Modern Foreign Languages

Why should I learn a language?

  1. English is not enough – 75% of the world’s population do not speak any English.
  2. Languages are the perfect way to travel and immerse yourself in a new culture – you will find out so much more about the culture and meet more people if you can speak their language.
  3. Future employers will love a second language on your CV – people who speak a foreign language earn an average of £70,000 more over their lifetime than those who don’t.
  4. Learning a foreign language can help you understand your own language –  it will also help improve your communication skills in English.
  5. A second language improves your memory and brain function – it can make you smarter.

What languages can I learn at Bay House?

  • Year 7: Pupils are given a 2-week taster in each of the four languages we offer at Bay House, during the first half of the Autumn term. At the end of the half term, pupils are asked to express their preference for which language they would like to continue studying. By Christmas, pupils will be studying the language they will take through to GCSE at Bay House.
  • Year 8: Pupils will continue to study the language they were allocated in Year 7. Pupils who made good progress in Year 7 will study a second language this year.
  • Year 9: Pupils continue with the language(s) they were studying in Year 8.
  • GCSE: French, German, Spanish and Mandarin are all offered at GCSE. Dual linguists can continue to study both of their languages, or opt for just one. Single linguists will continue with the language they have been learning in Key Stage 3, in order to give them the best chance of achieving their potential at GCSE.

How many hours a week will I have?

  • Year 7: All pupils will have 2 lessons a week in MFL.
  • Year 8: Pupils have 6 lessons a fortnight to study a foreign language. Pupils who are studying one language will have 3 lessons a week on their allocated language. For pupils who study two languages, the lessons are split evenly between both languages.
  • Year 9: All single linguists have 2 lessons a week on their allocated language. Dual linguists will have 3 lessons a week, split evenly across both languages over a fortnight. Their third lesson will take place on a Wednesday during Period 5.
  • GCSE: All GCSE pupils have two hours a week to study their chosen language. The department also runs additional after school sessions to support pupils in preparing for their exams.

Will I have the chance to travel abroad?

The MFL department has run numerous trips over the years; the trips on offer vary from year to year, in order to be able to find exciting new opportunities for our pupils and students. Some of the trips that may be on offer are:

  • Normandy, France: Year 8 and Year 9 pupils are given the chance to immerse themselves in the French language on a trip to Château de la Baudonnière.
  • Royan, France: A successful exchange with our Year 10 pupils to Gosport’s twinned town.
  • Metz, France: A well-established exchange for 6th Form pupils to Lorraine, East France.
  • Berlin, Germany: Pupils in Year 9 and Year 10 can visit Berlin’s Christmas Market. Our Sixth Form students have the opportunity to go on a joint trip with the History Department.
  • Barcelona, Spain: An opportunity to experience the way of life in Spain for Year 9 and Year 10 pupils.
  • China: Join a summer study camp or take part in an exchange programme.

Mandarin Excellence Programme

We are proud to be able to offer the Mandarin Excellence Programme to our pupils. Parents will be contacted when their child is in Year 6 to offer them the chance to take part in this programme. Those pupils who have expressed an interest are offered a 10-week taster period. 30 pupils will then be selected to join the programme. If they join the programme, they will not be able to study another language as they will have 4 hours of Mandarin a week. This may include tutor times and Period 5 lessons on early finish days. This exciting programme includes a two week visit to China for an intensive study trip at the end of Year 8 and a residential trip to Nottingham University in Year 9.