The department is staffed with four experienced, committed and enthusiastic teachers, two French, one Spanish and one French and Spanish teacher.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7, students follow an introductory course in both French and Spanish, which gives students a cultural and linguistic insight into the two languages offered at our school. At the end of Year 7, students opt to study either French or Spanish, which they continue to study in Year 8 and Year 9. Many students enjoy their Language lessons in this Key Stage and at the end of Year 9 choose it as one of their options to study at GCSE.
Key Stage 4
In Years 10 and 11 students follow the GCSE AQA syllabus and are tested at the end of the two-year course with four examinations of equal weighting in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. We have a long history of excellent examination results. Our GCSE pass rates have consistently been 100% A*-C, and around 40% A*-A in both languages, over the past few years. Our value added place our department in the top 2% of schools nationally.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5, students taking French or Spanish at A-Level follow the AQA A-Level syllabus. Students study the target language and culture in greater depth. In Year 13, students are expected to have reached a high level of efficiency in the language and are assessed in all four skills.
Organisation and Methods of Assessment
The assessment of students forms an important aspect of the department’s work. Each student’s progress is closely monitored by assessment tests after each unit of teaching against individual targets, and formal records are kept in accordance with school policy. Effective early intervention strategies are used where student achievement is falling below expectations.
The department is well stocked with texts, worksheets and other teaching materials, including computer and multimedia resources. The French department’s resources are designed to support the students to strengthen the skills they need, such as translation and understanding authentic and literary texts, and help them understand what is expected of them in the new GCSE (9-1) assessments.
Other resources available include electronic whiteboards in each classroom, and a class set of wireless laptops. There is a wide range of software installed on the school network, including Boardworks for Key Stage 3, GCSE and A Level students.
The department offers the Cambridge Latin Course (Levels 1, 2 and 3) after school to support and extend our most able linguists. The course is always very popular amongst students of all Key Stages. All assessments are certificated by the University of Cambridge.
The MFL department also run very successful trips to Spain and France. There is a Year 10 cultural and educational trip to Paris for students studying French at GCSE. The trip is also open to the rest of the year group and is of particular interest to students studying GCSE Art. There are also Year 10 trips to Barcelona in the north and one to Andalusia in the south where students have the opportunity to practise their Spanish in a school as well as in real life situations.