Modern Foreign Languages

In the Modern Languages department we aim to develop pupils’ ability to use language effectively and creatively and to enhance their understanding of and offer insights into their own and other cultures.

French and Spanish are compulsory until the end of Year 9. Girls are taught in their tutor groups upon entering the Secondary School and are placed in sets from January in Year 7. Moving into Year 10, girls are able to choose which of the two languages they will study at GCSE. They can, and are encouraged to, study both if they want to. All classes are taught by specialist teachers, some of whom are native speakers of the language they teach.

The French and Spanish rooms are all equipped with the latest technology, including interactive white boards which are used to enhance learning in more visual and kinaesthetic ways. The department also has its own Learning Area, where small groups of girls can work independently with resources available in the room or provided by their teacher, and where they can use the recording equipment to practise their speaking and listening skills. Girls also have access to Chromebooks; they are used to work collaboratively on creative projects, access and interact with online media or work independently on online grammar and vocabulary activities.

Abbot’s Hill follows the National Curriculum guidelines regarding the general aims of Modern Language teaching. The department provides an enjoyable, stimulating and effective learning experience in French and Spanish, and provides a sound base of the skills, language and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure. We offer additional tutorials where appropriate and work closely with girls and parents alike to support learning.

We firmly believe that educational visits to France and Spain form an essential part of learning about foreign language and culture. We therefore offer trips and actively encourage students to participate. These currently include short residential trips the Opal Coast in Year 7, Sevilla in Year 9 and Paris and Madrid in Year 10. Trips are offered at an appropriate stage of the students’ learning in order to gain maximum benefit.