Modern Foreign Languages
It offers exciting new insights into a wider world and in turn, it invites us to think about our own cultures. Students at Bottisham gain the confidence to communicate effectively in a foreign language, understand its structure and its grammar. Each lesson involves the practical skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing but also aims to develop team work, reflection and creativity in the students.
We use a variety of up-to-date easily accessible resources to support our teaching. Our best resource is our team of knowledgeable, friendly and enthusiastic teachers. We have native speaking language assistants in French and German to encourage confidence and to assist with exam preparation. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards and wireless internet; interactive websites are used in class and for homework. The use of textbooks, audio and video recordings and authentic materials all enhance students’ learning.
How learning is organised
All students can study a foreign language throughout their time at Bottisham. French is taught in ability bands from the outset in year 7. From year 8, the majority of the year group starts a second foreign language whilst continuing to develop their learning of French. Our second language is currently German.
The curriculum is enhanced by several opportunities for students to experience the language first hand. The MFL faculty also organizes a very successful residential visit to Normandy during Activities Week for Year 8 students. We are priding ourselves on our diverse and vibrant program of exchanges. We have well established links in Germany with an exchange to Kempen near Cologne and in the South of France with the town of St Sever. The exchanges alternate each year and involve Year 9 & 10 students in the summer term. Our most recent French exchange was a real success in the summer term of 2017 and saw a record number of students participating.
Years 7, 8 and 9
From the first lesson, students are taught largely through the foreign language. We also encourage students to communicate in class using the language, so that they can experience real life situations and become more confident in speaking spontaneously. Students develop the four skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening in different contexts whilst, underpinning their learning, they develop good foundations in grammar and vocabulary. Students are often encouraged to use their knowledge of English to understand new structures in the foreign language and so develop both thinking skills and language learning skills.
The students who study a single foreign language (French) work towards the Foundation Certificate in Secondary Education (AQA FCSE 8958) at the end of year 9.
The majority of our students will continue with at least one language to GCSE.
Years 10 and 11
The emphasis at GCSE is on active and more spontaneous communication in the foreign language. Students also improve their ability to work independently. Topics are worked through thematically and build on foundations created in Key Stage 3. Whatever career students decide on in the future, the communication skills they gain from studying a foreign language to GCSE level will always be to their advantage, and allow them to make the most of the opportunities in today’s global jobs market.
Currently, students choose a GCSE course in French or German; a few students choose to study both languages. All four skills are assessed through final examinations in year 11. Students get to prepare for those through modular assessments throughout the two years.
Each year, we aim to encourage and promote all foreign languages by facilitating the examinations of a small number of students with additional home languages such as Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese or Polish.
Current syllabuses: GCSE French – AQA 8658
GCSE German – AQA 8668