Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
The Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Department at Dame Alice Owen’s is a vibrant, enthusiastic and highly successful department which has grown in number to thirteen full-time and seven part-time teachers since the school became a Specialist Language College in 1996. Full-time French, German and Spanish Assistants and a part-time Italian assistant are also employed by the school.
The main languages taught in the curriculum are French, German and Spanish. These Languages are taught to A Level. Twilight lessons in Italian and Japanese are also offered to pupils from Years 8 to 11. Pupils doing twilight lessons regularly ‘stay the course’ for 4 years and obtain high grades in GCSE.
In addition, Latin, Italian and Japanese are also offered to Year 12 students in Extension Studies (1 hour per week) as starter languages. Furthermore, pupils may also follow lunchtime sessions in Mandarin, Portuguese and Latin. Sixth formers can also attend a series of lunchtime lectures in Linguistics.
German Exchange 2009
As part of the Language College initiative, one teacher is employed to teach French in ten local junior schools with three other schools following the scheme of work but using their own teachers. Classes in French have been held at the school by the University of the Third Age. An additional benefit of Language College status has been the increased use of setting in Years 7, 8 and 9 and in KS4 – most sets have a maximum of 25.
The vast majority of pupils in KS4 take two languages – mostly one full course (Y10-11) and a one-year course (in Y10). A starter course in Year 10 (Certificate of Business Language Competence) is offered in French, German, Italian and Spanish. There is one accelerated group in each of years 10, 11 and 12 taking a language a year early. The groups that have been through the full programme have gained excellent GCSE, AS and A2 grades.
The Modern Languages area includes two modern digital language laboratories. 12 interactive whiteboards and a computer room.
The school has had a successful bid for renewal of Language College status for the fourth time. One major success of the Language College has been the rise of Spanish which began in 1996 as a ‘twilight’ class, later moved across to the main timetable, and has now become our third ‘first foreign language’. At Key Stage 4 pupils study for EdExcel GCSE examinations when following a full course or for the OCR CBLC examinations when following a short course in Year 10. At GCSE pupils would normally either take two foreign language full courses or one full course and one short course.
Languages are very popular at A level and there are two groups for each of the three main languages in both Year 12 and Year 13, plus the accelerated group. A level students study for the AQA or EdExcel AS and A2 examinations. AS options cover media, popular culture, health and family relationships. A2 options are chosen from the specification which covers a wide variety of subjects such as current affairs, social issues, environment, recent history, literature and film. There is considerable expertise in Sixth Form teaching in the department, with excellent results which reflect this.
Mrs S Davies (Head of MFL - maternity)
Miss N Kremer (Acting Head of MFL)
Further information for current parents and students can be found on the . Log-in via the link above, click on Departments, then MFL. Parents are reminded that they share log-in and password details with their child.
Back to top