Walton High

Curriculum

Overview of Walton High’s curriculum

Languages

Walton High and the Walton Learning Centre are new, modern centres of learning which pride themselves on initiative, challenge, positive thinking and encouragement to enjoy the fun and fundamentals of learning.  As such Modern Foreign Languages has a vital role to play in inspiring students to learn another language, learn about other cultures and take advantage of the ever-increasing opportunities for travelling and working abroad. Learning another language will equip students to compete in the growing climate of globalisation and enjoy wider career possibilities.

The aims of the department are as follows:

  • To encourage students of all abilities to understand and use a foreign language for the purpose of practical communication
  • To think and encourage students to think “outside the box”
  • To foster positive attitudes towards other countries and those who live in them and to counter prejudice and insularity
  • To promote learning skills of a more general nature
  • To promote and support cross-curricular links and strategies
  • To develop students’ understanding of themselves and their own culture
  • To encourage tolerance and a willingness to work together
  • To promote the link between careers and languages so that more students will consider it the norm to be studying a language at post 16
  • To provide successful and enjoyable learning experiences which may motivate and inspire more students to take a language as an option at Key Stage 4
  • To develop and incorporate a range of innovative teaching styles and materials that will motivate learners
 

Key Stage 3 French and Spanish

Year 7

In year 7 students will learn:

  • To introduce themselves and their family
  • To describe themselves
  • To talk about what they like to do in their free time
  • To talk about what they study at school and what they enjoy
  • To talk about where they live and what they can do in MK
  • To tell the time in both 12 and 24 hour clock
  • To buy food in a café/ restaurant
  • To describe their house and local area
  • Key grammar points that will enable them to understand their own and the target language better

Year 8

In year 8 students will learn:

  • How to arrange to meet socially
  • To talk about TV programmes/ cinema/ books and what they have done recently (past tense)
  • To talk about food and healthy lifestyles
  • To talk about illnesses and body parts
  • To talk about a past and future holidays
  • To talk about what they do to help out at home
  • Key grammar points that will enable them to understand their own and target language better

Key Stage 4 Languages

Overview

At Key stage 4 students build on the knowledge acquired at KS3, with particular focus on more complex structures to add detail and dimension to their language skills.  The course followed is AQA GCSE, with 60% controlled assessment writing and speaking and 30% listening and reading.  The controlled assessment is completed in years 10 and 11 under normal exam conditions, with no opportunities for resitting.  Students must prepare thoroughly for each controlled assessment opportunity, aiming to get the best marks they can, in-line with their target grade.

In year 9 the students are taught a bridging course to recap key grammar and language structures that are required to be used without error at KS4.  These key grammar points are taught through topic areas such as:

  • Introducing self, family and friends
  • Favourite look and clothes
  • Local area, how to improve my town and environmental issues in my town
  • Daily routine
  • On holiday and booking accommodation in France/ Spain
  • Description of a foreign film (preparation for written controlled assessment)
  • My school and school rules

 

In years 10 and 11 the full GCSE course is taught.  Further specification details can be found on the AQA website.  Controlled assessment is completed throughout years 10 and 11, with the best two spoken and written pieces sent off to the exam board in March of year 11.  Whilst students are able to complete more than two pieces for each component, these are classed as official exams and there is no opportunity to re-sit a piece once it has been submitted for marking and moderation within the department.

We use Nelson Thornes materials and all students are given a textbook and access to the kerboodle website to help with practice of all four skill areas at home.  We actively encourage students to do at least 30 minutes supplementary work at home outside of what homework is expected per week and the kerboodle website has a wealth of information and examiners support for students to use. 

Topic Areas Covered in Years 10 and 11

Lifestyle

Health

  • Healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and their consequences

 

Relationships and Choices

  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Future plans regarding: marriage/partnership
  • Social issues and equality

 

Leisure

Free Time and the Media

  • Free time activities
  • Shopping, money, fashion and trends
  • Advantages and disadvantages of new technology

 

Holidays

  • Plans, preferences, experiences
  • What to see and getting around

 

Home and Environment

Home and Local Area

  • Special occasions celebrated in the home
  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region, where it is and what it is like

 

Environment

  • Current problems facing the planet
  • Being environmentally friendly within the home and local area

 

Work and Education

School/College and Future Plans

  • What school/college is like
  • Pressures and problems

 

Current and Future Jobs

  • Looking for and getting a job
  • Advantages and disadvantages of certain jobs

Key Stage 5 Languages

Overview

At Key Stage 5 students continue to build on key structures and grammar taught in KS3 and 4. 

Aims of the course:

  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for, language learning.
  • Develop understanding of the language in a variety of contexts and genres.
  • Communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in the language for a range of purposes.
  • Develop awareness and understanding of the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of countries or communities where the language is spoken.
  • Consider your study of the language in a broader context.
  • Derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning
  • Acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and/or employment
  • Communicate with speakers of the language
  • Take your place in a multilingual global society

 

How to achieve these aims:

  • Be positive and open-minded – do not be afraid to try
  • Little and often – not hours at a time
  • Keep up with independent study
  • Read, read, read… start small, but read something every week – website, magazines, newspapers; every bit helps!

AS Course Content

There are four AS topics, with sub-topics which must be studied. The bullet points given under the sub-topics are some of the general areas which may be covered as part of the teaching programme.

MEDIA

Technology

  • TV viewing habits
  • Range of programmes, e.g. their appeal and popularity
  • Range of channels including satellite and internet
  • Benefits and dangers of watching TV

Advertising

  • Purposes of advertising
  • Advertising techniques
  • Curbs on advertising, e.g. tobacco, alcohol
  • Benefits and drawbacks of advertising

Communication technology

  • Popularity of mobile phones, MP3 players, etc
  • Benefits and dangers of mobile phones, Mp3 players etc
  • Internet – its current and potential usage
  • Benefits and dangers of the internet

POPULAR CULTURE

Cinema

  • Types of film, changing trends
  • The place of cinema in popular culture
  • A good film I have seen
  • Cinema versus alternative ways of viewing films

Music

  • Types of music, changing trends
  • The place of music in popular culture
  • Music I like
  • How music defines personal identity

Fashion / trends

  • How we can alter our image
  • Does how we look define who we are?
  • Lifestyle and leisure activities
  • The cult of the celebrity

HEALTHY LIVING/ LIFESTYLE

Sport / exercise

  • Traditional sports versus ‘fun’ sports
  • Reasons for taking part in sport / physical exercise
  • Factors influencing participation in sport / physical exercise
  • Links between physical exercise and health

Health and well-being

  • Alcohol, tobacco, other drugs
  • Diet, including eating disorders
  • The ‘work / life balance’
  • Risks to health through accidents

Holidays

  • Types of holiday and holiday activities
  • The impact of tourism on holiday destinations
  • Purposes and benefits of holidays
  • Changing attitudes to holidays

FAMILY / RELATIONSHIPS

Relationships within the family

  • Role of parents and importance of good parenting
  • Attitudes of young people towards other family members
  • Changing models of family and parenting

Friendships

  • Characteristics and roles of friends
  • Conflicts with friends
  • Importance of friends
  • Friendship versus love

Marriage / partnerships

  • Changing attitudes towards marriage or cohabitation
  • Separation and divorce
  • Staying single: benefits and drawbacks
  • Changing roles within the home

COURSE ORGANISATION

AS: UNIT 1 – LISTENING, READING AND WRITING (2 hours, 110 marks)

Listening Section

You will listen to approximately 5 minutes of material which is within your individual control and will have to answer all questions. This section comprises a task involving transfer of meaning into English and 2-4 items requiring short target language or non-verbal responses.
You should spend approximately 30 minutes on this section.

Reading and Writing Section

You need to answer all questions.
This section comprises 3-4 items requiring short target language or non-verbal responses, together with a cloze test. The cloze test comprises ten discrete sentences not based on any of the stimulus texts; in each case you will be required to manipulate a given noun/verb/adjective. You should spend approximately 45 minutes in this section.

Writing Section
You have to respond to one question from a choice of three which are based on three of the four AS topic areas. You should spend approximately 45 minutes on this section and must write a minimum of 200 words.

AS: UNIT 2 – SPEAKING TEST (35 minutes, inc. 20 minutes preparation time, 50 marks)

Part 1 – Discussion of a stimulus card (5 minutes)

You will have 20 minutes supervised preparation time during which you should prepare one of two cards given to you. The cards are selected at random from a set of six provided by AQA, ensuring that there is no overlap with your choice of topic for discussion in Part 2.

The cards will be based on the four topics prescribed for AS, i.e. Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living/ Lifestyle and Family/Relationships. At least one card will be set on each of these topics. Each card will cover one sub-topic, e.g. a card on Television from the topic Media.

You may make notes during your preparation time and may refer to these notes during this part of the test. There will be five questions printed on each card which will form the basis of the discussion. You are also expected to respond to broader issues within the sub-topic area prescribed on the card.

Part 2 – Conversation (10 minutes)

The conversation will cover three of the four AS topics. The first topic in the Conversation will be chosen by you and can be any topic of your choice (3 minutes maximum). The remaining two topics in the Conversation will be chosen by the examiner from the topics prescribed for AS, avoiding any overlap with the topic of the stimulus card discussed in Part 1 and with your own nominated topic.

The test will be conducted and recorded either by your teacher/examiner. All tests will be marked by an AQA examiner.

A2 Course Content

For A2, candidates must study the three following topics: The Environment, the Multicultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues as well as two of the five Cultural Topics.

ENVIRONMENT

Pollution

• Types, causes and effects of pollution
• Measures to reduce pollution
• Individual action/responsibility versus collective action/responsibility
• Transport issues

Energy

• Coal, oil and gas
• Nuclear
• Alternative energy sources
• Changing attitudes to energy consumption

Protecting the planet

• Ways of minimising environmental damage
• The role of pressure groups
• Initiatives to improve awareness and change behaviour
• Responsibilities towards other nations, especially developing countries

THE MULTICULTURAL SOCIETY

Immigration

• Reasons for immigration
• Benefits and problems of immigration for immigrants and for country of destination
• Migration within the enlarged EU
• Curbs on immigration

Integration

• Factors making integration difficult
• Factors facilitating integration
• To which culture should immigrants show loyalty?
• Experiences of individual immigrants

Racism

• Victims of racism
• Reasons for racism
• Measures to eliminate racism and their effectiveness
• Experiences of individuals, including those of 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants

CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES

Wealth and poverty

• Causes of poverty in Europe and developing countries
• Work of charitable organisations and governments
• Attitudes to wealth and poverty
• Link between wealth and health

Law and order

• Examples of crime, especially committed by or affecting young people
• Reasons for criminal and anti-social behaviour
• Measures to reduce crime and their effectiveness
• Alternatives to imprisonment, their appropriateness and effectiveness

Impact of scientific and technological progress

• Technology in the home and workplace, including IT
• Space and satellite technology
• Medical research
• Ethical issues linked to scientific and technological progress

 

CULTURAL TOPICS

You are also expected to cover two cultural topics, which you will use in the writing and speaking elements of the exams. Here at Walton High we study:

A period of 20th century history from a target language-speaking country/ community

  • Main events of the period
  • Causes of these events
  • The importance/influence/effects of these events
  • The ideas and influences of at least two individuals who made a significant impact during the period
  • Specific actions of these individuals plus an appraisal of the importance of these actions
  • A personal perspective: Would I have liked to live in that period?

 

The work of a director, architect, musician or painter from a target language speaking country/community

  • The context of the artist’s work
  • The influences on the artist – events and people
  • The ideas/techniques of the artist, plus personal appraisal
  • The importance/influences of the artist both in his/her own lifetime and later
  • A detailed study of at least one work of the artist, plus a personal appraisal
  • A personal evaluation: Why do I find this artist so interesting?

 

UNIT 3:  Listening, Reading and Writing (2½ hours – 110 marks)

Listening Section

Candidates listen to approximately 6 minutes of material which is within their individual control. They answer all questions.  This section comprises 3-5 items requiring short
target-language or non-verbal responses.  Candidates are advised to spend approximately
30 minutes on this section.

Reading and Writing Section

Candidates answer all questions.  This section comprises 2-4 items requiring short
target-language or non-verbal responses, together with a task involving transfer of meaning from the target language into English and a task involving transfer of meaning from English into the target language.  Candidates are advised to spend approximately
1 hour on this section.

Writing Section

Candidates respond with one piece of writing to one question from a choice of two, based on each of the five A2 Cultural Topic areas, i.e. ten questions are set.  Candidates are advised to spend approximately 1 hour on this section and must write a minimum of
250 words. 

UNIT 4:  Speaking (35 minutes including 20 minutes preparation time – 50 marks)

Part 1 – Discussion of a stimulus card (5 minutes)

Candidates have 20 minutes supervised preparation time during which they should prepare one of two cards given to them by the examiner. The two cards will cover two separate topics. The cards will be selected at random from a set of six provided by
AQA. These will be based on three of the topics prescribed for A2, i.e. Environment, the Multicultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues. Two cards will be set from each topic area, covering different sub-topics, e.g. a card on Pollution and a card on
Energy from the topic Environment.  Candidates are expected to choose one of the two points of view expressed on their chosen card, present this point of view for no more than one minute and then defend or justify it. Candidates may make notes during their preparation time and may refer to these notes during this part of the test.

Part 2 Conversation (10 minutes)

The Conversation will cover both Cultural Topics studied by the candidate. Approximately 5 minutes should be spent discussing each Cultural Topic.  The test will be conducted and recorded by the teacher - all tests will be then marked by an AQA examiner.

Useful Websites

www.languagesonline.org.uk
www.kerboodle.com (all students have access to this in years 10 – 13)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/revision
Bitesize revision provides exam skills, reading and writing exercises

http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages
A good site for revising vocabulary and speaking/listening skills

http://www.languagesonline.co.uk
Site with interactive exercises for practising vocabulary and grammar

www.tv5.org                           www.france2.fr
Site with access to French television channels – good listening practice

www.liberation.fr
French national newspaper online – access to articles for reading practice

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