At Presdales we have a considerable amount of expertise in the teaching of 5 Modern Foreign Languages. We were delighted to be designated by the DfE as one of nine Lead schools nationally and have been working collaboratively with the National Centre for Excellence for the teaching of MFL(NCELP) since December 2018.
We believe a high-quality language 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 another language per week. The girls have a taster lesson in German, Italian, Russian and Spanish within their first few days and are then allocated their other language which they begin learning straight away alongside French.
In Year 8 and 9 all girls continue with 2 periods per week of French and their second language.
In Year 10, the vast majority of students pursue at least one modern language to GCSE. This can either be French or their other language, which they have been studying since Year 7. We encourage girls to continue with both of their languages as the skills are transferable, one supporting 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 leading universities. Our Language students become our Language Ambassadors and help with younger students in class and lead clubs and GCSE clinics. We are hoping to introduce a language leadership Qualification in the academic year 2022/2023.
NCELP Language Hub
The project’s aims are to raise the standards of foreign language teaching in French, German and Spanish through the sharing of resources and good practice. The project is now in its fourth year and is providing CPD, underpinned by national and international research and working collaboratively to improve standards and increase take up of languages at GCSE, now a national priority.
All the CPD is underpinned by national and international research, particularly in the areas of vocabulary, phonics, grammar, meaningful practice, corrective feedback in interaction, target language use and motivation. The MFL department is delighted to be able to review and improve its own practice through the project, as well as work collaboratively within a national network of excellence at such a crucial time for languages learning.
Further details of the project’s work can be found at: www.ncelp.org