Director of Languages: Mrs K Heery
Subject Leader: Mr R Newman
The Modern Foreign Languages Department has been consistently graded as outstanding. It has had a special comment written in the last four Ofsted reports for its exceptional teaching and learning.
The department is located in a purpose built block consisting of 8 classrooms, offices and tutorial rooms for group work and tutorial sessions. The Director of Languages, Mrs Heery, has a team of exceptional teachers who share her ethos that languages should be taught through the communicative approach, an ethos which underpins the vibrant and interactive lessons delivered.
Mrs Heery and her team are very passionate practitioners and are always looking for ways to improve what they do in the classroom. They innovate their pedagogy and create stimulating lessons which enable students to enjoy and excel in their language learning. The curriculum is constantly evolving to develop the students’ cultural understanding of the country whose language they are studying.
The proportion of students studying languages at Key Stage 4 is well above national figures.
Student progress in Languages is outstanding. French and German are among the leading subjects in the school.
At Key Stage 4 Year 11 students achieved 84% A*-C in French, this included 29 A and A*s. In German, students achieved 100% A*-C with 38% of these grades being at A*. Spanish achieved 96% A*-C with 25% of these at an A*. Overall, these results were extremely positive with significantly positive progress made.
At A Level French achieved 100% A*-D, German achieved 100% A*-B and Spanish achieved 100% A*-D.
At both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students achieve above national average expectations. Students benefit from the communicative approach to the teaching and learning and this allows them to achieve very highly and develop into confident and competent communicators. Students enjoy languages thanks to excellent teaching which is very well planned to meet the needs of all. Students of all abilities make great progress and are always challenged to achieve to their best. .
Students, supported and encouraged by their teachers, are always looking for ways to improve their language skills. Students are constantly given high quality detailed feedback on how they can improve both in lessons and in the written work in their books and this ongoing assessment allows them to make rapid progress in their language skills.
Students’ Views and Attitudes
Students are enthusiastic about their learning in Modern Foreign Language lessons and they enjoy them. They take an active part in lessons and all students are motivated to participate through a range of activities which provide cognitive challenge and a competitive element. Students feel safe and supported in lessons and this enables them to have the confidence to demonstrate their language skills.
Students enjoy learning new language, about different cultures and developing their communication skills. The scaffolding in lessons allows students to feel confident and supported.
Enrichment and Intervention
The department runs a lot of intervention sessions especially for Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 students, allowing them to improve their work and these sessions have supported outstanding achievement in the subject across both key stages. Extra curricular activities include a Year 7 and a Year 8 Spanish Group and the German Bundesliga Club for sixth formers that combines German and sport. Sixth formers have also enjoyed film trips to the Institut Francais and Goethe Institute. Native speakers supplement lessons through additional oral sessions; they also support in lessons as needed.
Year 13 students often go on to study language related courses in further education, such as Modern Languages, Linguistics, Business Management and French or teacher training.
To prepare for the new A Levels in French, German and Spanish which started in September 2016.
To prepare for the new style GCSEs in French, German and Spanish which started in September 2016.
The Languages Department is involved in supporting other schools in developing their practice and the department has very close links with university and ITT courses.