Modern Foreign Languages

As an independent school, we are not constrained by the National Curriculum, and as such we are able to offer an exciting package of MFL teaching for our boys.

Our aim is to equip boys with the life skill of being able to operate independently and spontaneously in a language other than English.

Lower School

We offer a bespoke scheme of work at Key Stage 3, meaning lessons include a great deal of target language conversation, up-to-date authentic material from the internet for discussion, drama, games, songs, DVDs and the creation of personal resources.

Boys in Year 7 are allocated a foreign language, either Spanish or French, to study depending upon their form group. It is possible to express a preference but placings in the group of choice may not always be possible. In Year 9, boys are able to add German as a second language.

Pupils are expected to work independently in pairs or groups and to research their topics via their phones and tablets on the Internet. Homework ranges from regular revision for testing of vocabulary to substantial written language work, and boys are assisted in the use of dictionaries and taught useful strategies for memorising new words.

The Key Stage 3 MFL curriculum is further enriched by employing a wide range of engaging materials such as music, film and interactive vocabulary acquisition software.

GCSE

We offer German, Spanish and French as options at GCSE.

Each GCSE course covers three distinct themes which are applied across all four areas of language skill – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

The three themes are as follows:

1. Identity and culture – includes family, friends, social and leisure activities, personal technology and customs and festivals.

2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest – includes towns, regions, travel and tourism, plus broader issues such as healthy living, homelessness and the environment.

3. Current and future study and employment – includes ‘My Studies’, life at school, further education and career choices.

Assessment is linear and the four skills are equally weighted at 25% each of the final grade. All papers must be taken in the same exam series (in the summer term of Year 11).

A Level

The MFL department offers A-Levels in French, Spanish and German.

Building on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE, each course offers an insight into a country’s culture, its history and politics, religion, civil rights and immigration.

The A-Level course fosters a range of valuable transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research and creativity.   Boys develop a high level of linguistic fluency which will provide them with an excellent foundation for further study.

The examination consists of three papers.

1. Aural understanding and reading comprehension, including a translation element

2. Assessment of writing, with questions based on the book and film they have studied during the course.

3. The spoken element of the exam. Pupils must prepare an Independent research element for discussion and there is also a general conversation based on themes.

Boys are encouraged to visit the country relevant to their studies and there are opportunities to accompany one of the organised school visits. Many of our Sixth Form language students undertake work experience in France, Germany or Spain.