to building our students’ intercultural understanding through the appreciation of the links between English and the target language. Through exploring different themes and topics, students have a broader and deeper understanding about the culture of Hispanic and French-speaking countries.  

Year 7 

The Year 7 French and Spanish curricula start with a review of key information to introduce oneself, with a focus on verbs, in particular the verbs 'to have' and 'to be'. Students use this knowledge to describe themselves in detail and make links to describe others in their family and wider life. Students also learn numbers and the alphabet to help make connections with various topics, and to act as a foundation to the study of phonics in the target language. Students then continue to widen their knowledge of verbs and how they are conjugated, with a focus on present and near future tense conjugations. Students also acquire additional vocabulary to give a more detailed picture of themselves, their family, friends, school life and where they live.

Year 8 

In Year 8, description of self is extended to include hobbies and free time, as well as the conjugation of verbs to describe the actions and opinions of others. Students review the present and near future tenses and are introduced to the past tense. Here, as in Year 7, regular verbs are the focus. High frequency irregular verbs are learnt in the first person without the review of the whole paradigm of the verb.  Students are then introduced to daily routine, and the use of reflexive verbs with a review of the time. Students are therefore able to give a detailed picture of their daily routine and make links to topics such as work and health. At the end of Year 8, all three tenses are reviewed within the context of holidays. Here, students narrate events or describe future plans as a justification for their opinions.    

Year 9 

In Year 9, the topic of where you live is reviewed to create a linguistic link to local problems and the environment. The topic of the environment extends students' verb knowledge. Students are then expected to conjugate and apply these verbs to additional topics regarding social issues, such as the rights of children. Students are then introduced to the additional tenses of the future simple and conditional to describe their future plans in the areas of work and education, family and relationships.  

Year 10 

In Year 10, students use their Key Stage 3 knowledge as a foundation to increase their fluency in speaking and writing. Topics such as free time, family and relationships are reviewed and applied to reading, listening, written and spoken activities. There is also an emphasis on small but important words, such as prepositions, and time phrases, adverbs and conjunctions are reviewed and extended across Year 10.  

Year 11 

In Year 11 students focus on topics such as holidays, celebrations, the environment and social issues. These topics lend themselves to the study of a variety of vocabulary (food, free time activities, accommodation, and weather) and grammar structures (the five tenses, modal and reflexive verbs).

Key Stage 5 

French and Spanish in Year 12 and Year 13 at Paddington builds on students’ prior knowledge gained at Key Stage 4 and develops the students’ understanding on a variety of aspects of target language speaking societies, such as current trends, politics, the history and the cultures of these countries. Students demonstrate receptive and productive skills on topics such as changing family values, gender equality, cultural heritage, regional identities as well as diversity and immigration.   

Students also study a set film and a set literary text. In French, students study the film La Haine and the literary text L’Étranger, equipping students with an in-depth understanding of culture in French speaking societies. In Spanish, students study the film Volver and the literary text La Casa de Bernarda Alba, allowing students to explore and gain an understanding of cultural themes relevant to Spanish speaking societies.  

At Key Stage 5 the curriculum enables students to defend their point of view on a variety of topical issues, whilst analysing the works of key authors and film makers from target language speaking countries.  


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