All students at The Mandeville School study either French or Spanish in KS3 and are given the choice to continue to GCSE. The Languages department maintains the highest standards for language learning and we expect most pupils to achieve a GCSE in either French or Spanish. Our team is characterised by a passion for language learning and a commitment to supporting pupils to achieve their goals, both in lessons and through extra classes and educational visits. Learning Languages at Mandeville aims to equip students not only with linguistic knowledge and communication ability in a foreign language, but also with specific procedural knowledge that will benefit them in years to come, improving their performance across the curriculum and giving them global opportunities once they progress from school.
Teaching and Learning
Language teaching at The Mandeville School is interactive, challenging and enables students to become knowledgeable, strategic, resilient, independent and confident communicators, which are invaluable skills that they will need throughout their school careers and beyond. The aim of the KS3 course is to introduce pupils to language learning strategies and skills that they can apply to learning other foreign languages in the future, but also to equip them with fundamental knowledge of a language (vocabulary and structures) allowing them to start communicating in that language in real life situations. In addition, we also teach students about the culture of French and Spanish speaking places around the globe, encouraging understanding and acceptance of other beliefs.
Language students are challenged from the minute that they walk in to their language lessons at The Mandeville School. The teachers use target language to immerse students into foreign language worlds where they are expected to communicate with their teachers and peers in French or Spanish. In lessons, the use of authentic videos and songs capture students’ imaginations as they piece language together to decipher meaning and become independent and resilient linguists. All students learn about the culture of French and Spanish speaking countries, studying festivals and celebrations, with elements of history and literature where possible.
Learning Beyond the Classroom
Students are encouraged to use Quizlet, Memrize, Seneca and Duolingo apps/platforms to support their learning. These platforms are also often used to set homework. In 2020-2021, we are hoping to launch Kerboodle – an online interactive learning platform directly linked to the Scheme of Work followed at the Mandeville School. Students are encouraged to regularly learn and revise vocabulary, which in KS4 is formalised with weekly vocabulary tests.
The Languages department has an ever-increasing offer of educational trips, visits, workshops and events allowing students to use their language skills in authentic situations and to experience the culture of French and Spanish speaking places. Before Covid we used to have a biannual visit to Boulogne-sur-Mer including a baking lesson in French in an authentic bakery.
Spanish students are involved in a Creative Translation workshop delivered by a professional translator. We are collaborating with the British Film Institute on a project involving teaching languages through the cinema. This year we intend to organise for all year 9 students to participate in the Stephen Spender Competition for a poetry translation. Las year we have are launched a cooking workshop club in French and Spanish with a great success. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to attend International Film Club where we watch a range of films in a variety of different languages. All our teachers are committed to identifying and/or creating opportunities for our students to take their learning outside the classroom.
Finally, in order to support students who may need some extra help, we run lunchtime drop-in sessions for French and Spanish – aimed at KS4 students but open to all.
Links to the whole-school curriculum
The Languages curriculum is aligned to the whole school Curriculum. The Languages curriculum is designed to establish a kind community where everyone perseveres, achieves and flourishes; where we enable all the experience life to the full. In the Languages department we maintain the Mandeville School Curriculum Principles:
A kind community through a curriculum that respects the diversity of our school, valuing our rich knowledge, history and experiences.
Perseverance and achievement through a curriculum that is well sequenced, developing understanding, building retention and leading to academic achievement. Firm foundations in a three-year Key Stage 3 provide grounding for success in Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5 and beyond.
Flourishing through a curriculum that nourishes personal development by giving students opportunities to explore their identity and grow their character. Students are equipped with knowledge of how to be healthy, sustain positive relationships and maintain wellbeing so as to have the information needed to be able to make an effective contribution to society.
Enabling students to experience life to the full through a curriculum that inspires and enriches them with meaningful knowledge and cultural capital. High aspirations mean students study a broad range of subjects in Key Stage 3 and have a variety of routes through Key Stage 4 and 5 which are challenging and aspirational.