Curriculum Intent Statement

Department of Modern Languages

The Vale Academy

We aspire to expose our pupils to a broad and ambitious Modern Languages curriculum, which is rich in skills and knowledge, develops self-efficacy, kindles curiosity and promotes diversity and tolerance of other cultures. Our Modern Languages curriculum will give pupils the opportunity to:

use language skills, receptively and productively, for communication in the real world, for practical purposes, for their immediate needs, interests and beyond and to express and justify opinions
develop their confidence and autonomy to access new and unfamiliar language through the use of decoding skills brought about by the explicit teaching of phonics and sound patterns
work towards becoming a fluent and spontaneous speaker of the foreign language


Other general principles

Our pedagogy is underpinned by:

· expert subject knowledge and a passion for languages

· the nurturing of a ‘can do’ attitude towards language learning, built through the minimisation of cognitive load (less is more), controlled input-output and scaffolding the understanding and the production of language via the extensive use of worked examples across a wide range of contexts

· the regular and spaced recycling and retrieval of high frequency vocabulary, verbs and structures across as many modalities as possible to support the store of knowledge in the long term memory

· meticulous planning and careful sequencing when teaching a skill, for example a particular grammar point and anticipation of possible misconceptions allowing for planned intervention

· the creation of a learning environment where pupils feel confident to make errors and learn how to move on from these

· the use of low stake assessment opportunities which allow for systematic and effective checking of understanding throughout a single lesson or a sequence of lessons

· interventions that are timely, planned and effective following Trust wide unified assessments

We will enrich our curriculum by:

· providing opportunities to correspond with speakers of the foreign language and where possible to visit the country where the language is spoken in order to use the language and experience the culture

· exploring appropriate authentic materials to enrich language learning (poems, songs, stories, literary extracts and audio-visual materials)

· acknowledging festivals, traditions and customs which are relevant to the countries where the target language is spoken

· the annual celebration of the European day of Languages to support diversity and culture

· giving pupils who have an ability to speak another language other than English support and encouragement to sit an external examination in this language

· offering breakfast/twilight/weekend/holiday sessions to encourage pupils to show independence and ‘to go the extra mile’ in their learning

· holding Trust-wide competitions to enhance collaboration and community cohesion

Our curriculum will enable pupils to:

· learn within a coherent and progressive framework

· explore the breadth and depth of the national curriculum in languages

· foster enjoyment and independence through the teaching of new skills across a wide range of contexts

· become aware of the advantages that learning a language can both in their personal and working lives

· understand what they are doing well and what they need to do to improve

· build on their understanding of the importance of British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, tolerance and respect

· improve their spiritual, social, moral and cultural understanding

· develop their character, including resilience, confidence and independence, so that they contribute positively to the life of the school, their local community and the wider environment