The department offers both German and French for the whole ability range up to GCSE level. The languages are begun in Year 7, with one year group studying French and the next year’s intake studying German. Current Year 7 (September 2015) are learning German. More able linguists are given the option to take up the second language in Year 8. Every year we get healthy numbers opting to take GCSE in both the languages.
Learning a foreign language is a valuable skill in many ways. It can help to gain access to Higher Education and also opens up opportunities for varied career paths in many fields. Languages are a vital tool for increasing understanding with people of other cultures and nationalities and they open our eyes to the diversity around us. They teach important lessons about the value of careful and accurate work, and they also help with understanding how our own language works. Languages are looked upon as important by employers, who recognise the achievement made by successful candidates.
Homework / Assessment
From years 7 to 9, pupils are given a homework booklet with tasks to be completed throughout the year. They also include the vocabulary needed to complete the tasks as well as space for redrafting and improving work. Parents and carers are asked to sign their child’s homework and teachers set regular targets for improvement. At GCSE level, homework is set weekly as appropriate to the topics being studied. These may also include learning homeworks which are assessed by tests in class.
Resources and Facilities
Pupils are encouraged to use their own time to access ICT based resources, including Linguascope.com, which the department subscribes to and which encourages independent vocabulary learning. The shared area of the school’s network also includes many helpful resources to aid revision and learning, such as Powerpoint presentations and lists of vocabulary.
Extra-Curricular and Extended Learning
Help is regularly available at lunch and after school from teachers for pupils who want extra support or advice. There are also targeted revision and catch up sessions.