The Languages department offers a gateway to the world. We want to foster in our students the skills and confidence to be open-minded global citizens with an understanding of, and respect for, other countries and cultures. Whichever language (or languages) students learn, we want to inspire and promote a love of languages, driven by linguistic curiosity, and a willingness to have a go, and make mistakes – moving on from the mistakes we make is at the heart of learning.
Our curriculum is driven by the need to focus on ensuring a robust foundation of knowledge, with an emphasis on phonic awareness, vocabulary, and grammar, along with ample meaningful practice to ensure progression.
In spite of the widely-held belief that speaking English is enough, the ability to communicate with people in their own language will always be huge advantage – both personal and financial!
We currently teach French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Latin.
Learn languages and you will feel at home everywhere.
French & Spanish
Students in years 7 – 9 will be assessed regularly on their knowledge of phonics, vocabulary and grammar. In addition, each of the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing will be formally assessed at least once throughout the year.
In years 10 and 11, GCSE style assessments covering all four skills will take place regularly.
Assessments will cover reading comprehension, translation and grammatical knowledge.
All of our rooms are equipped with an interactive whiteboard, and have audio equipment. We also have priority access to an IT room. Our specialist sixth form room houses a small library of foreign texts and films to enhance learning.
We offer a cultural visit to Normandy to all students at the end of year 8, and a study trip to Barcelona for students in years 9 and 10.
Students taking French at A Level are encouraged to take part in our exchange visit to Vincennes, in the east of Paris.
Students have five hours of French per fortnight and are taught in mixed ability groups.
Years 8 & 9
The majority of students start Spanish in addition to French, with four hours of French, and two of Spanish per fortnight. Those students who studied Mandarin in Year 7 will decide whether to continue, or to start Spanish.
A small number of students who are experiencing difficulties with language and literacy will not start Spanish, and so will have two additional hours of French per fortnight to consolidate their skills.
At the end of Year 8, students express a preference to continue with either French or Spanish, and Latin (or Mandarin for those who are studying it) is offered as an enrichment option.
These choices for Year 9 will pave the way for students’ language study in Years 10 and 11.
Some students will begin Mandarin in Y7 in addition to French, and will have 4 hours of lessons per fortnight.
Challenging but rewarding, the course of Mandarin Chinese will provide a solid foundation in Chinese grammar and sentence structures. Students learn to read and write simplified Chinese characters and use Pinyin, the Mandarin phonetic system, to develop speaking and listening skills. Students are also encouraged to use self-learning tools through technology.
Materials chosen will be focused on daily communication to make the learning more related to daily life. Topics including greetings, introducing oneself, family, countries, occupations, weather, food, hobbies, pets, transportation, counting, shopping, dates, time and daily routines will be covered and revisited with escalating complexity. In addition, Chinese culture will also be introduced to promote awareness of cultural differences.
There will be weekly vocabulary and target sentences to learn. In addition, each of the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing will be formally assessed at least once throughout the year.
Years 10 & 11
Students have five hours of teaching per fortnight in their chosen language(s).
We are currently using the AQA specifications for French and Spanish, and students will be tested in the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. All four skills are equally weighted (25%).
The textbook which we use in class is also available online, via Kerboodle. At the beginning of Y10, all students will be given a Kerboodle login, to enable them to access the textbook at home, and to complete homework activities.
As there is no longer any coursework, it is even more important that students are regularly revising topics and vocabulary, and homework will often be set from Quizlet, an online vocabulary learning site to which the department subscribes.
For Latin, the Eduqas specification is followed, and students will be tested in Language (50%), Literature (30%) and Civilisation (20%).
Years 12 & 13
French and Spanish are both offered at A Level (subject to numbers opting). We follow the AQA syllabus in both languages.
Students study contemporary aspects of French/Spanish society and culture, including film and literature.
Those students taking French are strongly encouraged to take part in our exchange with a school in Paris.
French Exchange 2017
French Exchange 2016