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  • Nurturing Excellence
  • Headmaster: Gus Lock MA (Oxon)
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Modern Languages

The department is housed in a separate newly refurbished (2015) Modern Languages block. Classrooms are stylish, modern and well-equipped: all have interactive whiteboards and data projectors as well as ICT capabilities. We also have a digital language laboratory and departmental computer suite, to which all colleagues and the vast majority of pupils have access on at least a fortnightly basis. There is also provision to broadcast foreign news to the pupils whilst waiting for lessons.

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School has been at the forefront of the teaching of Modern Languages for the last forty years. A recent evaluation of our languages provision has led to further developments within this part of the curriculum.

In Years 7 and 8, the aim is to develop a love of languages and provide a good grounding in Romance (French & Spanish), Classical (Latin) and Teutonic (German) languages. During Year 7 boys study all four languages on a carousel. In Year 8 they choose to continue to study two of these languages and thereby to deepen their understanding of them.

On entry to Year 9 all pupils (including new 13+ pupils) study two languages. They may continue to study the two languages they chose in Year 8 or they may decide to begin the study of an Exotic language (Arabic).

The full suite of languages is completed on entry to Year 10 when the School gives pupils the opportunity to begin a Slavic language (Russian). All pupils must choose at least one Modern Language to study through to IGCSE, though most boys study two languages and some will choose to study three languages.

The IGCSE examination is taken at the end of Year 11. All four languages follow the CIE specifications. In addition, top Year 11 sets in French, German and Spanish follow the School’s own extension course, accredited by the Institute of Linguists.

All our languages are offered at A level. We currently enter pupils for the AQA AS examination at the end of the Lower Sixth and the A Level examination at the end of the Upper Sixth. In addition we offer non-examined enrichment courses in Italian, Russian, Japanese and Arabic for those boys wishing to encounter a new language or culture.

A further distinguishing feature of the department is the very wide programme of trips and exchanges in which boys are strongly encouraged to participate. Indeed, we believe we have more ‘traditional’ reciprocal exchanges than any other school in the UK. We have close – and in some cases very long-standing - links with schools in many European countries. We firmly believe that our pupils are well-served by spending a period of time living with a foreign family and experiencing at first hand the culture of the language they are studying.

Some photos of students in MFL, please click to open the image full size in a new window