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Modern Foreign Languages

Welcome to the Department of Modern Foreign Languages. We are a large and well-resourced department, housed in the West Wing of the main school building in attractive, extensively refurbished accommodation dedicated to MFL teaching with a full range of audio-visual resources in each room.

In 2002 the School was awarded Language College status. This has enabled us to build upon our record of highly successful teaching in three languages (French, German and Spanish) and expand and develop our curriculum for the benefit of the wider community. As a Language College we have set ourselves challenging targets for increased success in examinations at all key stages, together with a commitment to increasing the proportion of our pupils studying at least two foreign languages. We are fortunate to be able to employ Foreign Language Assistants in each language. In addition we have Information Technology resources, computers and software, for use both within lessons and as an extra-curricular facility for independent learning.

ISA-marks-2015-2018These are exciting times for foreign language and culture and we have a major role to play within the international ethos of the school, already proud of links with schools and institutions in five continents. Many of these involve our colleagues in other departments and are helping to raise our multi-national profile. Our programme of foreign visits is continually expanding and links with other schools via e-mail and traditional correspondence are developing well. The school has recently been reaccredited with the British Council’s prestigious International School Award for 2015-18 – click here to read the article.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which languages will my daughter study?

Pupils entering Year 7 will begin their study of two languages from either French, Spanish or German and will continue these languages until Year 9, when they will have a choice of continuing one or both languages to GCSE.

When will my daughter take GCSE in languages?

Pupils will take their GCSEs at the end of year 11

What languages can be studies at A level?

French, German and Spanish are all offered at AS and A2 level and our intention is to increase significantly the uptake of foreign languages in the Sixth Form and reverse a national trend.

Which specifications are followed?

We use AQA specifications at both GCSE and A level in all three languages. For more information, you can go to the AQA website:
www.aqa.org.uk

 


 

Extra Curricular

Extra-curricular opportunities

We offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, in addition to the MFL lessons already mentioned, including film clubs and language clubs for all three languages. We also run foreign language book circles and debating societies for sixth form students.

There are annual trips to France for Year 9 and Year 12 pupils, a trip to Spain for Year 10 pupils and an annual trip for Year 10 to the Rhine Valley for German pupils. The school has a long standing exchange programme with Maria Ward Gymnasium in Augsburg, and sixth formers are able to take part in work experience whilst staying with host families.

We are currently taking part in a cross-curricular Erasmus+ project involving Latvia, Denmark, Germany and Spain. For younger pupils, there are events such as the Year 7 spelling bee competition, the Year 8 annual Eurovision Song Contest and the Year 9 translation bee competition

 

The purpose of MFL:

MFL teaching and learning also promotes student’s spiritual, moral social and cultural development in the following ways

  • Spiritual: by stimulating their interest and fascination in the phenomenon of language and the meanings and feelings it can transmit
  • Moral: by helping students to formulate and express opinions in the target language on issues of right and wrong
  • Social: by exploring different social conventions, forms of address, communication with others in a sympathetic and tolerant manner and fostering a spirit of cooperation.
  • Cultural: by offering insights into cultural differences and opportunities to relate these to their own experiences and consider different cultural and linguistic, traditions, attitudes and behaviours.

 

The following Key Skills are also enhanced through the learning of a foreign language;

  • Communication: thinking about the way in which language is structured and can be manipulated. Reading and listening for gist and detail and using grammar correctly.
  • Working with Others: participation in group conversations and discussions, regular pair-work.
  • Imroving Own Learning and Performance: they develop the ability to rehearse and redraft work to improve accuracy and presentation. Development of learning strategies – memorising, dealing with the unpredictable and using reference materials.
  • Problem Solving: develop the ability to apply and adapt their knowledge of the target language for specific communication purposes.

MFL also promotes other aspects of the curriculum:

  • Thinking Skills: by developing student’s ability to draw inferences from unfamiliar language and unexpected responses and enabling students to reflect on links between languages. Also, by developing their creative use of language and expression of their own ideas, attitudes and opinions.

 

Activity Starts/Finishes Day Time Venue Teacher
Latin Club September-July Wednesday 12:45 – 1:15 F29 Mrs Heathcock
Oxbridge Preparation Y13 September-December To suit pupils lunchtimes West Wing Sixth Form
Oxbridge Preparation Y13 September-December To suit pupils after school West Wing Sixth Form
Spanish Book Group September-July To suit pupils lunchtimes Sixth form centre Sixth Form
European Film Club September-July To be advised To be advised To be advised To be advised
French Club Y7/8 September-July To be advised To be advised West Wing Sixth Form
German Club Y7/8 September-July To be advised To be advised To be advised To be advised
Spanish Club Y7/8 September-July To be advised   West Wing Sixth Form

 


 

Key Stage 3 – Year 7-9

In year 7, all pupils will study two languages. In French we use “Tricolore”, in German, “Na Klar” and in Spanish the “Caminos” course is used. The pupils are taught in mixed ability form groups. All pupils will take at least one language to GCSE level.

 


 

Key Stage 4 – GCSE

Pupils sit their GCSE in Year 11. From September 2016, pupils will be following the new linear AQA specification. There are no controlled assessments as part of this new GCSE course.

 


 

Key Stage 5 – A2 Level

French, German and Spanish are all available at A level. From September 2016, students will be following the new linear AQA specification, which is examined at the end of Year 13. 

Students have regular contact with our foreign language assistants and have frequent opportunities to go abroad as part of study visits, exchanges and the Erasmus+ project. The sixth formers are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and to research and read independently.