"Languages are the pedigree of nations" (Dr Samuel Johnson)
Curriculum in MFL - Possible pathways at St Mary's Calne
All year groups - native speakers cannot study their own language in a class (most of the time, there are occasional exceptions) and girls need to choose another language to study.
LIV Form (Year 7)
One language selected, 4 hours per week (French/Spanish/German – this is dependent on numbers, with a minimum of three girls for a language to run).
Plus Mandarin – 1 hour per week (compulsory).
MIV Form (Year 8)
Girls either continue with just one language (the one they started in LIV), or add in a second (2 hours per week per language).
Options for a second language (French/Spanish/German/Mandarin).
If girls choose just one language, they will also study Global Dimension (1 hour per week, but not for the entire year).
The Global Dimension is a subject to broaden the mind, looking at issues at home and around the world. It is important for all of our girls to develop a global perspective and a view on the world that makes connections between diverse people, places and issues.
In teaching the Global Dimension, we introduce international learning with the aim of giving the girls the skills and knowledge to prosper in a globalised society. We look at topics such as immigration and refugees, identity and belonging, conflict and peace and also fairness and equality. The wide scope for discussion and activities promotes intercultural understanding amongst our girls. Using critical thinking and problem solving with good communication and collaboration, the girls learn about citizenship while working creatively and independently. They are encouraged to find out about different cultures and lifestyles from across the globe and to reflect and compare these with their own surroundings and customs.
In January 2015, St Mary’s Calne was awarded the Foundation level of the British Council's International School Award. Taking part in the award links the school with others around the world, teaches our pupils about other countries and cultures, provides an internationally recognised accreditation for the school’s international work and enhances teaching standards through sharing best practice from other countries. We are looking forward to building on this achievement and are now working towards the Intermediate level of the British Council’s International School Award. To read more about the importance of the global dimension within school life, please click here
UIV Form (Year 9)
Girls either study one language or two. There are lots of possible combinations:
- Original language (from LIV), plus a second language (follow on from MIV).
- Original language, plus one new language (Spanish or German only). If a girl has studied a second language in MIV, she would be either expected to continue with it into UIV, or drop down to one language. However, if a girl only studied one language in MIV, we are happy for her to pick up a second in UIV.
- One language (either original or second).
- Rarely in UIV – one new language only (beginning in UIV).
LV (Year 10)
Girls study either one language or two.
No beginners' language in LV.
Below is a table showing a possible pathway and set of options available, which can be modified with a different language in LIV.
|SPANISH (beginner)||SPANISH (non beg.)||SPANISH|
|GERMAN (beginner)||GERMAN (non beg.)||GERMAN|
We would normally expect a girl to continue with the language she starts at LIV until the end of UIV, although we are always open to conversations to ensure each girl is taking the most appropriate combination.
All girls study at least one Modern Foreign Language to IGCSE level, and many choose to learn two. The Cambridge IGCSE is assessed through terminal examination in all four skills. Girls preparing IGCSE have one conversation lesson per week in addition to their normal timetabled lessons.
A Levels are offered in French, German and Spanish at St Mary's and girls are prepared for the Edexcel specification. We also offer the Cambridge Pre-U for Mandarin. The A Level course requires candidate to study two cultural topics and at least one will be of a literary nature. We also prepare students for Oxbridge entry with success and a number of our linguists go on to study languages at university. All girls receive two conversation/news coverage lessons per week per language.
We have an exciting programme of extra-curricular activities in order to provide opportunities for the girls to appreciate the culture from the countries of their target language, whilst putting the language that they have learn within the classroom into practice, which complements the work carried out in the classroom. To give a flavour, we have recently organised several theatre visits to see French, German and Spanish plays, cinema trips, lectures, film workshops and courses for girls of all ages, a Sixth Form French Study Day, and trips to Oxford and Bristol University Modern Languages Departments. Enrichment weeks cross-curricular workshops are also often planned with the latest being a morning spent designing and creating concertina printed books in a foreign language. Study-visits and family stays to France, Germany and Spain are also organised on an annual basis: Cologne, Rouen and Madrid being a few of our current destinations, whilst a group of girls also visited China over Easter, 2016.
Mr Robin Cockett (Head of Modern Foreign Languages)