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 from the First Form onwards 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 follows the Dynamo scheme of work. In Spanish, the department uses Mira Express, in Second and Third Form, an accelerated course that ensures that basic 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 French Department follows the Studio scheme of work in French and the Viva course is used in Spanish to cover the three prescribed Areas of Experience at GCSE; Identity and Culture. Local, national, international and global areas of interest, Current and future study and employment. All  schemes are supported by a comprehensive electronic package which students have access to.
The study of a foreign language is compulsory for most pupils to GCSE.   Both languages currently use the AQA full course in Spanish. We expect all pupils to achieve a grade 5 or above in a foreign language by the end of the Fifth Form. Typically at least 50% of pupils will achieve one of the top 3 grades.
Typically there are 30 pupils studying French or Spanish in the Sixth Form, including potential Oxbridge candidates. The AQA syllabus is followed using the Oxford A-level course books and scheme backed up by the comprehensive “kerboodle” independent access programme.

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, French pupils are given the opportunity to participate in the Staffordshire-Limousin French Exchange Programme. There are annual Fourth Form trips to Barcelona and Nice 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.