Modern Foreign Languages

Learning a language inspires and engages young people, we believe that it is an important asset to have as it encourages open-minded curiosity about the wider world, fostering a greater understanding of other people and their cultures.

MFL is an exciting subject that opens up the rest of the world to you. It allows you to communicate with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Having a GCSE in a foreign language has always been a great asset when it comes to applying to universities and ensuring better job prospects.

MFL is an exciting subject that opens up the rest of the world to you, it helps students discover for themselves the wonderful life-enhancing opportunities that learning a foreign language will open up to them. Employers have come to value language skills, recognising their crucial importance even more so in today's global economy. Above all learning and being successful in a language is challenging but fun and very rewarding.

As a department we aim to support and challenge all those we teach while expecting the highest of standards of behaviour, effort and progress. We strive to:

 

  • Encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages, and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations.
  • Show pupils that the learning of a foreign language can be an enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding experience.
  • Enable pupils to understand the spoken and written word in the foreign language.
  • Develop the ability to use the foreign language effectively for purposes of practical communication.
  • Enable pupils to recognise grammatical patterns and manipulate language structures for their own purposes.

Languages taught

We offer French, German and Spanish at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
Native speakers of these languages and any other foreign language are encouraged to take early entry GCSE in that language at the end of Year 9 or Year 10.  At KS5 we offer French, German and Spanish.


Useful Links

  • www.linguascope.co.uk -   an excellent vocabulary consolidation website with interactive language games for learning, worksheets and resources.
  • www.atantotextra.co.uk  - fun interactive vocabulary based games on a range of topics covered at KS3 and KS4 in all three languages.
  • www.languagesonline.org.uk   - useful website for practising and consolidating grammar points through clear explanations and a range of exercises to enhance student understanding of the building blocks of a language.

KS3 Modern Foreign Languages

MFL is an enjoyable and interactive time for our students. They learn through a variety of activities which aim to develop skills such as literacy and numeracy, as well as problem solving. Students study an array of topics and cultural elements (family, regions, hobbies, etc.) to spark their interest in target language countries. The MFL department set very high standards and expect a lot from our students. In doing so, students progress quickly through KS3 with firm foundations built for those wishing to continue their study of languages at GCSE. In year 7 students study a taster of Spanish and then French, at the end of the Autumn Term, students then opt for the language they wish to study for the rest of Key Stage 3 and into Key Stage 4. In years 8 and 9, students study only one language, French or Spanish, we also offer languages club where students can learn about other cultures and languages. For students who speak another language at home, we encourage early entry GCSE at the summer term of Year 9 or Year 10. 

What skills students develop

Studying a foreign language provides students with the opportunity to develop a number of skills including:

  • Literacy
  • Verbal communication
  • Team work
  • Independent learning
  • Reading for detail and gist.

How students are assessed

Students' class work will be marked on a regular basis and constructive comments for improvement will be provided; it is recommended that parent(s)/carer(s) work with their children to follow this guidance. At the end of each topic, reading, listening and speaking  assessments are conducted to assess progress. 

Homework

Homework in languages is set twice over the two week timetable and focuses on developing the skill of writing in the target language, reading for gist and the consolidation of vocabulary.

How parents can help

Ask questions about what your child has learnt in languages and encourage them to teach you some useful phrases! Help them with vocabulary revision by testing them and promote the importance of language learning which will open up future opportunities. Encourage them to be resilient in their learning, practise and check all their work carefully.

KS4 Modern Foreign Languages (Students who commenced their course before September 2016)

We have excellent uptake at GCSE with approximately high numbers of students in both Years 10 and 11 studying Spanish, French or German. This goes against the national trend completely with languages in the majority of schools in our catchment area.

The GCSE course builds on the skills used and enhanced at KS3, allowing students to feel comfortable in their learning at a high pressured time in their education. Regular assessments and vocabulary tests give students an insight into their progress, and as a result, allowing them to track their own achievements. The GCSE course, in the last 6 years, relies heavily on controlled assessments which were worth 60% of pupils’ final grades. However, at present, with the new launch of the linea GCSE, the students will soon have 3 years of study at GCSE instead of two and no formal exams until the end of year 11.

Languages complement all disciplines and enhance lifelong learning. Opportunities can be found in the following sectors: Banking, Business, Communication, Diplomatic Service, Education, Engineering, Journalism, Law, Media, Management, Consulting, Public Relations, Science, Social Services, Technology, Travel and many others.

KS4 Modern Foreign Languages (Students who commencing their course after September 2016)

We have excellent uptake at GCSE with approximately high numbers of students in both Years 10 and 11 studying Spanish, French or German. This goes against the national trend completely with languages in the majority of schools in our catchment area.

The GCSE course builds on the skills used and enhanced at KS3, allowing students to feel comfortable in their learning at a high pressured time in their education. Regular assessments and vocabulary tests give students an insight into their progress, and as a result, allowing them to track their own achievements. The GCSE course, in the last 6 years, relies heavily on controlled assessments which were worth 60% of pupils’ final grades. However, at present, with the new launch of the linea GCSE, the students will soon have 3 years of study at GCSE instead of two and no formal exams until the end of year 11.

Languages complement all disciplines and enhance lifelong learning. Opportunities can be found in the following sectors: Banking, Business, Communication, Diplomatic Service, Education, Engineering, Journalism, Law, Media, Management, Consulting, Public Relations, Science, Social Services, Technology, Travel and many others.

MFL Team

Miss L. Riley, Associate Assistant Headteacher and Head of MFL

¡Hola! Me llamo Señorita Riley y soy la jefa de idiomas en Blenheim. Llevo doce años trabajando aquí y enseño el español y el francés.  Por supuesto, me apasionan las lenguas ya que “para realmente entender una cultura y su gente, hay que hablar su lengua”. Empecé a aprender el español en el colegio cuando tenía doce años y al terminar los A levels, fui a la Universidad de Nottingham donde seguía estudiando el español y el francés. ¡Yo puedo hablar el portugués un poquito pero necesito mejorarlo!

Con mis estudios en los idiomas, he tenido mucha suerte ya que he vivido en Valencia en España y Nantes en Francia. He visitado muchos países como Tailandia, Grecia, Italia, Camboya los Estados Unidos, para mencionar algunos. Siempre he soñado con visitar Perú, y si tuviera la oportunidad, no tardaría en hacer una excursión a las ruinas de Machu Picchu. 

Mrs. C. Newbold, Deputy Leader of Modern Foreign Languages

Guten Tag! Ich heisse Frau Newbold und ich bin die Vertreterin von modernen Fremdsprachen. Ich spreche Englisch (natürlich!) und auch Deutsch, Französich und Spanish. Ich liebe Sprachen seitdem ich ein kleines Kind war. Als ich 8 Jahre alt war, hat meine Mutter mir ein paar Wörter auf Französich gelernt und dann konnte ich nicht warten auf die Oberschule zu gehen um mehr zu lernen! Als Studentin an der Aston Universität in Birmingham habe ich Deutsch und Französich neben Internationale Betriebswirtschaft studiert. Als Teil meines Studiums hatte ich die Gelegenheit in Strasbourg, Frankreich und auch in Bamberg, Deutschland zu wohnen. Nach der Universität habe ich auch Spanisch gelernt und habe auch ein Jahr in Lissabon, Portugal gewohnt, wo ich portugiesische Studenten Englisch beigebracht habe. Viel Spaβ beim Sprachlernen!

Mrs. N. Anderson, Teacher of MFL and French Lead

Bonjour, je m’appelle Madame Anderson, je suis née le 27 Juillet à Nice, sur la côte d’azur en France. Je suis moitié française, moitié marocaine. J’ai passé mes premières années en France et après la mort de ma mère, je suis rentrée au Maroc vu que mon père ne savait pas comment être monoparental!

Très tôt, j’étais habitée par un désir linguistique. Ceci dit, J’ai commencé à apprendre à parler arabe, anglais, allemand et bien sûr français comme j’ai une licence en littérature française.  La langue espagnole, par contre, je l’ai apprise à l’université de Surrey, lors de ma licence de traduction et d’interprétation.

Ma passion pour les langues vient du fait que dés un jeune âge, mes oreilles se sont habituées au son de différentes langues.  J’adore tout ce qui est culture et langage et bien sûr, ce mélange est la vraie définition de Liberté, d’Egalité et  de Fraternité. Je suis professeur de langues et je suis fière de l’être.

Mrs. K. Hadjipavlis, Teacher of MFL

Bonjour. Je m’appelle Madame Hadjipavlis et je suis prof de langues à Blenheim depuis janvier; j’enseigne le français et l’espagnol. J’habite en Angleterre avec ma famille mais j’ai veçu en France, en Grèce et à Chypre. Comme passe-temps, j’adore voyager car j’aime connaître d’autres cultures, faire du sport surtout le sport nautique et cuisiner. J’aime aussi sortir avec mes amis. A l’avenir, je voudrais faire le tour du monde et du bénévolat. 

Miss L. McConnell, teacher of MFL

¡Hola! Me llamo Señorita McConnell y soy la nueva profesora para el Departamento de MFL en Blenheim. Enseño principalmente español en esta escuela, pero también enseño francés. Soy irlandesa originalmente, pero nací en Singapur y viví allí hasta mis 19 años. Fui a la Universidad de Edimburgo para estudiar francés y español, idioma y literatura, e hizo mi título de profesora en la Universidad de Durham. Aparte de español y francés, también puedo hablar malayo, y un poco de italiano y mandarín. Soy una persona muy internacional, he vivido en Francia, España, Singapur, Inglaterra, Escocia y pasé mucho tiempo en Tailandia, Vietnam y Camboya también. Me encantan los animales, la fotografía, la música y los viajes. Tengo una rata como mascota, que se llama Paddy, y también vivo con dos perros salchichas en miniatura, Heidi y Nate.