At Presdales we have a considerable amount of expertise in the teaching of 5 Modern Foreign Languages. The DfE designated us as one of nine Lead schools nationally to work with the Centre for Excellence for the teaching of MFL in December 2018.
We believe a high-quality languages education should foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. We value all languages equally and the cultures and people they relate to.
The teaching should enable students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read literature in the original language.
Our vision is to encourage linguistically and culturally agile language learners who can transfer language learning skills from one language to another, providing a firm foundation from which to learn further languages. We want to equip our students with the skills to enable them to participate in a global economy, to study and work in other countries.
We aim to:
● ensure that the vast majority of our young people study a modern foreign language up to the age of 16 and that they achieve optimum progress
● ensure that our students gain systematic knowledge of the vocabulary, grammar, and sound and spelling systems (phonics) of their new language, and how these are used by speakers of the language.
● reinforce this knowledge with extensive planned practice and use it in order to build the skills needed for communication in spoken and written language
● enable our students to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
● widen students’ knowledge of the culture, history and literature of its speakers using a stimulating variety of authentic materials
● give our students opportunities to interact with native speakers in school and during visits abroad
● promote a passion for language learning which continues into the world of work, offering a wide variety of languages
All girls joining us in Year 7 study 2 periods of French and 2 periods of a second language a week. The girls have a taster lesson in German, Italian, Russian and Spanish within their first few days and are then allocated a second language which they begin learning the following week.
The MFL department runs lunch-time clubs and activities for Year 7 for those who wish to take a look at other languages at beginners level.
In Year 8 and 9 all girls continue with 2 periods per week of French and their second language.
In Year 10 all girls pursue at least one modern language at GCSE. This can either be French or the second language they have been studying since Year 7. We encourage girls to continue with both of their languages as the skills are transferable and one can help the other. French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish all follow the same curriculum at GCSE.
Languages continue to be a popular A-level option at Presdales as they are considered to be facilitating subjects and as such are looked upon favourably by the leading universities.