Modern Foreign Languages
Bienvenue dans Le département de langues vivantes
Bienvenidos al departamento de lenguas extranjeras
Willkommen bei der Fachschaft Deutsch!
Staff and facilities
The Department is led by Ms Santovety. She is supported by four further specialist teachers and a specialist teaching assistant. Several members of the department are native speakers of the language they teach.
Cultural exchanges and trips
The department runs regular exchange trips to France and Spain, alongside other educational trips.
At present all Year 7 and 8 students have the opportunity to experience a four-day residential trip to Brittany in July. Students stay in Centre Lepage (in Le Quiou), a sole occupancy accommodation, with a dining room, a large games room (table tennis, badminton court, pool table), dorms and bathrooms. The owner is French and runs activities for the group (petanque and a quiz) in the evening. During the day, students visit Le Mont Saint-Michel, Dinan, an oyster farm in Cancale, Saint Malo (the old town and the aquarium) and go to Arromanches 360 to watch a 20 minute on the 100 days of Normandy.
In October students from Years 10-11 were offered a four-day trip to Paris. Activities included a walk to the Eiffel Tower, a river cruise along the Seine, and a visit to Place de la Concorde and the Jardins des Tuileries to see the Louvre Palace. In the evening they enjoyed a guided tour of Paris by night. The Sacre Coeur Basilica, Montmartre, Le Stade de France and Notre Dame all formed part of the visit the following day along with an exquisite view of the city from the top of the Tour Montparnasse.
Year 10 and Year 12 Spanish students take part in an exchange with a secondary school in Seville, in southern Spain. Students are hosted by a Spanish family for a week and take part in many activities and trips to places of interest in and out of Seville such as Cordoba and Jerez. They also attend their partner’s school for a day.
This exchange allows students to experience the lifestyle and culture of the country whilst improving their language skills.
Year 8 and Year 9 German students visit the Birmingham Christmas market each December. This is the largest authentic Christmas market outside Germany. This is such a popular event that every year eager students queue from eight o’clock in the morning, on the designated day to hand in their forms, in order to secure a place on the trip. During the trip students get the chance to taste and buy German and Austrian products and be part of the ‘German Christmas Market experience.’
Plans are now underway for a four day trip for Year 8 students to Boppard in the Rhineland.
The Foreign Language Spelling Bee is a competition for students in Year 7 to practice and improve their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills in a foreign language (French, German, or Spanish).
The competition has 4 stages:
- Class competition (Autumn Term)
- School Competition (First half of Spring Term)
- Regional Final (End of Spring Term)
- National Final ( Summer Term)
At each stage students learn 50 words in their chosen language, totalling 200 words, if they reach the national final.
Our Year 7 students take part in the competition each year and the top three in each stage go through to the next round.
Years 10 and 11 subscribe to Vocab Express which is a vocabulary testing website. They are regularly set online assignments as homework and classwork and are entered into national competitions where they compete against other language learners across the country to see who can learn the most amount of words in a set time. Their progress is easily tracked via individual class leader boards and the pupils are able to see who in their class is spending the most amount of time learning new vocabulary. It is an invaluable resource which enhances language learning in an interactive way.
Language across the school
During the week of September 26 each year, the Modern Languages Department organise student and staff quizzes to celebrate “European Day of Languages”. Students take part in inter-house competitions and staff use their language skills to greet students in other languages and include some foreign language into their lessons. Our in-school radio station broadcasts messages in five different languages throughout the week.
In the summer term, we invite Year 4 pupils from our Primary Partnerships Schools to share a ‘French Day’ with us. The day is divided groups and take part in different activities throughout the day.
MFL Day at Oxford University
Every year ten students in Year 9 are selected to take part in the Year 9 MFL day at Oxford University. Students listen to a talk about language, learn a new language in thirty minutes, subtitle a film in French, German or Spanish and listen to Language undergraduates explaining the importance of studying languages beyond secondary school.
Key Stage 3
Modern Foreign Languages are compulsory at Key Stage 3. From September 2016 all Year 7 students will study Spanish as their main language and half the year group will also study German whilst the other half will study French. They will continue to study both languages in Year 8 and in Year 9. From September students in Years 7 & 8 will be taughted in mixed ability groups, whilst Year 9 will be taught in sets.
Key Stage 4:
AQA GCSE French
AQA GCSE Spanish
AQA GCSE German
We offer French, German and Spanish GCSE courses. The work at GCSE is an extension of the language skills acquired at Key Stage 3, which is why we only accept students who have studied the language before.
Following new government legislation, it is now compulsory to study a modern foreign language at KS4 for all our present Year 7 and 8 students.
Year 10 students follow the AQA syllabus and are assessed in the four skill ares of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each is work 25% of their final Languages grade.
At KS4 students develop confidence, independence and creativity through the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. they explore the differences and similarities between other languages and english and learn how languages can be manipulated and applied in different ways. they develop an understanding of the structure of another language and gain an insight into the cultural richness of our society and the wold in which we live and work. Please note that students can only take a GCSE in the language(s) they have student at key Stage 3.
Key Stage 5: Edexcel ‘A’ Level French
Edexcel ‘A’ Level German
Edexcel ‘A’ Level Spanish
Studying a Modern Foreign Language at A-level opens up a wealth of opportunities for students whether it is for work, leisure or further study. Students will develop and improve upon the skills already acquired equipping them with specific skills sought after in most areas of employment.
Students can only take an A-Level in a language they have studied at Key Stage 4.
Burford students study two-year A-level courses and our current Year 12 students study Spanish, whilst our current Year 13 study German. We are flexible in supporting bilingual students who might want to be entered for A-level languages as an extra A-level.
At A-level students are tested in the four traditional skills and they will complete final exams at the end of the two-year course. They will be studying cultural and historical topics as well as literature and films.
Students can only take an A-level in the language(s) they have studied at Key Stage 4.