The Modern Foreign Languages Department at Colston’s aims to promote a love of language learning among the pupils.
All pupils study two languages throughout Key Stage 3; French and Spanish. At Key Stage 4, pupils study either one or two languages to GCSE level and may continue through to AS and A2 level.
The Department believes in the importance of communication and we stress the development of oral and aural skills during the lessons. The skills of writing and reading are used to consolidate pupils’ knowledge of vocabulary and structures in homework activities. Pupils learn language that allows them to talk about themselves and their family but also language that will equip them to cope in practical situations when they travel abroad. We have a suite of dedicated rooms, all equipped with SMARTboards, which provide an excellent environment for learning; much of the material we use is visual and interactive and aims at involving all the pupils in exciting language learning.
Our work in the classroom is enhanced by regular trips to target-language countries; the MFL Department offers trips to Bilbao, Seville and Córdoba for Spanish, and to Paris, St Omer and Bordeaux for French. These trips are a mixture of cultural activities and the opportunity to use the language; the Spanish trip to Seville involves a visit to a local school where pupils meet and get to know young Spaniards of their own age.
The ability to speak and understand a foreign language is one valued by prospective employers and we view it very much as a skill on which the pupils will be able to call once they have left school. Our aim is to make the pupils as confident as they can be when using the language and to show them the excitement of being able to communicate in a foreign language.
Sixth Form linguists have the opportunity to attend workshops and lectures at universities as well as taking part in a home-stay study visit where they have the opportunity to stay with a host family.
At Colston’s, language learning is a passion which we aim to share with our pupils.