Modern Foreign Languages
Language learning enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language, and to understand and respond to its speakers. In this respect it is the development of practical, useful knowledge for all 21st century young people. It is also about the broader curriculum: about children exploring the relationship between language and identity, about developing an international outlook and an enhanced understanding of the world and their place within it.
Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures.
This has never been more crucial.
Key Stage 3
Spanish & Mandarin
At Melbourn Village College, our pupils learn both Spanish and Chinese Mandarin – two of the world’s leading languages – from Year 7.
Spoken in 31 different countries, by around 427 million people, the Spanish language opens doors not just to Spain, but also to diverse countries across Central and South America. All our pupils learn Spanish at Key Stage 3, using the ¡Viva! course books. Pupils are encouraged to take part in the linguistic and cultural visit to Spain in Year 8 and to participate in the other events we arrange with our Spanish link schools.
All our pupils from Year 7 have the opportunity to learn Mandarin – using the Jin Bu course books – which is spoken by 70% of all Chinese people, and around 897 million people across the globe. We were the first school in the county to teach Chinese Mandarin – the ‘language of the future’ – to all pupils as part of the curriculum. We’re delighted to announce that our first cohort of Chinese Mandarin pupils opted for GCSE for the first time, starting in September 2019.
In addition to their Modern Foreign Language lessons, pupils also have the opportunity to participate in:
- the Year 7 Foreign Language Spelling Bee and the Year 8 and 9 Translation Bee events
- a Year 8 Spanish immersion visit to Cantabria
- joint MVC / Spanish school experiences at MVC and other local areas
- the Mandarin Excellence Programme, an enhanced learning opportunity, which includes a heavily subsidised trip to China
- a Chinese Exchange visit
- Year 10 work experience in Spain
Homework & Assessment
In Key Stage 3 one homework per week is set. For our Spanish course, Viva 1, pupils can complete homework tasks on ActiveLearn. All pupils receive log-in details for the site and are set assignments by their class teacher. Additional reading, writing tasks or vocabulary tasks will be set to reinforce the learning.
Each half term there will be an assessment in at least two of the four skills (listening, reading, writing speaking) which is awarded a level. This will be followed by + of - to indicate whether the piece is towards the top or bottom of the level. All four skills will have been assessed by the end of each term. Each level converts to a GCSE grade prediction, so pupils can see whether they are on track.
Key Stage 4
Spanish & Mandarin
Learn a language and go places! In Years 10 and 11, pupils at Melbourn Village College have the opportunity to study Mandarin and / or Spanish for GCSE. If you enjoy communicating with other people, finding out how language works and learning about different countries and cultures, studying a GCSE in a Modern Foreign Language is an excellent choice for you!
- be able to share your interests, ideas and opinions with other people who speak the language.
- learn about countries where the language is spoken.
- add an international dimension to your choice of GCSE subjects, which is something many employers and higher education providers look for
- be highly valued highly by post-16 centres and top universities.
- learn many skills which are useful in a wide range of careers, such as the ability to communicate clearly, being confident about speaking in public and using problem solving strategies
- create greater opportunities to work abroad, or for companies in the UK with international links.
- Gain a GCSE which is valued by employers. People with language skills are sought after by employers and can command higher salaries.
- be able to do your Year 10 work experience in Spain, if you study Spanish.
Homework & Assessment
In Key Stage 4, pupils are set homework when it is appropriate. This will be at least once per week and will consist of vocabulary learning through Quizlet, our on-line programme, on-line Activelearn tasks or written work to consolidate and extend was has been learnt in class. Pupils should do additional work on Quizlet and Activelearn, as well as extended reading, at any time to reinforce their learning. At the end of each module of work, assessment tests will be completed in at least 2 of the 4 skills. Each mark converts to a GCSE grade prediction, so pupils can see whether they are on track.
Everybody is somebody