In Year 7, students study French with most of the year group also studying Latin. In Year 8, more able linguists are offered German or Spanish as a second modern foreign language. There is a large emphasis on the use of target language in all lessons and students are encouraged to speak in the target language as much as possible. A detailed programme of lessons and assessments is in place and parents will be able to access it via the VLE. Students are assessed quarterly so that they are fully informed of their progression.
Students start their GCSE course in their chosen language(s) at the start of Year 9 (French, Spanish, German and Latin). This is to prepare students to obtain the best possible results at GCSE. At least 85% of students take at least one language at GCSE, as languages are well respected by universities as a facilitating subject, whatever subject students aim to study.
Students are also encouraged to take qualifications in their native language and our current students have taken qualifications in many languages including Arabic, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Gujurati. Students are able to study Latin as an extra GCSE after school.
There are three languages on offer at A Level: French, Spanish and German.
Exchanges & Visits
In order to develop their exposure to language, students are encouraged to take part in visits and trips at each key stage. Students have the opportunity to take part in numerous trips and visits including:
- Y7 Day Trip to Boulogne
- Y8 French Trip to Normandy
- Y9 Spanish, Classics and Art Trip to Madrid
- Y9 German Exchange
- Y10 German and History trip to Berlin
- Y10 immersive trip to France (Paris)
- Y10 immersive trip to Spain (Barcelona)
- Y12 work experience abroad opportunities and exchange opportunities
Other trips we have run previously include trips to theatres, museums, language competitions and university lectures.
There are also plenty of opportunities within the department for students to explore their love of languages in the form of lunchtime and after-school clubs. These have included film clubs, French club, Mandarin club, Ancient Greek club and German club. We run MFL competitions with the other Trust schools in Y7 and Y8 in spelling and translation.
Language Scholars and Future Linguists
We welcome 10% of our Year 7 intake each year as language scholars. Entry as a language scholar requires taking a language scholar test, which assesses natural capacity for language acquisition. There is no need for potential language scholars to speak a second language already as the test assesses learning potential rather than any existing language ability. Language Scholars are part of a special club in KS3 where they undertake certain language projects and engage in creative language learning. Language Scholars are expected to continue with languages to GCSE and be language role models for their peers.
In Year 10 all students are invited to apply for the Future Linguists programme which aims to develop students and grow their CVs as potential university students. Previous activities done by the Future Linguists includes a trip to Harrow School to see a lecture by Oxford professor, Prof Richard Cooper; a trip to a London Theatre to see a Moliere play; entering the UK Linguistics Olympiad and entering the Times’ Stephen Spender translation competition.
West London Accelerated Language Learning Hub
We were the lead school for the West London Accelerated Language Learning Hub, funded by the Mayor of London and the Greater London Assembly. This involved leading training for other schools within the hub in a communicative and creative approach to language learning, which was also pioneered among our own students especially the language scholars. Information about this can be found here.
Links with Primary Schools
We have links with local primary schools and have previously invited their language teachers to training events with our language teachers. Our KS3 language scholars take part in a primary school language outreach in the Summer Term where they prepare and deliver sessions to teach French to Year 6 students, many of whom will join William Perkin the following year.