This unique, expertly-staffed and forward-thinking department offers pupils the in-depth study of two modern languages alongside extensive extracurricular provision, plus exciting opportunities to work with our French, German and Spanish Foreign Language Assistants. We use engaging and pertinent materials and we believe very passionately in learning about a language within its broadest possible context. Although we place a strong emphasis on grammar and the acquisition of vocabulary tools for progress and linguistic expertise, the literature, art, music, history and culture of our target language countries remain a focus throughout the key stages. Our learning often takes us beyond the classroom to sample the cultures of our target language countries at first hand.
Key Stage Three
In Year 7, students learn either French, German or Spanish for 4 hours per fortnight. In addition, Year 7 pupils study Latin once a fortnight. Our Year 8 pupils begin to learn a second modern foreign language alongside their first as well as continuing with Latin once a fortnight. They continue with these two languages (3 hours per fortnight for each language) until the end of Key Stage 3. Extracurricular Russian is available after school. In Year 9 students continue with Latin once a fortnight with their two modern languages (4 hours per fortnight).
Key Stage Four
All students study at least one modern language at GCSE, although many opt to study two. Pupils have 5 hours per fortnight and/or Latin at GCSE per language. We actively encourage our pupils to gain formal qualifications in their home languages.
Key Stage Five
Our results at GCSE and beyond are very impressive and many of our students elect to study at least one language in the Sixth Form. We offer A Level language study in French, German and Spanish and we can facilitate A Level study in our students’ various home languages. Many of our students go on to study languages at university, either as specialist subjects or in combination with other disciplines.
Students have opportunities to travel abroad, in order to practise what they have learned and to see for themselves the diverse cultures of the French, German and Spanish-speaking world. We offer the following:
- A Year 9 French/History residential visit to the Somme region, where students stay in a château and enjoy outdoor activities, along with tours of historical sites of interest and authentic practice of what they have learned in their French lessons;
- A KS4 German/History trip to Berlin;
- A KS4/KS5 Spanish home-stay, language study visit to Salamanca, Spain;
- A KS5 A Level cultural visit to Lyon.
- A KS5 A Level Exchange trip to Weiden in Germany
We have an extensive lending library of authentic reading resources. Our curriculum is enhanced by an impressive array of enrichment opportunities, such as:
- Extracurricular Russian lessons;
- French, German and Spanish lunchtime club;
- The opportunity to borrow authentic target language magazines, films, books and journals;
- Taking part in email and letter exchanges with students of a similar age in French, German and Spanish-speaking countries;
- Participating in events devised and run in collaboration with our colleagues at the University of Birmingham;
- Enjoying productions by touring educational theatre companies, presented by expert native speaker performers.
- Competitions and quizzes