At St. George's we offer both French and Spanish from Year 7 to Year 13. We aim high and achieve high results. The department consists of four teachers, two language assistants and a trainee teacher.
In year 7 and 8 half of the students study French and the other half study Spanish. Normally, at the end of year 8 students opt to do French or Spanish for their GCSE.
Students of Spanish or French/Spanish have two lessons (1 hour each) per week. The department follows the National Curriculum for MFL putting special attention to improving students’ general language skills and developing their enthusiasm to get to know other cultures.
By the end of year 8 our students can understand, express and develop their ideas in a number of topic areas such as: personal information and local area, home, school, holidays, French/Spanish and Spanish Speaking countries, the workplace, shopping and free time/leisure….
The department provides multiple opportunities for students to gain first-hand knowledge of Spanish and French culture through the continuous help of native language assistants, special occasion activities (Christmas picnics in lesson) and the French/Spanish clubs that take place every Wednesday after school where students develop their language skills through songs and games with native speakers. We also run a French Day Trip for year 7 students in June.
Apart from being given immediate feedback on their language use by our teachers and assistants. They are levelled every half term through end of unit tests on the four skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Students are given their own vocabulary and grammar booklet at the beginning of the year for their own personal study. They have a workbook that corresponds to their textbook. We normally set the page that corresponds to the textbook page we are doing in lesson once a week, usually the first lesson. We set a learning task on the second lesson, we see the students. Every three weeks we also need to have set at least one writing task.
Elementary and beginner areas:
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For functional Spanish:
At KS4, students have lessons two a week and have one-hour extra revision session per fortnight. We also arrange Saturday and half term revisions near examination times or as intervention for particular students. We run two intervention sessions in the morning before registration for students who are struggling with either French or Spanish.
Due to the changes to the MFL Curriculum students study GCSE French/Spanish from year 9. The new curriculum emphasizes the value of listening and reading authentic material and expects students to speak and write spontaneously.
The French and Spanish GCSE courses are taught over a period of 3 years starting in Year 9 until Year 11. The 4 skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing are all assessed at the end of the course. All students will have the opportunity to work with a Foreign Language Assistant to hone their speaking skills. The MFL Department also offers students to sit exams in their own native language that counts towards the number of GCSEs at the end of year 11.
We are proud to announce that our students attain between 83% and 100% A-C.
The Examination Board used is AQA. Each examination in the 4 different skills is equally weighted at 25% of the overall French/Spanish examination. Students must either sit all Foundation tier or all Higher tier examinations.
Each half term students are assessed on a combination of the skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing. All written assessments follow the exact format of the GCSE examination. In Year 11 students will be assessed on their performance on AQA past examination papers. There is also an internal MFL mock speaking examination in December which is exactly like the actual speaking examination which takes place after Easter each year. We have whole school mock examinations in November and March which in MFL consist of Listening, Reading and Writing. By the Easter holidays students will have an accurate idea of which area they have to revise to reach their desired grade.
Final examinations are taken in all 4 skill areas, each counting for 25% of the total GCSE.
Theme 1: Identity and culture covers the following four topics with related sub-topics shown as bullet points:
Topic 1: Me, my family and friends
- Relationships with family and friends
Topic 2: Technology in everyday life
- Social media
- Mobile technology
Topic 3: Free-time activities
- Cinema and TV
- Food and eating out
Topic 4: Customs and festivals in Spanish/French-speaking countries/communities
Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest covers the following four topics with related sub-topics shown as bullet points:
Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Topic 2: Social issues
- Charity/voluntary work
- Healthy/unhealthy living
Topic 3: Global issues
- The environment
Topic 4: Travel and tourism
Theme 3: Current and future study and employment covers the following four topics:
Topic 1: My studies
Topic 2: Life at school/college
Topic 3: Education post-16
Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions
How parents can support students
- Check Show My homework and ensure that all tasks are completed
- Assist students with vocabulary learning by testing them
- Help test students on their speaking booklet questions
- Purchase the CPG revision guides and workbooks
At Key Stage 5 the MFL classes are small enough to get almost individual attention. The students have 4 hours weekly contact and a further hour with the language assistant, by arrangement. Again, we are fortunate to be able to offer such support by native speakers.
New AS and A Level
This is the second year students are sitting the new AS MFL exam and the first year sitting the new A Level (year 2) exams which changes greatly from previous A Levels in that there is stronger emphasis on the cultural knowledge of the target language country. The course leads to obtaining a standalone qualification if students decide to sit their exam either in year 1 for an AS in Spanish or year 2 for an A Level in Spanish. The marks from the AS Level exam do not count towards the A Level qualification which students can choose to take or not. The main content areas are as follows:
General AS and A-level French/Spanish themes and sub-themes
Aspects of Francophone / Spanish society (AS and A-level)
- Modern and traditional values
- Equal rights
Artistic culture in the Francophone world (AS and A-level)
- Modern day idols
- French/Spanish / Spanish regional identity
- Cultural heritage
Multiculturalism in Francophone/ Spanish society (A-level)
Aspects of political life in the Francophone/ Spanish world (A-level)
- Today's youth, tomorrow's citizens
- Monarchies and dictatorships
- Popular movements
Paper 1 - Listening, Reading and Writing. 1 hour and 40 minutes. 45% of total AS marks (90 marks).
Candidates will listen, read and respond to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources. Questions in French/Spanish to be answered with non-verbal responses or in French/Spanish
Summarising information from spoken and written sources, reporting key points and subject matter in speech and writing.
There will also be a translation into English.
Paper 2 - Writing. 1 hour and 30 minutes. 25% of AS (50 marks).
Either one question in French/Spanish on a set text from a choice of two questions or one question in French/Spanish on a set film from a choice of two questions (35 marks).
Translation into French/Spanish; a passage of minimum 70 words (15 marks).
Paper 3 - Speaking. 12 – 14 minutes plus 15 minutes preparation time. 30% of AS marks (50 marks).
Candidates will discuss two sub-themes (6 – 7 minutes on each) with the discussion based on a stimulus card for each sub-theme.
A Level - Second Year:
Paper 1 - Listening, Reading and Writing. 2 hours and 30 minutes. 50% of total A level marks (100 marks).
Summarising information from spoken and written sources, reporting key points and subject matter in speech and writing
- translating an unseen passage from French/Spanish into English
- translating an unseen passage from English into French/Spanish.
Paper 2 - Writing. 2 hours. 20% of A level (80 marks).
Either ONE/TWO questions in French/Spanish on a set text from a choice of two questions AND/OR one question in French/Spanish on a set film from a choice of two questions. 300 words (40 marks each).
Paper 3 - Speaking. 21-23 minutes (16-18 plus 5 minutes preparation time). 30% of A level marks (60 marks).
16-18 minutes plus 5 minutes preparation. The 5 minutes’ preparation time will take place in the examination room in the presence of the examiner. Students may make notes during the preparation period.
- One Stimulus Card: 5-6 minutes.
- Presentation of Individual Research Project: 2 minutes
- Discussion based on Individual Research Project: 9-10 minutes
Set Texts for French
- Molière Le Tartuffe
- Voltaire Candide
- Guy de Maupassant Boule de Suif et autres contes de la guerre
- Albert Camus L’étranger
- Françoise Sagan Bonjour tristesse
- Claire Etcherelli Elise ou la vraie vie
- Joseph Joffo Un sac de billes
- Faïza Guène Kiffe kiffe demain
- Philippe Grimbert Un secret
- Delphine de Vigan No et moi
Set Films for French
- Les 400 coups François Truffaut (1959)
- Au revoir les enfants Louis Malle (1987)
- La Haine Mathieu Kassovitz (1995)
- L’auberge espagnole Cédric Klapisch (2002)
- Un long dimanche de fiançailles Jean-Pierre Jeunet (2004)
- Entre les murs Laurent Cantet (2008)
Set Texts for Spanish
- Federico García Lorca La casa de Bernarda Alba
- Gabriel García Márquez Crónica de una muerte anunciada
- Laura Esquivel Como agua para chocolate
- Ramón J. Sender Réquiem por un campesino español
- Carlos Ruiz Zafón La sombra del viento
- Isabel Allende La casa de los espíritus
- Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer Rimas
- Fernando Fernán-Gómez Las bicicletas son para el verano
- Luis de Castresana El otro árbol de Guernica
- Gabriel García Márquez El coronel no tiene quien le escriba
Set Films for Spanish
- El laberinto del fauno Guillermo del Toro (2006)
- Ocho apellidos vascos Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (2014)
- María, llena eres de gracia Joshua Marston (2004)
- Volver Pedro Almodóvar (2006)
- Abel Diego Luna (2010)
- Las 13 rosas Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (2007)