The Languages Faculty is staffed by enthusiastic and able linguists with expertise in the delivery of English Language and Literature, English to Speakers of Other Languages, French, German and Spanish, and a developing knowledge of Mandarin and Russian.
‘The best words in the best order”
A lively and vibrant department, we seek to excite and inspire, and to imbue our pupils with a passion for words and the world of literature. Our belief in books is reflected in a well-appointed department, where pupils’ work is displayed and valued. In our classrooms, we set out to unravel the integrity of the written text and the creative force that lies behind it.
At KS3, the department follows its own syllabus. Core skills, relating to the assessment objectives in English – Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing and Presentation – are enhanced by the intimacy of small group work which allows us to encourage even the most reluctant of readers to develop their literacy skills. From Year 7, using various genres as starting points and guides, we encourage the children to acquire and explore their own imaginative responses to the world. Each year group explores literature based on a unifying theme, using a wide range of material, both fiction and non-fiction, from its earliest intimations in Anglo-Saxon, such as Beowulf, to post-modern forms as diverse as Skellig, Possession or Arcadia.
Clearly, this preparation at KS3 has a direct corollary with English studies at KS4 and beyond. Students are entered for GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature so pupils can expect to study the usual genres of poetry, prose, drama and non-fiction texts, and literature written both before and after 1914, by major writers. Controlled assessments and examinations enable the study of Shakespeare and Hardy, alongside more contemporary writers such as Carol Ann Duffy, Seamus Heaney and Benjamin Zephaniah.
The department offers the study of literature at AS and A2, following AQA specification A which is in close alignment with university English – both in terms of academic rigour and question setting. Our focal point in Year 12 is the Victorian period, with the students experiencing poetry, prose and drama texts for coursework and examination. Students are encouraged to take a full and active participation in their learning. The theme for the second year of A Level study is Love Through the Ages, with coursework texts spanning the canon of English Literature from Chaucer to Iris Murdoch and Kazuo Ishiguru.
AS/A2 Creative Writing, designed to introduce pupils to creative writing, is separate from, but complementing the study of Arts and English subjects that may have been studied at GCSE. It also allows progression for those intending to study English Literature, as well as Media, Journalism or Film. It is also useful for students wishing to express themselves in writing, for a range of audiences – a skill that can be applied to a breadth of writing tasks that can be envountered in the professional world of work or academia. As such, it may be very appealing to those focusing on other disciplines, such as science, languages or humanities.
Outside the classroom, the department is responsible for the thriving Abbots Bromley Arts Society of which the senior school pupils are members. At regular intervals during the academic year and in the summer, we organise events such as musical recitals, poetry readings, art exhibitions and lectures, having forged exciting links with a myriad of vibrant artists and practitioners.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” NELSON MANDELA
“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages can open every door along the way”
The Modern Foreign Languages Department is extremely passionate about developing skills for life. We recognise the importance of languages for the shrinking modern world and seek to establish languages as a vital skill for any future career in business, industry, sciences, humanities, arts and the international arena. We encourage enthusiasm and develop self-confidence for all our students.
Key Stage 3
All pupils are offered the opportunity to learn French, German and Spanish in year 7, where pupils are taught in their form groups. As pupils progress through Key Stage 3, there is a degree of flexibility which allows those pupils wishing to continue with all three languages to do so, whilst others might choose to concentrate on one or two languages. At this stage, emphasis is placed on communicative skills, strongly supported by thorough teaching of grammar and vocabulary. Pupils study a broad range of topics appropriate to their age and interests and are offered the opportunity to practise what they have learnt on the Boulogne visit.
Key Stage 4
We offer all three languages at GCSE and every pupil is very strongly encouraged to study at least one. The syllabus teaches to the requirements of the OCR examination board, focusing on the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. The topics, grammar and vocabulary taught at Key Stage 3 are expanded upon and consolidated. Pupils are given practice and support in examination technique and also complete controlled assessments in speaking and writing. Learning is supported by the opportunity to take part in exchange visits to St Omer, Madrid and Aachen.
Key Stage 5
All three languages are also offered at AS and A2 level, with a syllabus based on the AQA board. A minimum grade B at GCSE (and a passion for languages!) is the entry requirement. The one year AS course covers the topics of Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living and Family & Relationships. Those pupils who complete the A2 course study the topics of Environment, Multicultural Society, Contemporary Social Issues plus two Cultural Topics, with pupils choosing to study geographical, historical, literary, film or artistic aspects of the countries where the target language is spoken. Pupils are once again offered the opportunity to participate in our exchange visits to France, Spain and Germany.
“ Without Languages the world would be mute” AB PUPIL (Sarah Moon)
Languages with any other subject will always be a winning combination.