Modern Foreign 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.”

Nelson Mandela

The Modern Foreign Languages Department is a committed and successful team who share high expectations and a common sense of purpose. We aim to broaden students’ horizons and provide an understanding of other peoples, their culture and their language in the modern world. We set out to enthuse students for language learning and instil the idea that they can speak at least one language other than their own.

In KS3, students study either French or Spanish for four lessons per fortnight. Learning languages gives pupils the opportunities to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. Students are set in Years 8 and  9, which enables us to ensure that progress is made by all. Learning a modern foreign language at Royal Docks enables students to develop good communication skills, refine analytical skills, present and narrate information coherently, express and justify points of view and ideas, improve literacy and listening skills.

French and Spanish are offered at Key Stage 4 as an option subject and the GCSE course develops students’ communication skills necessary for later in life. A language GCSE qualification is considered an excellent way to help gain access to university, contributing to the EBacc, and increase employability as adults in the global workplace. We also run a programme of discrete GCSE fast-track entry for literate native speakers in French, Spanish, German, Polish and Italian. We are proud of our GCSE examination results; in 2015 MFL students achieved 28% A*/A and 39% A*-B grades.

Students can gain first-hand experience of the language by taking part in the trips on offer: annual Christmas residential visit to France; cross-curricular trips with Art and History departments; KS4 study days at the Europa Centre and Newvic Sixth Form Centre; planned trips to Belgium and Spain.

As the world gets smaller, there’s never been a better opportunity to get into languages and become linguists of the future.

Department Vision

The Modern Foreign Languages Department aims to:

  • Instil the belief and desire in students to be life-long language learners
  • Inspire and enthuse students through their engagement in language learning
  • Create independent learners and promote thinking skills
  • Develop students’ communication skills
  • Expand students’ understanding and empathy of and interest in other countries, peoples and cultures

Spencer Russell

Head of MFL