Many boys take French from Year Seven through to the GCSE examination (OCR Specification 1925). There is an opportunity however to study both French and German at GCSE level. Though some boys may have been taught some French in their junior school, no previous knowledge is assumed and no boy will be disadvantaged. The course will concentrate on using French as a vehicle of communication and will develop the skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Boys are setted according to ability from Year Nine onward. In the Sixth Form French may be taken at both AS and A2 Level - WJEC (AS 2191, A2 3191).
Year 7 boys spend a day in Boulogne in July and the department also organises a 6-day residential course in the Loire Valley for boys in Year 8. Some Year 10 boys have the opportunity to go on an exchange visit to Marseille. In the sixth-form there is a joint MFL/ Art trip to Paris and Barcelona.
German is studied by all boys in years Eight and Nine, and as with their study of French, the main emphasis of the course is on learning German for communication purposes. At the beginning of Year Ten boys may continue to study both languages for a further two years to GCSE (OCR Specification 1926) or may choose just one, but at least one Modern Language is required. In the Sixth Form, German is available at both ‘AS’ and A2 level - WJEC 2221(AS)/ WJEC 3221(A2).
The School runs a successful annual exchange with the Beethoven Gymnasium in Bonn and this is open to boys studying German from year Nine upwards. In Year 8, boys have the opportunity to spend a day at a Christmas market in the town of Aachen practising the new language skills that they have acquired in the first term. A Homestay scheme is also available to Sixth Form students.
The School also has a language laboratory and video facilities which are particularly useful for independent learning in the Sixth Form. We also have a satellite dish which enables us to receive television programmes in French, German and several other European languages. The department is housed in the Cecil Beeby Building.
The School Library offers opportunity for further individual study in both languages through reading and information technology.
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