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Languages

At Finham Park School 2, we believe that the study of a foreign language opens the door to a range of opportunities in the future. It provides students with the opportunity to learn a valuable skill as well as to gain an understanding of the wider world. All students study a language through until GCSE and can choose between French, Spanish or Mandarin. We currently offer Spanish at A level.

The department has designed a bespoke course based on the method of Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI) promoted by Dr Gianfranco Conti. This enables students to make fast progress in their chosen language and to become successful language learners.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, most of our pupils study French or Spanish with a small group studying Mandarin through the MEP. In Y7/Y8 French and Spanish are taught through a bespoke skills focused course linked to Studio in French and Mira/Viva in Spanish.

Y7 topics include:

Introducing myself
Family and Friends
Where I live
A Day in my Life
Free time

Y8 topics include:

My Area
Food and Lifestyle
Media
Life as a Teenager
A region of Spain/France

In Year 7 pupils are assessed on their listening and speaking skills alongside a focus on grammar and translation skills. In Year 8 the skill of reading is added and finally in Year 9, 10 and 11 all 4 skills are assessed in line with the GCSE criteria. Substantial use is made of the target language in the classroom, and there is a strong emphasis on making assured progress and on confidence building. Lessons are lively, carefully structured and interactive.

Key Stage 4

At GCSE, the Department prepares candidates for the AQA, specification over the course of 3 years.  Again it is a bespoke course supported by Studio in French and ¡Viva! in Spanish. This is a linear course and students are examined in year 11 on the 4 skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

The themes covered are:

  • Theme 1: Identity and Culture
  • Theme 2: Local, National, International and Global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and Future study and Employment

Key Stage 5

At KS5 we currently offer Spanish at A level (AQA specification). We benefit from smaller class sizes enabling us to personalise learning to students’ individual needs. We are fortunate to have a strong and supportive team of subject specialists and the department is well resourced.

Topics and themes covered are as follows:

  • Aspects of Hispanic society
  • Artistic culture in the Hispanic world
  • Multiculturalism in Hispanic society
  • Aspects of political life in Hispanic society
  •  Grammar
  • Study of a Spanish language film
  • Study of a Spanish language text

Mandarin

Finham Park 2 works closely with Finham Park School, which is the home of the only secondary school Confucius Classroom in the West Midlands to deliver the Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP), an intensive language learning programme funded by the British government. From their arrival in Y7, MEP students receive four hours per week of Mandarin tuition and complete up to four hours per week of independent study in the form of online activities, language and project work. With this generous amount of curriculum time, students make rapid progress and quickly build up confidence in understanding the language and culture of China. They also receive plenty of opportunities to enjoy cultural activities, for example a visit this year from a Chinese language rock band and shadow-puppet workshops, as well as opportunities to represent the school at special events.

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