Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
In teaching MFL we aim to:
- develop every pupil within the subject to his or her maximum potential
- provide an enjoyable and stimulating language-learning experience across the ability range
- promote the effective use of the target language in both classroom and real-life situations
- develop the skills and attitudes necessary to facilitate further study of modern foreign languages
- further children’s awareness of the world, its peoples and its cultures.
Head of Department – Mr S Hewitt
Our main language is French; all pupils study French in the Prep Department (Years 3 to 8) and are all taught by subject specialists. Spanish forms part of the curriculum for pupils in Years 7 and 8. Pupils also have the opportunity to learn German and Mandarin as part of their extra-curricular activities.
Our youngest pupils are taught almost entirely using oral techniques, and communication is a key feature throughout the age-range. As they progress through the School, pupils develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, and revisit topics covered in previous years, in greater depth. The programme of study in Years 3 to 5 has been designed to fulfil the aims of the QCA Schemes of Work for French in Primary Schools. In Years 6 to 8, pupils are working towards developing the linguistic skills and knowledge essential for the French Common Entrance and scholarship examinations in Year 8.
Spanish was introduced to the curriculum in 2013 for pupils in Years 7 and 8. Our aim is not to prepare pupils for public examination but to give them a secure grounding in a second language, which will inform their choices as they move on to their senior schools.
Advances in technology continue to have a significant impact on language teaching and learning. Using the School’s virtual learning environment, pupils access a wealth of software and subject-based websites, as well as using their ICT skills to produce projects, materials for display, and presentations, to illustrate their learning. Pupils benefit from technology within the classroom via interactive screens and whiteboards, which enable us to cater for a wide range of learning styles learning styles at the same time. Pupils in Years 6 to 8 are also able to use their individual iPads, accessing the multilingual keyboard and spell-checking facilities, as well as recording and listening to their work.
Click here to view a copy of the ISEB Common Entrance Syllabus for Modern Languages.
Trips and Events
Our annual Year 7 study and activity week takes place in the Autumn Term, and is an integral part of our teaching programme. Pupils spend a week at the Château de la Baudonnière in Normandy, where they take part in a wide range of exciting activities, with the emphasis on the spoken language.