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A Bit About Us
We are very proud of the range of languages on offer at IVC. All of our KS3 students study French and Spanish or German with the opportunity to choose from French, Spanish, German, Latin or Japanese at KS4. Our expertise in languages gives our students an advantage and leads to further study as part of the IB where it is possible to study French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Mandarin and Russian.
We believe that communication is key to language learning and offer many opportunities to enrich the learning experience through engaging activities in lessons, extra-curricular events, as well as a wide range of visits and exchanges. Students at IVC develop their transferrable life skills in lessons, building up their resilience to challenge and their self-confidence.
Monolingualism is no longer an option in the modern world as everyone at IVC knows.
|KS4, French, Spanish
KS3, French, German
Japanese, English B
Students opt which language to continue studying during Year 8 so that in Year 9 learning can focus on ensuring a solid grammatical base, whilst constantly broadening the leaner's vocabulary. Students continue to have four lessons over the fortnight and use Expo 3 (red for higher tier, green for foundation tier). In our teaching we regularly refer to the wider world and learning language for real purposes. To this end, students are offered two exchanges to France, as outlined below.
Year 8 and 9 Exchange to Tours France
This exciting exchange has been running successfully for over 13 years. Students from Years 8 and 9 can apply to take part and are matched with students from the College Jean Phillipe Rammeau in Tours. The French group come to England for 10 days in March and we return to France in June. While in France we visit the chateau of the Loire valley as well as Paris and the Futuroscope Theme Park. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience life in a French family, improve your language skills and make new friends.
German is the second language alongside French for half of the year group in Year 7. Students are introduced to the language in four lessons over the fortnight, using the course book Echo 1 and quickly build up their basic knowledge and skills. In Years 8 and 9 they will use the books Echo 2 and 3 respectively. There is currently no German taught in Years 8 and 9.
Our current Year 10 and 11 German students chose German as an option for a three year GCSE course. They have four lessons over the two weeks. The teaching is mostly in the target language. It aims to quickly build up the students' confidence with the language and to familiarize them with the skills needed for studying a language for GCSE. A wide variety of teachings styles and learning activities are used, for example different speaking exercises, listening and reading tasks, songs, email writing, pair and group work, use of IT. The aim of the course is to provide all students with an enjoyable learning environment where they can make the progress they need to achieve well in their GCSE exams after three years. These students follow the course books Echo 3 and 4.
Trips and Exchanges
In Year 8, students have the opportunity of an extended day trip to Aachen, Germany. They visit an authentic Christmas market and get a first-hand experience of German culture and language.
In Year 9, students can take part in the exchange programme with our partner school Gymnasium Gernsheim near Frankfurt. Gymnasium Gernsheim have been our partners for about fifteen years and we have done many successful exchanges and projects with them.
Spanish is the second language alongside French for half of the year group in Year 7 and students have four lessons over two weeks. The teaching aims to quickly build up the students' confidence with the language using a wide variety of teaching styles. Students are taught in mixed-ability tutor groups. The aim of the course is to provide all students with an enjoyable and sound introduction to the language and the country. In Year 7, students follow the course book Mira 1 and will move to Mira 2 (red for higher sets, green for lower sets) during Year 8.
Students opt which language to continue studying during Year 8 so that in Year 9 learning can focus on ensuring a solid grammatical base, whilst constantly broadening the leaner's vocabulary. Students continue to have four lessons over the fortnight and use Mira 3 (red for higher tier, green for foundation tier). Students are motivated and encouraged to develop their language abroad and we offer an exchange opportunity, as outlined below:
Year 10 and 12 Exchange to Zaragoza (Spain)
This is a well-established exchange that has now been running for 12 years. Our partner school is the Instituto Santiago Hernandez in Zaragoza. It is a friendly and welcoming school on the outskirts of Zaragoza, whose staff work hard to spoil us with their hospitality and enthusiasm.
Zaragoza is an important, prosperous and expanding city with an attractive and historic city centre whose monuments range from Roman remains and a superb Moorish palace, to historic houses, art galleries, and a major pilgrimage centre. The modern city has plenty of entertainment and shopping opportunities, and the atmosphere is lively and dynamic, authentically Spanish in a way that is hard to find in the resorts of the Mediterranean coast.
During our stay in Zaragoza, we visit the school, sample some lessons, do language and project work, and visit the city. School finishes at 2 o’clock on most days, so there are opportunities for further visits and leisure in the afternoon and at the weekend. There is at least one full-day excursion, usually to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona, of which one highlight is the extraordinary architecture of Gaudí.
The visit of the Spanish students to Impington is also a valuable cultural experience for our students. Impington organises a full programme of visits, project work and excursions for the Spanish guests during their stay.
The farewell meal on the last night, organised by the students themselves, is something of a tradition, with the two groups getting together to talk over their experiences and new friendships. When the time comes to leave, tears are not uncommon!
The unique language of Japanese is taught at IVC from scratch from Year 9 or Year 12. In these courses you will learn Japanese scripts, including Kanji (Chinese characters), and you will be brought to the level where you can communicate effectively in various situations. For those who have previous knowledge of Japanese (for example, post GCSE level) we offer Language B in Year 12. In this course you will attain higher levels of Japanese with topics which involve more cultural aspects. There is an annual Japan trip to Kyoto, considered the cultural capital of Japan. There you can experience traditional and modern Japanese culture.
Year 10 students enjoying calligraphy, making decorations and writing wishes for the Japanese Tanabata festival.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Other topics already covered at Year 9-10
One speaking controlled assessment (April) in term 3 (see class teacher for precise dates)
Two Listening controlled assessments in June
No classroom textbook used
Grammar list handouts
Vocab/Kanji list handouts
Modern Languages - KS4 Overview
Students have the opportunity to learn French, German, Spanish, Japanese or Latin at GCSE. French, German and Spanish use the AQA exam board, Latin uses OCR and Japanese Edexcel.
Frequently asked questions about French, German and Spanish are answered below:
1. How many lessons are there a fortnight?
Four in Year 10 and five in Year 11.
2. How is the language examined?
The four key skills are assessed individually. Reading and Listening are worth 20% each and the pupils take one single exam at either Higher (grades A*-C) or Foundation level (grade C-G) in the summer of Year 11. These exams last from 35-45 minutes each.
Writing and Speaking are assessed through Controlled Assessment and are worth 30% each of the final grade. Students complete many practice assessments and also complete three real assessments throughout the two years. The best two pieces for Writing and the best two for Speaking are submitted to the exam board.
3. Which topics are studied?
- Self and family
- Local area and environment
- Where I live
- Travel and holidays
- Education and future plans
- Illness and healthy living
- Leisure and hobbies
4. What grammar is covered?
Study develops the solid foundation that students have built up during KS3 and include: past, present and future tenses, the use of adjectives and adverbs, pronouns, word order, comparatives and superlatives.
5. Which other skills are developed?
Language learning is an excellent way in which to develop other key skills and build up literacy in general. Students learn to effectively use dictionaries (books and online), access verb tables and improve their language stylistically, for example through the use of a range of connectives or intensifiers.
6. Which books are used?
French uses Expo 4 (red for Higher tier and green for Foundation tier)
German uses Echo 3 and 4 (red for Higher tier and green for Foundation tier)
Spanish uses Mira 4 (red for Higher tier and green for Foundation tier)
8. Is there any support outside of lessons?
Every Year 10 and 11 teacher runs a weekly lunchtime 'surgery' from 1:20-1:45pm during which students can access more help, guidance and support. These run as drop in sessions and students can eat their lunch, complete homework, ask for extra help, explanation or practise. Our specialist teaching assistant also runs lunchtime support sessions in the three main languages.
Please access http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/french/gcse/french-4655 to read the full French specification.
Please access http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/german/gcse/german-4665 to read the full German specification.
Please access http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/spanish/gcse/spanish-4695 to read the full Spanish specification.