The MFL Faculty at Soar Valley College is a lively, experienced and innovative team, consisting of four full-time specialists with one additional full-time post being held by job-sharers and two additional part-timeposts. The Curriculum Leader is supported by the Assistant Curriculum Leader who has a key responsibility for KS3 within the department and by the Lead Teacher who has responsibility for overseeing the German schemes of work and resources.
Three-quarters of our students study French throughout KS3, with the remaining quarter studying German. At Years 7 and 9, languages are allocated five periods per fortnight, with six at Year 8. At KS4, students also have five periods a fortnight. Year 7 are taught in their mixed ability tutor groups, and we set broadly from Year 8 onwards. We currently have around 50% of the cohort studying languages at GCSE.
At KS3, we do not follow a set textbook, but have our own scheme of work which we have adapted over recent years to meet student needs and the requirements of the National Framework. We do, however, have a large selection of textbooks, tapes, CDs and photocopy able resources available to supplement our own teaching resources.
We follow the OCR syllabus at KS4. Our students do not do written coursework as we have preferred to opt for the internal assessment of the speaking component. The MFL Faculty at Soar Valley has a long-standing reputation for achieving good results at GCSE for our students.
Most members of the faculty have their own teaching room. All language classrooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard, a multi-media projector and a networked computer as well as storage facilities and display boards. There is also a good-sized faculty office which is used as a quiet work area, and for the storage of resources and stationery.
At KS3 and KS4, ICT plays a valuable role in the delivery of both French and German. As a faculty, we have built up an extensive bank of Powerpoint presentations and flipcharts which are held on the college network. We also have a range of software to enhance and support our teaching, including Taskmagic, the Expo 1 and 2 Teacher’s Presentation packages and the Echo 1 Teacher’s presentation package. We have annual subscriptions to the Zut, Linguascope and Klar websites. Within classroom lessons, students can use the college’s mobile lap-safes to access the internet, word-process or play language games. In addition to the mobile lap-safes, five other ICT suites across the college can be booked for use by language classes when required.
All the Language teaching staff are committed to the active use of target language within lessons and to delivering lessons through a range of interactive approaches that help to keep students engaged and motivated. We work as a team to support each other in implementing developments and sharing ideas, resources and good practice. We also value our links with Leicester University’s ITT course as regular contact with student teachers offers us opportunities to discuss and explore pedagogy and practice.
Extra –curricular activities help to foster students’ interest and we run trips on alternate years to France and Germany for 45 students from year 8 to10, visiting cities such as Paris and Cologne and experiencing local cultures.
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Key Stage three assessment descriptors are attached below. The “learning pathway” (e.g. 8-9) indicates the likely GCSE grade that a student may expect at the end of year 11, based upon both their current attainment and year of study.