Modern Foreign Languages
Ever-expanding communication technology, increased travel opportunities and changing flexibility in the job market have resulted in the world becoming a much smaller place. It is crucial that we can speak with and understand each other, and, as the European nations move ever closer together, the importance of a knowledge and understanding of other languages and cultures can only increase.
The study of a modern foreign language contributes immensely to the forming of the well-rounded, forward-looking European citizen. Learning a language is not just about breaking down linguistic barriers; it will improve your communication skills, develop your literacy skills and deepen your understanding of English too. The experience develops openness to other cultures and acceptance of different ways of life. Language learning is a powerful tool for building tolerant and inclusive multi-cultural societies, and a language qualification will improve your employability both at home and abroad. Over two thirds of the UK population speak no language other than English, whilst the CBI reports that three quarters of employers are dissatisfied with the level of job seekers’ language skills. Language learning can open up a world of opportunity, giving young people more flexibility in where they work.
At The Peterborough School both French and German are studied by all pupils in Key Stage 3 and all pupils continue with at least one of these languages at GCSE. Both languages remain popular at Advanced Level, and results in all external examinations are excellent, with pupils regularly taking up university courses in languages or in another subject with a language component.
There is a flourishing French language immersion residential trip to Château Baudonnière in Normandy and an exchange programme with a school in Augsburg, Bavaria, which provide a wealth of linguistic and cultural opportunity. We also offer a four day discovery holiday to France or Germany to pupils in Year 7 and 8 and a cross-curricular cultural trip for the Sixth Form to a European city.
We offer vibrant, varied, well-resourced lessons in small classes, which quickly build up confidence in speaking, and we use a wide range of both traditional and technology-based learning activities in the classroom. In Key Stage 3 language lessons are essentially communicative in nature, with a focus on listening and speaking for the purpose of practical communication. Reading and writing skills grow in importance in Key Stage 4 and 5. We attach great importance to the understanding of grammar and to an appreciation of the cultures of the French and German-speaking countries.