Modern Foreign Languages
The Modern Languages Department is part of Kendrick School, a girls’ Grammar School with specialisms in Maths, Science and Languages within Reading Local Authority. There are three forms of entry in year 7. The department consists of 6 members of staff, of whom 3 are full-time. The work of the languages faculty is currently managed by Madame Dwyer, our head of French and Frau Alderson, our Head of German. Staff in the department are tutors or help with a form.
French and German have equal status in the school. In 2009, we introduced Spanish as an option in year 12, leading to IGCSE in year 13. There are three forms of entry in Year 7. They start one language in Year 7 and the second in Year 8. Two year 7 forms begin with French and one with German. The following year it switches to two forms taking german and one taking French and so on, alternating each year. All students study French and German in years 8 and 9. Students may, of course, take both languages at GCSE and AS/A2 level if they wish. We encourage them to do so and the numbers of dual linguists is healthy at a time when languages are in decline nationally at Key Stage 4 and beyond. The number of students studying any one language Post 16 tends to vary but an average might be 20 at AS. All students, with some very rare exceptions in particular special cases, study a language throughout Key Stage 4. Mandarin Chinese is studied as an extra-curricular lesson weekly after school. There are currently two groups of committed students studying this subject.
Time Allocated per year group
||4 * 1 hour |
||4 * 1 hour |
|Key Stage 4
||5 * 1 hour |
||4 * 1 hour |
|Key Stage 5
||8 * 1 hour |
||8 * 1 hour |
Years 7, 8 and 9 are taught in mixed ability groups (up to 32 students). In years 10 and 11, setting may take place if there are enough students on a line and if it is considered desirable. The dual linguists are sometimes taught together in any case and students doing two languages are often particularly able. The department has mixed feelings about setting by ability. We often prefer to create groups containing students of differing abilities and personalities. In all teaching groups, we differentiate our work where possible in order to stimulate the most able and support those students who find the language difficult. In year 11, students are generally entered for all the higher level GCSE papers. On some (rare) occasions it is deemed advisable for one or two students to sit one or two papers at foundation level.
- GCSE: 93% A or above (100% C+),
- AS: 92% A-B (100% C+),
- A2: 100% B+
- GCSE: 98% A-B (100% C+)
- AS:60% A-B (100% C+)
- A2: 82% A-B (100% C+)
Foreign Language Assistants (FLAs)
Conversation classes are arranged with the Foreign Language Assistant (FLA) in years 11, 12 and 13. We share our FLAs with the Reading School and Reading Girls’ School. Years 10 and 11 sometimes benefit from time with the FLAs. The classes are compulsory for students in year 12 and 13.
The department is housed in three dedicated classrooms with storage facilities and small rooms for the FLAs. There is a 22-booth, cassette-based language laboratory in a separate area which the sixth form are encouraged to use for their independent study. One of the computer rooms around the school can be booked for use in lessons. The department has TV and DVD facilities and there are interactive whiteboards in the main teaching rooms.
The majority of students at Kendrick are aged between 11 and 18. Some students join the school at various points during Key Stages 3 and 4 (having been tested to enter) and many join us in year 12. They must have a B or above at GCSE in order to be able to study a subject at AS level. Most students come to us in year 7 with little or no knowledge of German, although there are many who have studied some French. Despite a more coordinated national and local policy for languages in the primary sector, students come to us with a widely differing experience of French. We therefore do some baseline testing in order to better differentiate our teaching but we essentially start at the beginner's level so no student need worry if she has no French. Special arrangements can be made in advance for students who are bilingual. If we are informed on the application form, students can be placed in a form beginning with the other language in year 7. Bilingual students may choose to take the GCSE examination a year early at the end of year 10. They will NOT have gone into the option system but will carry on studying independently, with support from school and, very often, from home. Bilingual students, like the more able, may need differentiated work. Students are prepared for Oxbridge if they wish and the department has a good track record of pupils being accepted.
Extra- Curricular Activities
These are seen as very important and the staff in the department are exceedingly generous with their time. At present we offer Year9/10 trips to France and Germany on alternate years. Years 12/13 are offered a week’s work experience in France and/or Germany. A Christmas market visit to Germany is also a popular event as is the trip to Berlin which aims at cultural and linguistic enrichment.
Sixth formers may volunteer to help teach languages in local primary schools as part of the school’s outreach work. This year there is also a popular monthly European Film club
Modern Foreign Languages Enrichment