“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”
– Frank Smith (Psycholinguist)
The Stanley High School Languages Department believe that languages provide a way of breaking down cultural barriers and of allowing students to view their world from a different perspective. Learning a language at Stanley High School supports the whole school curriculum aims by enabling students to become successful and curious learners, resilient individuals and responsible and healthy citizens. We aim to produce confident communicators, who wish to deepen their knowledge of the world.
The curriculum in both key stages is designed to ensure that all four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) are covered in every unit and opportunities to revisit key skills, language and grammar points in different ways are built into students’ learning journeys:
Languages Curriculum Maps
The usual allocation of time per 50 period cycle is as follows:
- Year 7 – 6 lessons (2 French, 2 German, 2 Spanish). In Year 7, students are provided with a taster of each language to allow them to make an informed decision at the end of the year about which language they wish to study during the rest of their time at Stanley.
- Year 8 – 5 lessons in the student’s chosen language.
- Year 9 – 4 lessons in the student’s chosen language.
- Year 10 – 5 lessons in the student’s chosen language.
- Year 11 – 5 lessons in the student’s chosen language.
During KS4, students follow the AQA GCSE course in their chosen language:
During the course, they will continue to develop their ability and ambition to understand spoken and written language, as well as communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. The AQA specifications provide a good level challenge for students and, as members of the department have been AQA examiners, staff have an excellent knowledge of exam requirements to provide additional support for our students. During the Year 9 options process, students are offered the opportunity to take a second language for GCSE.
The Languages department are firm believers in languages for all and have the highest expectations of every student. The use of support materials, such as scaffolds, the modelling of good examples and open-ended tasks allow all students to achieve, regardless of prior attainment. A range of authentic materials, such as books, magazines and films, are available for more able students. In class support from teaching assistants is available for SEND students and revision materials are purchased for disadvantaged students. Additional support with homework and revision is available to all students.
Student progress is monitored through both formative and summative assessments. Formal summative assessments in at least one of the key skills of listening, reading and writing are carried out each half-term at both key stages. We aim for an assessment in a receptive skill (listening or reading) and a productive skill (reading or writing) each term. In Years 10 and 11, we aim to formally assess students’ speaking skills at least once a year through individual speaking assessments with their class teacher. In Key Stage 3, speaking is informally assessed by the class teacher in lessons. Students are assessed on a range of material that they have covered up to that point.
These formal assessments are used to track pupils progress through the curriculum. However, no single assessment is used in isolation and the regular formative assessment of classwork and homework is also taken into consideration.
All forms of assessment are used to identify which students require additional support or challenge, which areas of the curriculum may require further reinforcement and they also used to inform future changes to schemes of work. In KS4, assessments can provide useful evidence in deciding on final tiers of entry for the GCSE exams.
By the end of their language learning journey at Stanley High School, students’ understanding of both a range of vocabulary and the grammatical concepts that underpin the language will allow them to use their language for practical communication. They will have developed memory techniques that will be beneficial in a range of disciplines, and they will have been provided with the foundation for learning further languages, which will enable them to study and work in other countries.
Suggested post-16 pathways and possible careers
Students can continue to study French, German or Spanish at A Level. Runshaw offers A Levels in all three languages and Spanish A Level is also offered at KGV College and Christ the King Sixth Form Centre. Knowledge of another language could also be beneficial when applying for university and is a requirement for some university courses.
The study of a language can lead to careers in a variety of areas, including:
- Air-traffic control
- Interpreting or translation
Students are given the opportunity to participate in a range of enrichment activities to enhance their learning. European Day of Languages is celebrated with a range of activities in September and KS3 students can attend weekly clubs, such as the MFL Film Club and Culture Vulture Club, where students learn about other countries and their culture. We have been developing a link with the Languages Department at UCLAN, who have provided taster sessions in languages such as Japanese and Korean.
The department are developing penpal links with schools in France, Germany and Spain, and we achieved the International School Award at Foundation Level in 2022.
In the past, we have run trips to France and Germany, and intend to relaunch such trips in the near future.