"To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world" 

Chinese Proverb

At King James, we believe that learning languages provides a unique window on the world.  We love, most of all, how easy it is to just speak a language a little and enjoy how that sounds - one of the great accomplishments in life and a central part of a quality education.  We strongly believe that speaking languages is not a question of ‘natural talent’ or something other people can do.  We believe that this is a gift everyone is entitled to and all it takes is practice.  The idea that Knowledge + Practice = Skill fits so well our belief in Head Heart and Hands which underpins education here at King James.  The beauty of languages is for anyone who will engage in dedicated and earnest practice; the only way to acquire and apply the rich and powerful knowledge we want for the young people in our care. 

Our Curriculum

Language learning at King James begins at Key Stage 2 with a lesson of Spanish a week taught by a subject specialist and continues at Key Stage 3 where curriculum time increases and students begin to learn more independently.  Some pupils will be given the opportunity to study French in Year 8 and 9.  Many students, recognising the value and importance of languages for their futures, decide to carry on with a language to GCSE.  It is our aim to meet the Government’s ambition of 90% of young people benefiting from this entitlement in the future. 

Our programme of study is designed to meet the aims of the National Curriculum and it ensures that learners can communicate in and understand a modern foreign language.  Learners engage in listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar and translation activities to acquire a language through a cycle of topic-based study which revisits themes and builds on them, deepening knowledge over time. Learners’ study skills, literacy and understanding of their own mother tongue develop over their course of study. 

We use song and video as part of providing a rich insight into the world and culture.  We believe that oracy and the pure enjoyment of that is fundamental to the rationale for learning languages.  Future travel for work, pleasure and curiosity are the ideas behind our work in producing global citizens.  School trips have always been a highlight of memories of school and it is our dearest wish to see them return in the safest and most sustainable way possible in the future.  Making it real for our learners is something we aspire to.

We have a very clear idea of what we want students to know and be able to do every lesson, every week, every term and every year until they finish studying with us and then we want to be sure they are prepared for future study.  For this reason we map out our curriculum and define the knowledge to be acquired through detailed but not exhaustive ‘Knowledge Organisers’.  These are one-page documents outlining the key knowledge we expect students to have learned every half term.  What they have learned is simply what they can remember for future use.  

Assessment in Languages

Our schemes of work and related assessments are supported by these Knowledge Organisers and homework and revision center on them.  In this way, teachers and students know exactly what they know and don’t know, over time, and we can address gaps in understanding when this is clear.  The power of testing leads to mastery and builds confidence - just what we want to see in our successful, young language learners.

Year 8 & 9 French (for those that follow this course):