SHopkins’ Languages Blog

Miss Hopkins’ students’ one-stop-shop

DfES Languages Review

Just heard today about the appointment of Lord Dearing to carry out a report into how the desperate lack of Languages students can be rectified.  If you haven’t read the press release it is here.  Just felt the need to blog that I really hope he recommends a complete review of KS3 and KS4 provision.  I personally am finding that as my Year 7s are arriving with much more French, the KS3 coursebooks simply do not cater for them.  It is no longer appropriate to start from zero pretending that it’s “revision” and builds on their existing knowledge, bringing in a greater written element etc etc etc.  I feel that we are holding our students back severely with this current lack of progression and it is precisely this that will turn them off later.  Certainly in Southend the KS2 curriculum is beginning to have a serious impact, and yet Secondary Schools are ill-equipped to build on this.  If only the KS3 curriculum could build to a GCSE-esque accreditation at the end of KS3 and then we could devise a more “meaty” and relevant KS4 curriculum.  Do 15 year-olds really feel motivated talking about what they had for breakfast and acting out shopping dialogues????  Please somebody see sense…


October 18, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I totally agree. GCSE sucks all the enjoyment out of learning a language. It’s irrelevant to the students’ needs and is not an adequate preparation for the demands of KS5. A shake up of KS3 and KS4 is definitely needed.

    Comment by Penny bowman | October 18, 2006 | Reply

  2. I teach in a school which, on 2 sides of a road, has from Reception to Year 13, and we teach languages all the way through. We’ve only just begun the project, but already it is obvious that by the time pupils arrive at year 7, no coursebook will be appropriate, and in fact the entire concept of the GCSE as we know it will be completely outdated, having a knock-on effect on the entire MFL structure of our country! As such, I really really Lord Dearing listens to MFL teachers and realises how many radical changes need making!

    Comment by Chris Fuller | November 17, 2006 | Reply

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