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Day and boarding education for boys aged 11-18 and day girls aged 16-18
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Modern Languages

Modern Languages
in School Life

Language learning is more than just developing the ability to communicate. It enriches lives by increasing cultural awareness and embracing diversity. This is the ethos of the Modern Languages Department at Adams.

All the staff are either native French or German speakers or have spent significant periods of time working or studying in Europe. This means the high standard of linguistic ability they bring to lessons is complemented by their first-hand experience of living in other countries and the depth of their knowledge of another cultures, histories and societies.

The department is fortunate to have two Foreign Language Assistants who play an invaluable role in helping key stage four and five students develop confidence in conversational French and German. They also run a lunchtime Languages Club where pupils can discover more about life in France and Germany in a more relaxed environment.

Boys in Key Stage Three learn French and German with two hours of instruction in each language each week. Teaching is in mixed ability form groups with appropriate differentiation to ensure all pupils can access the curriculum. The focus in these early years is on grammar and developing the reading, listening, speaking and writing skillset they will require at GCSE.

All boys are expected to take at least one language to GCSE, with some choosing to study both. The GCSE programme of study is introduced at the start of year nine for both languages to ensure there is a smooth transition from Key Stage Three to Key Stage Four. Year 10 and Year 11 classes continue to be taught in a mixed ability setting but group sizes are generally smaller. Boys have 2.5 hours of formal instruction each week, complemented by appropriate homework.

Key Stage Five pupils currently have the option of taking French to A2 and German to AS. Group sizes are smaller allowing for intensive language work and discussion, which is key  to developing the critical thinking skills central to the programme of study. The courses address contemporary social issues and extend cultural awareness with a film studies tranche. At A2 pupils are introduced to literature in the foreign language and complete an independent research project. Pupils have five hours of teaching each week, supported by homework, as well as timetabled meetings with the language assistants.

Beyond the classroom the MFL department runs successful exchange visits to Lübeck in northern Germany and to Aubenas in southern France. These are open to all pupils in years eight, nine and ten. Boys spend time in our exchange schools and visit local places of interest. Their hosts are always generous, both with their time and the activities they arrange for their visitors. The exchanges are extremely popular and many of the boys stay in touch with their exchange partners long after their return.

The department also supports older pupils who wish to take part in language courses or work experience abroad because we recognise the huge benefits of these experiences in developing confidence and extending language skills.

To keep up to date with all of the latest activity in the department please follow their Twitter feed

Teaching Staff

Mrs C Crowe
B.A. (Open University)
​Head of German

Mr G F Festuot
B.A. (Haute Bretagne, Rennes)

Dr A L Ford
B.A. (Nottingham) Ph.D.
Head of EPQ

Mrs B L Halcro
B.A (Wolverhampton)
Head of French & Deputy Head of Darwin

Miss S Benson
B.A. (Newcastle)