Modern Foreign Languages Department
To study a language is not just to learn to communicate with others but to gain an understanding of different cultures in the world. We believe that the study of a foreign language helps students develop a sense of cultural pluralism, an openness to and appreciation of other cultures. We work on providing students with the tools to engage with the world around them and to interact with people in it. Specifically, we focus on the core skills of communication; listening, reading, speaking and writing. Alongside these skills, we develop students’ understanding of different cultures around the world.
In a globalised world characterised by international links and intercultural connections, linguistic skills are crucial for employment and careers as proficiency in a foreign language enhances career opportunities. In England, there is a huge deficit of languages speakers (we need many more!). Therefore, by gaining a qualification in a language, this sets you apart from many others.
In languages lessons, students will develop a range of useful and transferable skills that will also increase their employability. Communication is a key part of learning a language, and students will improve their communication in both English and Spanish and will gain confidence. When learning a language, you have to constantly work out the meanings of words and phrases which improves your problem solving skills, heightens logic and makes you use your initiative. Learning another language also helps students to improve their English as they have a better understanding of how language works. Students will improve their independent learning skills but at times, will also be encouraged to work together and help one another, creating an inclusive community of knowledge in the classroom.
We engage with students’ curiosity about their place in the world, and the similarities and differences of life between different cultures. This enables students to hold a better understanding of the importance of British Values such as Democracy, Liberty and Law through an understanding of Target Language countries who have a history of different political systems.
Cultural aspects are taught through the use of authentic examples of foreign language media, film, music, the study of current events in the target language countries and in the wider world. Students are given regular opportunities to practice their skills in lessons and are encouraged to constantly improve and upgrade their skills through independent learning. Learning a foreign language helps to build students’ resilience and creativity through a positive and open classroom environment where students are encouraged to take risks and support one another. Not only will students improve their knowledge and improve their interpersonal skills, but they will also become a positive influence on others, being a bridge between cultures and respecting one another.
At KS4, students study Edexcel (1SPO) GCSE Spanish.