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.
We have a strong dedicated team who are all passionate about their subjects.
- Mlle M Teillet (Head of Languages and Teacher of French and Spanish)
- Ms B Pelaz (Second in Department and Teacher of Spanish and French)
- Mr J Hayward (Teacher of Spanish and French)
- Mrs R Kennelly (Teacher of French)
- Miss T Li (Teacher of Mandarin Chinese)
- Mr E Muñoz-Delange (Teacher of French and Spanish)
We also regularly work with teacher training providers such as the UEA PGCE programme and Schools Direct.
We recognise that pupils have very different experiences of studying modern foreign languages at primary school and so we assume 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 mixed ability 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 very 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 in Languages will continue to study both French and Spanish, while other pupils will focus on their stronger language. At the end of Year 8, pupils will choose whether they want to continue to study a language in Year 9 and will be encouraged to do so. A number of pupils continue to study both French and Spanish in Year 9, or pick up Mandarin as a new language and study it alongside French or Spanish.
French and Spanish are popular GCSE options. There are normally two GCSE classes per year group in French and Spanish, and one GCSE class in Mandarin. Pupils have five lessons per fortnight in Year 10 and Year 11. Each year, a number of pupils take two languages to GCSE level.
Exam Specification: Edexcel - French GCSE (1FR0)
Edexcel - Spanish GCSE (1SP0)
Edexcel - Chinese GCSE (1CN0)
Reepham College offers A-level French and A-level Spanish. Year 12 students 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 HSK qualifications at a level suited to their progress and time commitments. Please see the college website and prospectus for more details.
Accommodation and Resources
The Modern Languages department is based in a modern, purpose-built classroom block.
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 a number of language websites for class and individual use.
Extra-curricular Activity and Trips
In the Modern Languages Department, we realise that the best way to practise a language is to do so abroad. To this end, members of the department arrange and run several annual 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 2022.
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 usually 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.
* For detailed information on the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum, please refer to the Parents Guide to the Curriculum.