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23/07/21

Girls turn https://t.co/ahXlnNIu1L

23/07/21

Students getting ready for the year 10 200m race. HAO sports day https://t.co/FKn8J5dO3h

21/07/21

Year 12 and 10 attending the Spirituality Conference today https://t.co/yRVkZZNNji

19/07/21

Year 7 students have created some fantastic Islamic inspired art prints https://t.co/ihViBLAyXT

19/07/21

Some of our Year 8 students completed their watercolour lesson in the sunshine. They produced some fantastic work! https://t.co/z5xi3dfphK

19/07/21

Including an 'in action' video! https://t.co/tPqHoloqHm

19/07/21

Year 8s learned about forces and propulsion in their recent workshop, creating cars powered by balloons! Check out some of these awesome designs! https://t.co/DhGjlIu5aT

14/07/21

Year 10 started their virtual work experience this morning with Everyone is working hard

13/07/21

Year 10 engaging with Holocaust Memorial day and exploring the discrimination and atrocities https://t.co/2eHp55OHTf

13/07/21

We're pleased to see another team have escaped! https://t.co/NW2RMcBEGV

13/07/21

I 'wonder' which Year 7 will win our reading bingo today? https://t.co/sWYvDF9gMI

13/07/21

More 'escape' room antics and team building from 'The Big Picture' Day https://t.co/Yklln0IdqA

13/07/21

A great start to our ‘The Big Picture’ Day! So far we have had interactive timelines with Year 10. Year 9 trying to ‘escape’ the ranch from ‘Of Mice and Men’ and Year 7 completing team building. There’s more fun to come! https://t.co/iALk9wwBBZ

08/07/21

It was lovely to welcome the ‘Globe Players’ back to perform Macbeth to our year ten students today. Students are already looking forward to next year’s performances of An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol https://t.co/1vYDsCHOUQ

07/07/21

Really pleased to announce that our new Student Principals are Lee Carew and Georgia-Jane Cullern and our new Student Vice-Principals are Jude Moulton and Abbie McNeice. Really excited for what they are going to bring to their new roles in September 2021

29/06/21

On Wed 23rd June, the History department arranged for Year 8 to meet a real-life Militant Suffragette! We were very lucky to host Julie Maynard, an actor who visited us through the Museum of London’s outreach programme. https://t.co/90dS3mssbl

28/06/21

Tell me your fears Year 8! Coming Monday 28th June 2021 https://t.co/Y1BmBBAZcV

24/06/21

Year 8 it’s nearly time to face your fears... coming Monday 28th June. https://t.co/Dkup0MvM14

23/06/21

Year 8, Omar, created this fantastic prehistoric design for his mechanical cam toy, with outstanding results! https://t.co/TELWpUYDOQ

23/06/21

Year 8 something is coming on Monday 28th June... https://t.co/bLgFCHQZtO

Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.

Central Office

Bexley

Bromley

Clapham

Croydon

Greenwich

Haringey

Havering

Merton

Newham

Southwark

Sutton

Thurrock

Wandsworth

Westminster

Modern Foreign Languages

The unique value of an apprenticeship in a foreign language is that it takes learners on a voyage of discovery. It challenges parochialism and invites us to question – opening our hearts and minds to the real challenges of difference.

Through learning French or Spanish:

  • We want our students to understand that learning a language provides an open road to the world and a vehicle for overcoming educational disadvantage
  • We are keen to promote our students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of different countries’ people, culture, history, literature and arts
  • We want to challenge students to consider their own identity and place in the world and to appreciate and empathise with different ways of seeing the world.

Our aim is to equip students with the confidence, language and grammatical foundations that allow them to express their ideas and opinions, to seek information and to respond to speakers of the language across the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Finally, we believe that by developing students’ linguistic, communicative and intercultural skills, we will foster rounded individuals ready for lifelong language learning and entry into a global, more cooperative and more peaceful world.

Finally, as a team of native and near-native speakers working alongside the Federation network of MFL consultants, we are constantly reviewing and developing our curriculum with the aim of giving our students the best language-learning experience possible.  Our most recent updates and ongoing work is focusing on the inclusion of more explicit interleaving and recycling of high frequency, transferrable language over the course of Year 7 to Year 11 and the systematic inclusion of content with “meanings that matter”, cultural and extra-curricular opportunities.


What is the intention of the curriculum?

We aim to equip students with the confidence, lexicon and grammatical foundations that allow them to express their ideas and opinions, to seek information and to respond to speakers of the language across the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

We believe it is a moral duty, beyond the specific requirements of any curriculum, to allow students the opportunity to learn another language and learn about its associated culture.  We feel this is particularly pressing at a time of increasing apparent polarisation at national and global levels.

The benefits of learning a language are manifold and very well documented.  The LLAS (The Languages Linguistics Area Studies) has given no less than 700 reasons for studying languages. We strive to communicate these reasons to our students both explicitly and implicitly through our curriculum and passionate, enthusiastic teachers.

As such, we believe whatever their level of achievement, the vast majority of young people should study a modern foreign language up to the age of 16 and take a GCSE in it.

(R): Indicates where themes will be revisited in greater conceptual depth and with increased linguistic complexity.

 

French

Spanish

Y7

1) Personal identity: who I am, my description & my qualities, describing my family (R) and relationships, my role-models

2) My education: my studies, giving my opinion, my timetable, schooling in France, my school & my classroom, my routine & mealtimes

3) My hobbies: hobbies & tech, leisure and sports, talking about what I like, routine (R), popular sports in France

1) Personal identity: who I am, my description & my qualities, describing my family and pets (R), relationships.

2) My education: my studies, giving my opinion, my timetable, my school, my classroom and equipment, my routine, break and mealtimes

3) My hobbies: hobbies, leisure and sports + weather, talking about what I like (R), routine (R), popular sports in Spanish-speaking countries

 

Y8

1) Local area & travel: where I live, where I go in my town & what I do, getting around, pros & cons of my region

2) Holidays: describing a past holiday and activities, directions, opinions (R)

3) Media: technology (R), music (R), TV programmes (R), opinions (R)

1) My town: town or village description (R), going out in town (activities, eating out) and making excuses, weekend activities in town (R), clothes, opinions (R)

2) Holidays: describing a past holiday and activities (R), directions, opinions (R)

3) Media: technology, music, TV programmes, opinions (R)

Y9

1) Identity and Culture (T1): my identity (R), my family & friends (R), my past-times (R) and going out, relationships (R), talking about what I recently did(R), role-models (R), French personalities in History

2) T1: sports & leisure(R), life online (R), tastes in music, TV, films & books (R), music & movie festivals in France

3) T1: food and mealtimes (R), shopping & clothing, daily routine (R), family celebrations & traditions, yearly events

1) Local, National, International & Global Areas of Interest (T2): holiday activities & preferences (R), weather (R), countries (R), modes of transport (R), past holidays (R), types of accommodation & facilities (R), booking accommodation, dealing with problems

2) Current & Future Study & Employment (T3): school subjects (R), school timetable (R), school facilities (R), school uniform (R), teachers (R), school rules & problems, school trips & exchanges, extra-curricula activities, future plans

3) T1: family & friends (R), free-time activities (R), describing people (R), social media & apps, making arrangements to go out (R), reading & technology, relationships (R)

Y10

1) T2: my local area (R), describing places (R), asking for information & directions(R), describing the weather(R), community projects, French patrimony, cities & attractions

2) T2: routine of holiday (R), describing a holiday, accommodations and transports, food (R) & other transactions, narrating past events

3) T3: describing my school (R), my studies (R), comparing education systems, rights & duties, my health & diet (R), bad habits

1) T1: free-time activities (R), television & film (R), sport (R), popular culture & entertainment, role models

2) T2: places in town (R), describing where I live (R), directions (R), types of shops & souvenirs, Spanish & Latin American cities & regions, future plans (R), weather (R), shopping & shopping preferences, problems in town & solutions, describing a past visit (R)

3) T1: meals (R), daily routine (R), illnesses & injuries, food & diet (R), festivals & celebrations (R), eating out (R), music festivals

Y11

1) T3: jobs & careers, preferences and wishes, future plans, apply for a job, part-time jobs & chores

2) T2: global & local issues, actions for the environment, social issues & solidarity, big events

3) Revision & Final examinations 

1) T3: jobs & careers, part-time jobs & chores, work experience, reasons to learn a language, applying for a job, gap year activities & travel (R), future plans (R)

2) T2: types of houses (R), protecting the environment, food groups & diets (R), global issues, local action & charity, healthy lifestyles, international events, natural disasters

3) Revision & Final examinations 


How will this be implemented?

At Harris Academy Orpington, students have four weekly lessons of 50 minutes, some being double at Key Stage 4. This allows for better progress, in-depth teaching and consolidation. It also helps students develop greater confidence and be able to explore more intellectually stimulating and culturally-rich content. 

We do believe that a two-year GCSE curriculum, with clear transition in Year 9, gives increased ownership and curriculum time, better preparing students for continued engagement, enjoyment and success in their language learning.

This two-year approach allows us to revisit foundational knowledge, skills and concepts from Year 7 and Year 8 in Year 9, before gradually building towards the demands of the new GCSE in an age-appropriate manner in Year 10 and Year 11.  For example, the beginning of Year 9 revisits basic grammar and the familiar topics of describing yourself, family and friends (French)/holidays (Spanish).  This transitional approach also allows students to be taught in much greater depth and at an appropriate pace, with less explicit GCSE pressure.  As such, a typical unit will be covered in a full term rather than a half term.  Our experience is that teachers and students alike prefer and benefit from this “depth not breadth” approach.  This also opens up curriculum time for the exploration of additional, culturally-enriching content (eg projects on different countries, including cultural events such as the Tour de France and poetry).

Our Year 9 assessments mirror this transitional approach to GCSE, with the inclusion of basic grammar papers, age-appropriate (tiered) papers with foundational access questions, the inclusion of questions from Year 7 and Year 8 and year group (not Key Stage) indicative content in mark schemes.

It is our aspiration that the vast majority of students take a GCSE in MFL.

Whilst we do not advocate textbook-only teaching, we have deliberately partially based our curricula around what we believe to be the best textbook courses currently available.  This is a structural decision, taken in light of “the fact that high quality textbooks support both teachers and pupils – they free teachers up to concentrate on refining pedagogy and developing engaging, effective learning”. There are parts of languages courses for which we do not need to reinvent the wheel.

Each year of study is based around three themes, with one theme and usually five sub-topics per term.  Three years ago, we decided as a team to move at a slower pace in terms of content and go deeper and recycle concepts, high frequency words, transferrable language, grammar and skills.

As is evident from the concept mapping in section 2), we aim to have students revisit familiar topics in order to consolidate language, whilst always pushing linguistically and intellectually deeper into both content and concepts.  This results in a familiarity upon which students can build with confidence whilst also providing new, stimulating and related content and ideas. 

Our schemes of work have feedback weeks built into them post-assessments as well as “gap weeks” (usually in the summer term) where we develop project work or design units of work to enhance our students’ understanding of French speaking and Hispanic cultures.


How will we judge the impact of this curriculum?

In Years 7-10, two MFL assessment cycles combine a student’s work equally across the cycle, with the equal weightings of all 5 areas as below:

  • Core Knowledge / Grammar – 20%
  • Listening – 20%
  • Reading – 20%
  • Speaking – 20%
  • Writing – 20%

In Year 11, we conduct two sets of mock exams in listening, reading, writing and speaking using materials from AQA. Students also have the opportunity to attend targeted intervention where the focus is placed on speaking preparation and exam techniques.

At Harris Academy Orpington, we use the Federation assessments which test a good spread of the domain that has been taught recently, as well as that of prior learning.  This is especially important given the incremental nature of language learning.  As such, a select number of questions per each assessment will be on learning from prior cycles or year groups. 

To challenge our most able students, we include a reading question which will also come from outside the domain of the themes taught and/or from literature to have students practise tackling unfamiliar language and develop their comprehension strategies.

We have chosen to explicitly test grammar and core knowledge (e.g. subject pronouns, grammatical terminology) in the service of ultimately facilitating communicative competence. We see automatised knowledge of, for example, subject pronouns, key verb infinitives, auxiliary verbs, opinion structures and conjunctions as akin to the times tables in Mathematics.  Students need this knowledge in long-term memory in order to progress and flourish as confident linguists.  Without this knowledge, students will continually encounter barriers in their language learning.

We do not use levels with students because of their problematic nature in representing learning as linear and for the reasons they have been removed nationally.  We talk with and report to students in terms of % scores and raw scores /30 per paper, tightly linked to the content and concepts they are learning.  This allows them to better see gaps and take concrete actions for improvement following guidance from their teacher.  It also better orientates conversations between teachers and students around language and not around abstract notions of levels and sublevels.  Marking /30 per assessment gives a degree of comparability and consistency across year groups for both staff and students.

Ultimately, teacher assessment is also used to ensure that the curriculum is being delivered in an impactful way. MFL teachers at Harris Orpington frequently use formative assessment strategies to reflect on whether students know more, and are able to understand, remember and produce increasingly complex language.  This stems from content and concepts from earlier in the course as well as those they have most recently studied.  The gaps and challenges identified are at the forefront of the teachers’ mind in their subsequent planning.