Southgate School

Modern Foreign Languages

‘El idioma llega a ser para nosotros como un licor que paladeamos y del cual no podemos ya prescindir’- Azorín.

‘Avoir une autre langue, c’est posséder une seconde âme.’ - Charlemagne.

Southgate School’s languages department is a thriving and successful one. With results regularly in the top 5th centile nationally, and GCSE results higher than the national average, MFL students are high-achieving and well-prepared to take their language studies further.

At KS3 we teach French and Spanish. In Year 7, students learn either French or Spanish depending on the year. Currently, this year’s students of 2018 learn Spanish to the end of KS3, with the next intake learning French. The department have modern schemes of learning and online resources that students can access at home, and students are offered a wealth of language-learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom; we offer both Spanish and French clubs after school. As a department we use a range of resources but our main textbooks are Expo for French and Zoom for Spanish. Our aim is to foster a love of languages and independence in language-learning; while we teach rigorous grammar to enable pupils to write and speak creatively, we also encourage students to communicate using their language, to make mistakes and learn from these. We teach ‘tourism language’ such as ‘au restaurant’ and ‘en el hotel’ as well as how to write essays and use more formal language.

Enrichment is key to MFL and our enrichment opportunities at KS3 include the Languages Fair, which is a whole-school event where students become teachers for the day, teaching a language they study or speak at home to Year 7s and primary school pupils. This is a real celebration of Southgate School’s rich linguistic diversity and offers students the opportunity to learn a wide range of languages from Afrikaans to Tagalog including Swahili, Turkish, Sign Language and even Back Slang. We also celebrate European Day of Languages every September, to celebrate the importance of languages to unite us.

At KS4, languages are a popular choice and results are consistently high. We follow the AQA specification using online resources such as Kerboodle and Vocab Express that students can use independently at home. Students are encouraged to download the corresponding apps to learn language on the go! As with KS3, teachers use a variety of teaching resources but the main textbooks used are AQA Spanish, AQA French and Expo 4. Enrichment at this stage is very important and trips offered at KS4 have included a French trip to Paris and a Spanish trip to a variety of places in Spain, this year to Barcelona. These trips are always over-subscribed and offer students wonderful opportunities to use their language in real-life contexts as well as learn more about both countries’ rich cultures and traditions.  Students are also afforded the opportunity to take a GCSE in their home language, such as Turkish, Greek, Urdu and Russian.

At A level Spanish is currently offered, following the AQA specification. Students develop the skills they gained at GCSE ready to take their studies further at university or for use in future employment.

Possessing the ability to speak more than one language is no longer a luxury but a necessity in the current economic climate, and with language-learning regularly in the headlines thanks to the developments arising from Brexit, we look forward to helping students to benefit from their language studies in the future.


Ms. M. Errami - Acting Head of Department