The Modern Foreign Languages department at Denstone aims to foster in its pupils an interest and appreciation of foreign language and culture.

We believe that learning a language is an important skill which is becoming essential in the workplace and which continues well beyond school. Understanding another culture is an enriching experience. Proper emphasis is given to academic rigour in our pupils’ approach to their language learning.

French is taught in the First Form, and Spanish is introduced in the Second Form. The curriculum has been created to enable pupils to develop skills and linguistic competence within a range of common topic areas. In French, the Department has developed its own scheme of work which is supported by topic booklets provided for each pupil. In Spanish, the department uses Mira Express, an accelerated course that ensures all the grammar and topics are covered in preparation for GCSE.  At the end of Third Form, pupils have the option to study either or both languages to GCSE.

In the GCSE years, the Department delivers its own scheme of work in French which is supported by the Métro 4 course book and the Mira course is used in Spanish to meet the requirement of four pieces of controlled assessment at this level. Over the course of two years pupils will cover a range of vocabulary and structures in the following contexts: Lifestyle and Social Issues, Leisure and Holidays, Home and Environment and Work and Education.

The study of a foreign language is compulsory for most pupils to GCSE.   The school currently uses WJEC full course in French and AQA full course in Spanish. We expect all pupils to achieve a good GCSE grade in a foreign language by the end of the Fifth Form.

Typically there are 30 pupils studying French or Spanish in the Sixth Form, including potential Oxbridge candidates.

Gifted linguists are recognised according to published departmental criteria and are encouraged and challenged in top sets. Many of them become advanced dual linguists and decide to pursue their language studies further at university.

Outside the classroom the Department regularly runs a variety of extra-curricular activity clubs, such as: Spanish advanced conversation classes, Spanish La Liga football club, Spanish Culture Club for the Middle and Senior schools, French Cinema and Television Club and a” Tour de France” Club. There are also visits to the theatre, attendance at GCSE/A level students’ revision conferences and annual educational visits abroad. In the second form pupils have the opportunity to participate in a residential French visit combining outdoor activities and French classes on the Normandy coastline. From Fourth Form onwards, pupils are given the opportunity to participate in the Staffordshire-Limousin French Exchange Programme. There is an annual Fourth Form visit to Barcelona in October as well as a biannual visit for Sixth Form to another major Spanish city, usually Valencia, where the pupils participate in intensive conversation classes in the morning and participate in cultural activities in the afternoons.

Further subject information can be found in the relevant school curriculum document on the Curriculum page.