Modern Languages

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.

Spanish and German are taught throughout the school by Mrs Struthers, from Infants upwards, with clear progression each year, to enable pupils to communicate in each language and possess the skills to work at GCSE level. Pupils learn about both the language and the culture of each country, in addition to transferable skills, such as good communication, tolerance and understanding of others, self-awareness, enterprise and resilience, in addition to problem-solving and inferring meaning.

MFL in the Junior School

In the junior school, MFL is a fun, yet educational programme, introducing the language and culture to the children through games, songs, role play and craft.  The language progresses from individual words to learning sentences and grammar, and prepares pupils for learning languages in the seniors. 

MFL in the Senior School

Pupils continue to study both German and Spanish in the lower seniors, after which a language is an optional GCSE subject.  Our approach to language learning emphasises communicative ability, but also values comprehension, written accuracy and grammatical understanding.  To enable a higher level of communication, pupils are encouraged to talk as much as possible in the target language during lessons, learning phonics and sound symbol correlations in each language, as well as learning vocabulary to assist their communicative powers.

Throughout year 7 and 8, pupils learn the skills necessary to succeed in the GCSE, and by the end of year 8, pupils are expected to be able to communicate in writing and orally with reasonable accuracy and some fluency. 

In years 9, 10 and 11, we will be following the new Edexcel GCSE specification, in which all four skills of speaking, writing, reading and listening are assessed through external examinations.  By the end of the GCSE course in either language, pupils are expected to be able to understand texts from a variety of media, and to provide information and opinions with in writing or orally on a broad range of topics, from hobbies and school life, through to environmental and social problems.  The new GCSE covers reading aloud and dictation, using vocabulary from a prescribed list provided by the exam board.  Pupils are able to enter the examinations at either Foundation or Higher tier.

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“BHS removes obstacles to learning and happiness and allows every child to not only be themselves but to blossom into the very best version of themselves.”

Beech Hall School Parent – Summer ’23