The challenge | Many students at the school are from culturally diverse backgrounds, however white British students consistently underperformed.

The method | Year 1: Lessons were designed to be more engaging and relevant with units on World Cup Football, music, films and current affairs. Students took more ownership of their learning. At the end of the year there was a much higher uptake than in previous years – three groups of Spanish as opposed to just one the year before.

Year 2: The focus for this year was to encourage students to research and find authentic material to be used within lessons in an attempt to demonstrate that a foreign language is accessible to all, regardless of ability level or lack of prior exposure.

Year 3: A pen pal scheme was established with a French school in Paris. The MFL department made a display of all the teachers within the school who spoke more than one language. Three cultural trips within London were arranged - two to the Europa Centre and one to the Institut Français.

The impact |

  • Higher engagement levels amongst students
  • Students achieving higher grades at a faster pace
  • More flexibility within the curriculum
  • Students taking ownership of their own learning
  • A higher number of students being on target or above target
  • An increased uptake at Key Stage 4
  • Boys outperformed girls in all year groups at Key Stage 3
  • Improved performance by SEND pupils

Reflections | This is the first year that Languages have been made non-compulsory at GCSE at Robert Clack School, and nearly half the year group opted to take a language.

Contact | Emma Allen