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Modern Foreign Languages

The Modern Foreign Languages Department works hard to enthuse students, promoting a love of language learning and an appreciation of cultural differences.

All girls study French as a compulsory subject in the Third and Lower Fourth, they then choose a second language between German, Italian and Spanish in the Upper Fourth. All students must continue to study one foreign language for IGCSE. A second language may be taken as an option. If so, the language chosen in the core subject should be one of German, Italian, or Spanish with French being chosen from the list of optional subjects.

The MFL Department also aims to support the educational, social, linguistic and cultural development of its bilingual students and they are encouraged to take an early IGCSE in their native language in the Upper Fourth and then continue with one or two different languages in Lower and Upper Fifth.

Languages are also popular at A level and many read languages at university.

At all key stages our lessons aim to develop our students’ fluency, accuracy and global mindedness. We aim to enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read Works of Literature in the original language.

Outside the classroom, we run conversation lessons, clubs and various other initiatives such as the European Day of Languages, enrichment lectures, guest speakers, cookery lessons, Flamenco workshops, visiting theatre companies as well as excursions to museums, theatres and cinemas. We are very aware of the importance of languages for communication and to this end we also organize trips and homestays in France, Germany, Italy or Spain every year.

Staff

The MFL teachers are a team of experienced and dedicated professionals who are all qualified to teach two or three languages. We are all passionate about languages and different cultures and we work hard to enthuse our students and to promote a love of language learning and an appreciation of cultural differences. We believe firmly in differentiation in the classroom and we dedicate individual time to each and every student in and outside our lessons.  The excellent results at both GCSE and A level are testament to the commitment and professionalism of our team.

StaffRole
Mr N GridelliHead of MFL, Head of Italian/Spanish. Italian, Spanish and French
Miss A SperaHead of French. French, Italian and Spanish
Ms R IksilaraHead of German. German and Spanish
Miss N LamasSpanish and French
Mrs R PithouseFrench and Spanish
Miss M GustaveFrench and Italian
Mrs A SlocombeItalian and French
Mrs B EdwardsGerman and French
Mrs A McBurneyGerman and French
Mr R DieselGerman

Language Assistants

  • Italian: Ms F Boschi
  • Spanish: Miss A Crespo Garay

Resources

All our classrooms are equipped with the latest computer equipment, including interactive whiteboards, and software which enhance the teaching and learning in lessons. The department also has a language laboratory where students can practise their listening skills interactively and a language room allocated to language assistants where pupils in the Fifth and Sixth forms have their weekly conversation lesson.

The library has a well-stocked dedicated area of novels and reference books in the different foreign languages for our pupils to consult or borrow for enjoyment or study, and a large selection of magazines, newspapers, easy readers and DVDs is also available from the department. We subscribe to numerous educational websites which pupils can also access from home to consolidate and strengthen their learning.

We strongly believe that authentic material, which is very much part of the syllabi, is key to fostering students’ curiosity, deepening their understanding of the world and achieving their linguistic potential. Finally, we aim to promote independence as we consider this to be a fundamental skill for life. To this end we use our virtual learning platform extensively to stretch our students and encourage them to challenge themselves with the multimedia material which is regularly uploaded.

Beyond The Classroom

The Modern Languages Department is committed to offering a variety of extra-curricular activities and clubs to extend the curriculum beyond that offered in timetabled sessions.

We are very keen to provide our students with a wide range of opportunities that will place languages in their more natural context and to this end we run clubs for Lower as well as Upper school and we organize cookery lessons, Flamenco workshops, visiting theatre companies as well as excursions to museums, theatres and cinemas.

We also organize various initiatives such as the European Day of Languages, enrichment lectures and guest speakers aimed to inform our students about language and culture related issues ranging from the funding principles of the European Union to latest developments in machine translation, from the importance of languages in the world of work to immigration.

The school and MFL Department are committed to incorporating educational visits into their planning in order to enhance pupils’ relevant understanding and experiences.  Visits help to develop a pupil's communication skills and longer visits in particular encourage greater independence. More recently we have added to our plethora of opportunities a work-experience program in Berlin in collaboration with Latymer Upper School.

 

Residential trips 2010 – 2016

  • April 2010 French Trip to Normandy LIV
  • April 2010 German trip to Cologne  UIV
  • April 2011 Spanish trip to Murcia LV 
  • July 2011 Italian Trip to Sorrento  UIV
  • April 2012 French trip to Normandy LIV
  • July 2012 Spanish trip to Cantabria LVI
  • July 2012 Italian trip to Pompeii
  • Feb 2013 French trip to Lille LVI
  • April 2013 German trip to Berlin UIV and LVI
  • July 2013 Spanish trip to Salamanca UIV - LVI
  • June 2014 French day trip to the Opal Coast III
  • July 2014 Italian trip to Bellaria UIV - UV
  • April 2015 Italian/History of Art trip to Rome - LVI
  • July 2015 French trip to Montpellier LIV-LVI
  • April 2016 Spanish/Art trip to Barcelona LV
  • July 2016 Italian trip to Palermo LV-UVI

MFL Magazine

Finally, we are always looking for new ideas and opportunities to explore and projects to engage with and for this reason we are very proud to relaunch the MFL magazine which includes work in all of the languages we offer. We aim to release the magazine once per term and it will be a celebration of our students’ best work – literature essays, creative writing, film reviews, articles, etc.

To know a different language is to possess a second soul

Charlemagne

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