Welcome to our department!
The Modern Foreign Languages department is committed to offering our students a range of languages at all key stages of the curriculum and the opportunity to extend their competence in the language to the highest possible level. In the 21st century we should not underestimate the importance of foreign languages in the school curriculum as well as the skills and personal qualities they allow our students to develop.
Language study at all Key Stages incorporates the four key skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. Equal weighting is given to each of these skills in class and a range of medium are used to deliver them. There is an increasing emphasis on students’ using the language skills that they have acquired thus far to help themselves further their own level of competence and to make connections between common grammatical structures
Homework is set weekly at all Key Stages and is a crucial element in students’ progress. As language learning is about developing skills as well as knowledge content, regular private study is essential at all levels.
There are also a number of in-house enrichment activities that take place each year, including annual performances by a French theatre group to Year 9, a Year 7 Spelling Bee competition and a Language Leaders award at KS4 & 5. There is also a lunch time Languages Club, a Homework Club, day visits to the Europa Centre and BFI London, and visits to Spain. There are also intensive language days and theatre/cinema visits for the Sixth Form, and mentoring of KS3/4.
In Year 7, students start in mixed-ability tutor groups and are set after half term. They continue in sets until the end of Key Stage 3. At GCSE level, students are also in broad band sets, depending on option numbers.
Key Stage 3
At HGS students will start their studies of FRENCH, consolidating and extending any prior knowledge from KS2. They will learn to communicate information about themselves and their families, looking at the inter-relationship between sounds and words. Students also have the opportunity to learn SPANISH for one term.
All students continue their study of FRENCH, meeting new topics and learning to communicate in different tenses. There is the opportunity to continue their study of SPANISH from Year 7 if they choose.
All students continue their study of FRENCH, extending topic areas and communicating in a range of tenses. Those students that chose SPANISH continue their studies in Year 9.
Key Stage 4
It is recommended that all students choose at least one foreign language to study at GCSE level with some opting to continue both French and Spanish. The GCSE courses build upon the knowledge and skills acquired at KS3 and students have the opportunity to sit the final GCSE examination at either Foundation or Higher tier. There is also a twilight GCSE German class that runs for two years in Years 10 and 11.
Key Stage 5
There is the opportunity to study French, German & Spanish at AS/A2 level as part of the Hitchin Schools’ Consortium. These courses build on the skills and knowledge from GCSE but allow students to discuss and debate a range of contemporary social issues at an advanced level.