Introduction to Languages

Aims and Objectives:

Academic

By the time the children leave the school at 13+, it is hoped that they will have attained a good level in the four skills of reading comprehension, writing, listening comprehension and speaking. This aim is reflected in the 25% awarded for achievement in each of the four skills at Common Entrance and G.C.S.E. This level of attainment will serve as a solid base for further study. Pupils study both French and Spanish from Year 4 to Year 6. In Year 7 they choose one of the two to study up to Common Entrance.

Cultural

"No man is an island" and it is hoped that during their study of languages at Highfield the children will develop a growing awareness of life and culture in other countries, coupled with a real interest to discover more. The growing cultural awareness that the children develop in their language courses at Highfield is further enriched by the French and Spanish trips in which they participate. If the children leave Highfield with a real desire to find out more about French and Spanish speaking countries, irrespective of their ability in the language, then I feel we will have rendered them a real service.

Utilitarian

The teaching of languages at the school is, of necessity, of great practical use to the children. Gone, hopefully, are the days when hours of study in languages at school did nothing to equip students with the tools to use what they had learnt in the real world. When they leave Highfield, children should be able to cope in their language of choice in a wide variety of situations which they might encounter on future trips abroad. This ability, not only very valuable in its own right, also helps to boost self-confidence and to develop an awareness of the importance of being able to speak other foreign languages.

We aim to build a love and enthusiasm for our subjects, whilst at the same time putting solid foundations in place for when the children continue with their language studies at their senior schools.

The principal aims of the children's early lessons are designed to develop oral and aural skills with a good deal of their studies focused on communicative activities involving games, songs, surveys, pair work and group work. As the children progress through the school, more emphasis is put on developing their reading and writing skills and at scholarship level in Year 8, a number of children achieve beyond that required for GCSE Higher Level.

Children enjoy cross curricular trips to Barcelona, in Year 7, and Normandy, in Year 8, both offering opportunities for language practice and cultural immersion.

Mrs J Longshaw is Head of Department. Other teachers of the subject are Mr S. Le Heup, Mrs J. Hamilton, Miss A. Little, Miss V. Liddell, Mrs S. Arnold

Languages Year Group Subject Summaries

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