Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

Modern Foreign Languages

Head of Department: Miss Cristina Mourelle

We live in a world in which international boundaries are collapsing and while English remains a globally important mode of communication, a facility with languages is as important as it has ever been. All students at Salesian study one modern foreign language until the completion of their GCSEs. We offer a choice of French or Spanish (dependent in part upon which language was studied at primary school). Italian is now offered as an option subject at GCSE.

We want pupils to primarily enjoy a positive experience of another language. Our focus is on both academic achievement and also on developing an awareness and appreciation of other cultures.

Extra-curricular opportunities within the department include:

  • Year 7 National Foreign Language spelling bee competition in French or Spanish.
  • Every year we look to take some students on a trip abroad. The most successful trips we have run and which are often run on a yearly basis include: A Year 7 Day Trip to Audruicq and residential trips to Barcelona, Rome and Dieppe.
  • More recently a Spanish Exchange trip with English/Spanish families between Salesian school, Chertsey and Salesianos Atocha in Madrid has been set up to enhance cultural and linguistic awareness.

Key Stage 3 Languages

Students study MFL for 4 hours per fortnight during Key Stage 3. Our main aim is to enable students to communicate in a foreign language in the kind of situations they might find themselves in while travelling abroad.

During the three years, the study of the chosen languages explores the following themes:

  • Everyday Activities (e.g. greetings, school, house and home, clothes, meals, shopping etc.)
  • Personal and Social Life (e.g. introducing yourself, hobbies, family, festivals etc.)
  • The World Around Us (e.g. towns in the chosen country, travelling, holidays, weather, etc. )
  • The International World (e.g. Europe; Italian, Spanish and French speaking countries)

Teaching and learning combines written work, comprehension and plenty of spoken language. Most students will have one learning homework every week. Parents can help considerably with progress by testing vocabulary regularly each week at a given time and by ensuring that the spelling of all new works and structures is accurate.

Each unit of study is designed to be both an enjoyable exploration of the richness of culture and linguistic diversity  and form preparatory steps towards the GCSE syllabus. 

Key Stage 4 Languages

We offer GCSEs in a choice of French, Spanish or Italian.

Students study their chosen language for 5 hours per fortnight during Key Stage 4. Whichever language students take, they will develop their reading, listening, speaking and writing skills throughout the course. Topics of study include: Holidays, School, Education & Employment, Free Time, Future plans, your Home town and the Environment/world issues.

We follow the Edexcel syllabus. The course is assessed through a combination of examinations and controlled assessments (involving both written and spoken language). For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

We offer A Level study of French, Spanish and Italian in our Sixth Form. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages.


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