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Modern Foreign Languages

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"One language sets you in a corridor of life.  Two languages open every door along the way."  (Frank Smith)

The ability to form language is one of the most important tools that humans are equipped with, therefore having more than one language in our toolbox endlessly increases our opportunities to make ourselves successful in modern society. At Park Academy West London, our aim is to ensure that all our students can increase their human potential by using a foreign language to explore different cultures and open doors that they didn’t even know existed.

With the right tools, our potential knows no bounds. French is the main language taught at Park Academy West London due to its influence; from the snowy mountains of Canada, the tropical jungles of Madagascar, the white beaches of Tahiti and the bustling cities of France. French is a global language used in business, diplomacy and in the media as a major form of communication, the ability to communicate in this language opens a plethora of pathways in life. In Year 7, we have now begun to introduce Spanish back into life at Park Academy West London as we recognise the growing influence of Latin American culture on the global stage. We place our students where necessary into language classes however students who demonstrate strong ability may have the opportunity later to pursue multiple lingual routes.

With the world becoming more globalised, thanks to technological advances, as employees we need to make sure we our able to meet their demands of a modern world of work. With knowledge of an additional language being one of UK employers most desirable skills in a worker, at Park Academy West London we are equipping our students with the necessary means of communication and cultural awareness so that they can compete in a competitive job market.

Studies show that students who are studying language achieve better results in their other academic subjects, English benefits as we explore items of study such as grammar and sentence structure in more depth. We want to give our students opportunities to use their language in active settings to improve proficiency. Examples include our Year 9 students taking to the cooking suite, following a real life French recipe with relation to their health and fitness topic as well as our Year 7s putting on fashion shows as they explore the clothes and descriptions topic.

Key Stage 3

Over the three years of Key Stage 3, our students cover a range of topics including family life, descriptions, town, leisure activities, shopping, holidays amongst many other themes of study. Grammatically, they can express opinions with reasons across three time frames. Skill wise, they will have in-depth training in how to express themselves verbally and in written form as well as extensive practice of deciphering written and audio works. Through role play tasks, in settings such as cafés or sports centres, our students use their language in action and become more confident speakers as a result. To improve their listening and reading skills, students explore French or Spanish culture by examining authentic music, magazines and TV shows from around the French / Spanish speaking world.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students cover new topics and begin the final stage of their preparation, refining the skills that they began to cultivate at Key Stage 3. Students discuss and give opinions on a more mature content level with real word issues such as bullying, the environment and homelessness all featuring in listening, speaking and written tasks. Students become more fluent in their approach to languages whilst also receiving continued support from teachers in order to become proficient linguists.

At Park Academy West London, we follow the AQA framework, with students receiving guidance from experienced examiners for this exam board from within the department. They will sit the following exams at the end of their final year of study:

  • Speaking – 25% (Role Play, Photo Card and General Conversation)
  • Reading – 25% (Questions and Answers in English & French/Spanish)
  • Listening – 25% (Questions and Answers in English & French/Spanish)
  • Writing – 25% (Photo Card, Translations, Paragraphs and Essay Style Questions)