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Languages

At Finham Park School 2, we believe that the study of a foreign language not only provides our pupils with useful skills which are fast becoming essential in a modern and highly competitive world, but it also gives them a liberating and life-enhancing experience, which adds breadth to their cultural, social and linguistic knowledge and skills.

The department employs a range of strategies to ensure students learn in an enjoyable, positive and inclusive environment. We deliver the curriculum through a bespoke skills focused course which aims to build cultural capital through implementing lessons that are lively, carefully structured and interactive. We have adopted Dr Gianfranco Conti’s method of Extensive Processing Instruction (EPI) to enable our students to become successful language learners and our teaching resources reflect the EPI principles.

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 France/Spain/Germany

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. Pupils are currently taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 and 8 with setting in Year 9. Substantial use is made of the target language in the classroom, and there is a strong emphasis on quality of relationships 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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