Synergy Multi-Academy Trust is made up of schools, both secondary and primary, from north Norfolk. The Trust was initially established by Reepham High School and College in 2015. Our vision is simple; for all of our schools to work together to provide teaching and learning of the highest quality and for all of them to provide an exceptional range of educational experiences and opportunities.
Modern Foreign Languages
The ability to use languages at work is increasingly required by employers and language skills are becoming an essential part of life in the global marketplace.
Not only that, they can be a fun and highly rewarding area of study. Languages are at the centre of the curriculum at Reepham High School and College and the work of the department is a key aspect of our International Schools Status.
All teachers in the department are Modern Languages specialists with degree-level studies in their teaching languages:
- Mlle M Teillet (Head of Department; French / Spanish)
- Ms B Pelaz (Second in Department; Spanish / French
- Mr J Hayward (Spanish / French)
- Miss I Delpy (French / Spanish)
- Mrs R Kennelly (French)
- Miss T Li (Mandarin Chinese)
We also regularly work with teacher training providers such as the UEA PGCE programme and Schools Direct
Key Stage Three (Years 7, 8 and 9)
We recognise that pupils have very different experiences of studying modern foreign languages at primary school and so we assume very little prior knowledge of French or Spanish on joining the school in Year 7. However, we carry out a simple assessment in the first week of term which allows us to set more challenging targets for pupils who understand a significant amount of one or both languages.
Pupils are taught in tutor groups throughout Year 7. Pupils have three one hour lessons per fortnight of French and three one hour lessons per fortnight of Spanish in Year 7. A small number of pupils may be disapplied from one of the languages in order to take on additional Literacy work.
Year 7 pupils will have four assessments in total and will be set at the end of the year according to their progress in both languages. At the start of Year 8 the highest achieving pupils will study both French and Spanish, while other pupils continue to study their stronger language only. At the end of Year 8, pupils will choose whether they want to continue to study a language and will be encouraged to do so.
Key Stage Four (Years 10 and 11)
French and Spanish are popular GCSE options. We follow the Edexcel course. There are normally two GCSE classes in each language per year group. Pupils have five hours of lessons per fortnight in Year 10 and five in Year 11. A number of pupils each year take both French and Spanish to GCSE level.
Key Stage Five (Years 12 and 13)
We have run classes in A level French and Spanish every year since the College opened in 2009. Up to ten hours of teaching are offered per class per fortnight. Many of our A level students have gone on to study Modern Languages and Linguistics at degree level as both single and joint honours, and many have taken Years Abroad at schools and universities in France, Spain, Mexico and elsewhere. A number have completed gap years as teaching assistants and volunteers on projects in Central and South America before commencing university study.
We use the Eduqas exam board for both languages and study a range of films and literary works as part of the syllabus.
Reepham High School and College shares a link with the Shenzhen Education Bureau in China and now offers Mandarin Chinese as a GCSE option.
Pupils are offered the opportunity to begin learning Mandarin Chinese in Year 9 and many choose to continue their study of the language to GCSE level throughout Years 10 and 11. Year 12s may also choose GCSE Chinese as an extension option alongside their A level study. College students who have already achieved GCSE or equivalent in Chinese may be offered the opportunity to continue learning the language and work towards additional qualifications.
Accommodation and Resources
The Modern Languages department is based in a new, purpose-built classroom block. A level lessons are taught in the main college building.
Each room has a computer-linked projector and interactive whiteboard. There is a tablet trolley for shared use within the department.
The department is well resourced with Expo textbooks for Key Stage 3 French, ¡Mira! for Key Stage 3 Spanish, Studio / ¡Viva! for Key Stage 4 French / Spanish and Jin Bu 1/2 and Edexcel GCSE Chinese for Mandarin Chinese.
We subscribe to www.linguascope.com and other language websites for class and individual use.
Extracurricular Activities and Trips
Year 7 Curriculum Enhancement Week trip to Normandy: We typically take around 40 pupils for four nights in July. We stay in hostel style accommodation in Normandy and go to Château de la Bourdonnière near Avranches, where pupils enjoy a number of activities e.g. rock climbing, archery, swimming, bread making and circus skills, with all instruction in French. The pupils also visit a market where they shop for a picnic and have a French themed fancy dress evening on the final night, as well as tasting some French delicacies!
Year 10 / 12 / 13 Spanish exchange trip to Ciudad Real: The Spanish group visits the Reepham area in June and we normally take 18-25 pupils for the return trip the following September/October, staying with host families. Trips include Toledo or Córdoba and traditional villages in La Mancha.
Year 10 / 11 / 13 Chinese study trip to Shenzhen: We take 14 pupils for approximately nine nights in October, staying at one of our partner schools in the greater Shenzhen area. Accommodation, transfers, food and entry fees are paid via a special funding arrangement, leaving families only to pay for air travel, visas and spending money. Trips include downtown Shenzhen including the electronics market, the reconstructed village at Da Peng, the nearby coast and a day in Hong Kong.
Year 10 / 12 / 13 French exchange trip: We normally take 18-24 pupils for seven nights in February or April, staying with host families, and the French group comes to visit in January or March. We are currently looking at setting up a link with a new school and will hopefully be able to offer this trip again in 2021.
Year 12 / 13 French exchange trip to Sélestat: We occasionally run an additional French exchange trip for Year 12 and 13 students. They stay with host families for 4-5 nights and the French students come back to England at mutually convenient times depending upon exam dates.
Cine club: Two to three times a year we offer the Y12 and Y13 the opportunity to attend a screening of a French or Spanish language film at the UEA. The film usually covers a topic which is directly linked to the A level programme of study.
Languages club: We run a Languages club every Monday after school for all years. This is the perfect club for students who fancy learning some Latin, watching a French or Spanish TV series, brushing up on their Chinese calligraphy, working out what to order from an Italian menu, playing a board game in a different language, watching some European or world cinema, working out the lyrics to a pop song or national anthem and trying new foods from around the continent and the world.
Mlle M Teille
Head of MFL