Mrs G A Timothy (Head of French and Languages Coordinator)
Mrs H M Billings (Head of German)
Mrs R I Bilsland
Mrs C Tilley (English as a Foreign Language)
Mrs M C Field
Mrs S V Harris (Director of Marketing and Admissions)
Mrs S E Hill (Head of Minor Languages)
Mrs M O'Neill (Head of Spanish)
Every year the department has foreign language assistants who work closely with pupils in the upper school to enhance their linguistic ability. All pupils in years 11, 12 and 13 have regular timetabled lessons with the assistants. This year's assistants will be Nancy Le Rouzic (French), Patrick Heller (German) and Claudia Lang-Lenton Arrizabalaga (Spanish).
The department is situated in a purpose built block, which is shared with the Classics Department. It is well equipped with a digital language laboratory, interactive whiteboards, projectors, DVD players and a computer suite.
All pupils learn French from Year 7. They also learn a second foreign language; German or Spanish. They have 3 lessons per week in each language.
Pupils are formally assessed in the languages they learn at the end of the academic year.
All pupils take at least one language to GCSE. At GCSE level, pupils have 4 lessons a week. In addition to the textbook, a wide variety of other resources are used to enhance the curriculum. They also have one 15 minute lesson per fortnight with the relevant Language Assistant.
At 16 pupils can opt to carry the languages to AS and A2 study. They have 9 lessons a week and they are also expected to carry out private study. They have one 35 minute lesson per week with the relevant Language Assistant.
The AQA exam board is used for all languages at GCSE and A Level.
Languages are becoming increasingly important in today’s society. There is a misconception amongst people that languages are only useful if your ambition is to become a teacher. This is not the case! Languages actually benefit and complement a whole host of career choices.
Nowadays it is possible to combine a language with a variety of different degree courses and universities and colleges are making it easier for students to continue learning a language, even if it is not a main part of their degree.
In recent years Bablake has seen many pupils go on to university to further enhance their language skills. A good way of finding out what is on offer is to visit the individual university sites.
Below are the national destinations of Language graduates in 2001:
Business services 26.9%
Banking/ finance 13.1%
Wholesale/ retail sales/ maintenance services 11.8%
Public administration 7.9%
Community/ social/ personal services 7.7%
Transport/ Communications 5.7%
Health/ social work 3.8%
Hotels/ restaurants 3.7%
Other areas 2.5%
International organisations 0.2%
(Source of data: Higher Education Statistics Agency 2002)
The department offers a wealth of extracurricular activities to support and enhance the learning in the classroom. Every Thursday lunchtime there is a Languages Club for years 7, 8 and 9. Pupils can take part in creative and fun activities. Pupils can benefit from teacher led workshops, which also run at lunchtimes. Here they can gain help specific to their individual needs.
In addition to school based activities there are a number of trips on offer: e.g. this year the second years will be offered a daytrip to France. There is a trip to Paris for Year 10 pupils at the beginning of the summer holidays. Pupils have a French-speaking guide and are expected to speak French as much as possible throughout the trip.
There is a programme of visits to Spain. Older pupils (Year 9 and above) have a chance to experience the busy life of Madrid and visit a lot of places of interest. For younger pupils (Year 8 and 9), there is a trip to the Costa del Sol, Andalusia- the heart of Spanish culture at its best.
In February 2013, there will be a combined German, History and Design Technology trip to Berlin for upper school pupils and a trip to Bonn and Cologne for the Christmas Markets is proposed for December 2013.
Day conferences for A Level pupils are also organised to universities. Here, topics from the specification are discussed and debated.
For more information, contact the department head at: