Modern Foreign Languages
Profile of the Department
The Languages Department at Plumstead Manor consists of 5 full time and 2 part time well qualified staff. In addition, they are supported by 3 foreign language assisants. We believe that learning a foreign language is an important asset in a global world of international trade, travel and business and exposes learners in a positive way to cultures other than their own.
Jobs from receptionist to top level management need language skills and a recent survey by the National Centre for Languages says UK business rank language skills second only to IT skills when it comes to recruitment.
All pupils begin to study either French or Spanish in Year 7. In Year 8, talented linguists are offered the opportunity to study German. They can then decide if they wish to continue studying this at GSCE along with French or Spanish. Pupils are encouraged to develop reading, listening, speaking and writing skills and are also introduced to French-speaking, German-speaking and Spanish -speaking cultures.
Students can choose from French, German and Spanish and some students choose to study German along side French and Spanish if they have taken this in Year 8 and 9. The course comprises 4 units which includes controlled assessment.
Languages are part of the new English Baccalaurate which comprises English, Maths, 2 Science GCSEs, a foreign language GCSE and either History or Geography.
MFL GCSE results are very high at Plumstead Manor reflecting the commitment and expertise of the teaching staff and the hard work and enthusiasm of our students.
For example, in 2012, 46% of Spanish GCSE students achieved A/A* grades. Roughly half the year 9 cohort opt to study languages at GCSE.
The Sixth Form offers A levels in French, Spanish and German. A levels in languages are a good choice if you want to go to university. It is a very desirable qualification in the eyes of the top universities and with employers. Many universities now offer courses in Law, Business, Marketing and Sciences with a language as part of the degree. Our sixth form students also get a chance to add to their UCAS form by working with younger students in the school.
Plumstead Manor provides opportunities for students to study and/or take an additional examination in a number of heritage languages. In recent years, students have achieved examination success in: Arabic, Bengali, Nepali, Panjabi, Tamil, Polish and many more.