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 and a Year 7 Spelling Bee competition. There is also a lunch time Languages Club, a Homework Club and visits to Seville, Spain and Rouen, France. There are also intensive language days and theatre/cinema visits for the Sixth Form, and mentoring of KS3/4.
In July 2019, Hitchin Girls School won First Place at the National French Spelling Bee competition organised by Routes into Languages and held at the University of Cambridge. Year 7 student Haya Hosny worked hard to take First Place at the East of England Regional Finals in April 2019. Haya went on to compete against 31 other finalists from schools and academies from around the country and took the Trophy at the National Final in July with a performance applauded by the Institut de Français and the Mayor of Cambridge. By this point, Haya had learnt to translate and to spell 200 French words using the French alphabet at speed.
In January 2020, eleven hard working Year 9 MFL students were invited to spend a day at the University of Cambridge at a 'Why Not Languages?' event run by the University’s Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages. Students learnt about the benefits of learning languages at GCSE and beyond, took part in a translation workshop and spoke with Modern Foreign Language students from the university about their experiences, including their year abroad. They were also treated to an insider's tour of Newnham College by a first year student of French and Italian.
In Year 7, students start in mixed ability tutor groups and are set after half term. They continue in sets until the end of KS3. At GCSE level, students are also in broad band sets, depending on Option numbers.
Key Stage 3 French
The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Years 7- 9 in French are:
1) To consolidate and extend language introduced at KS1-2
2) To enable students to be confident at communicating in three time frames.
3) To enable students to communicate key information about themselves and their immediate frame of reference whilst developing an awareness of wider / global issues through the TL.
4) To enable students to be confident in the four key skills of MFL learning (LRSW)
5) To develop a cultural awareness linked to aspects of the TL country.
6) To instil in students an awareness of the importance of learning a foreign language and of the relevant life skills associated with it.
7) To enable students to begin to develop the skills required for studying a foreign language at GCSE level and beyond.
Key Stage 3 Spanish
The aims and rationale of the curriculum in Years 7- 9 in Spanish are:
- To consolidate and extend language introduced at KS1-2
- To enable students to be confident at communicating in three time frames.
- To enable students to communicate key information about themselves and their immediate frame of reference whilst developing an awareness of wider / global issues through the TL.
- To enable students to be confident in the four key skills of MFL learning (LRSW).
- To develop a cultural awareness linked to aspects of the TL country.
- To instil in students an awareness of the importance of learning a foreign language and of the relevant life skills associated with it.
- To enable students to begin to develop the skills required for studying a foreign language at GCSE level and beyond.
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.
"Please click on the attached link for the GCSE French full specification details"
"Please click on the attached link for the GCSE Spanish full specification details"
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.
Please click on the link for the A Level French full specification details
Please click on the link for the A Level Spanish full specification details
Meet the team
Mr James Dellar - Head of Modern Foreign Languages (French)
Ms Charlotte Gunns - French & Spanish
Mrs Tania Delgado - Spanish & French
Miss Madeleine Roy - French
Mrs. Harriet Clarke - French