Languages Specialism

From day one in Year 7 students are starting to prepare for their Languages GCSE exams and follow a GCSE mastery curriculum of French and Spanish. Students have three lessons per fortnight of each language.

Most students in Year 8 study either French or Spanish plus another language (which could be French or Spanish) and the timetable for the year group is constructed around this. Students have four lessons per fortnight of each language in Year 8. Students who study the Challenge Curriculum only study Spanish. Students are either in Band A (French) or Band B (Spanish) and are setted within that band. In Year 8 students are able to choose to either continue with French and Spanish or to opt for either German, Russian or Latin. The timetable block also includes English so Languages and the English department work together to agree setting. There is then a separate timetable block, which contains all the Language choices.

Students in Year 9 continue their options and start work on the final part of the course. Students have four lessons per fortnight of each language in Year 9. In Year 9, students can decide whether to continue with one or two languages into Year 10 and 11. In Year 10 there are 5 lessons and in Year 11 there are 6 lessons.

As an Academy with a Languages specialism, we offer the following languages.

Student Leadership

Language Scholars

These students form part of the student leadership of languages. They are involved in a range of activities based around language learning. Love Language is a special magazine produced in school by our Language Scholars during the year to promote all the amazing things which are happening in the international and global dimension. See at the bottom of this page for the Spring 2016 and Summer 2015 editions.

We are developing the breadth of student leadership this year and are offering opportunities for Language Prefects, International Ambassadors and Sixth Form Global Leaders.

Resources for learning

Each language classroom has multiple sets of dictionaries. Sets of class textbooks are also available. Students also have access to an online textbook for GCSE via Kerboodle. Please see individual language pages for useful links.

Enrichment

The following languages are offered during Enrichment:

Ancient Greek

As a lecturer from the University of Bologna said a few years ago: Greek provides its students with what I can only (metaphorically) call another set of eyes — that is, a different way of seeing the world, with different categories of thought that run deeper than mere changes in vocabulary. One could argue that this is what happens in any other language too: French, Spanish, or German will do so; Latin certainly does. I would suggest that Greek provides a uniquely valuable set precisely because it is further removed from English in its basic terms: it is “absolutus”, detached and therefore occupying its own position in the galaxy of languages: spoken as well as written.

I would make them all learn English: and then I would let the clever ones learn Latin as an honour, and Greek as a treat. Winston Churchill

One eye, or one point of view, may be able to see a great deal — but it’s still limited because it’s looking from one position. A second eye, set some distance from the first, may allow us to see a somewhat enlarged field of view, to apprehend things in three dimensions. Images that are flat to one eye achieve depth with two, and we perceive their solidity as we never could do otherwise. Therefore, any new language one learns will provide another point of view enhancing and enriching, by a kind of analogical stereoscopy, a deeper and more penetrating view of the world.

Greek, for example, invites us to think about time differently. Greek verb tenses are not as much about absolute time as English verb tenses are; they are more about what linguists call aspect (or aspect of action in older writings). That is, they have more to do with the shape of an action —how we’re talking about it — than merely locating it in the past, present, or future. To me this means attention to details, accuracy, all features which struggle to stand out in a world surrounded by the need of speed. Greek language seems to remind us of one of the most significant oxymoron one could take for his/her journey in life: σπεῦδε βραδέως or in Latin FESTINA LENTE meaning “”make haste slowly”. Urgency and diligence: if tasks are overly rushed, mistakes are made and good long-term results are not achieved; this is the lesson of ancient Greeks for us, modern citizens.

Arabic

Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world. It is the official language of over 20 countries and there are well over 300 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union. Inaddition to the millions of native speakers, many more millions know Arabic as a foreign language, since as the language of the Qu’ran, it is understood by Muslims throughout the world.

Relatively few Westerners ever venture to learn Arabic. With the growing importance of the Middle East in international affairs, there is thus an extreme shortage of workers in the West who are versed in Arabic language and culture. Those who study Arabic can find careers in a variety of fields: journalism, business and industry, education, finance and banking, translation and interpretation, consulting, foreign service and intelligence, and many others.

Italian

According to UNESCO (the cultural and educational agency for the United Nations) the most of the world’s cultural heritage sites are in Italy. Italy is one of the top economies in the world, and many employers are seeking people who speak both Italian and English. If you like arts, music, design, architecture, opera, food, etc. this is the reference language. Knowing Italian is greatly beneficial in several career fields. Italy is a world leader in the culinary arts, interior design, fashion, graphic design, furniture design, machine tool manufacturing, robotics, electromechanical machinery, shipbuilding, space engineering, construction machinery, and transportation equipment. The Italian language is the closest to Latin, the common ancestor of all romance languages. Italian developed from Latin and an estimated 60 percent of the English vocabulary also comes from Latin. Italian is recognized as one of the most beautiful spoken languages on the planet. Italian has the highest number of words for describing food!

Members of staff

Ms C Shail Director of Languages
International and Global Coordinator
Bristol Secondary Languages Hub lead
Responsibility for GCSE courses
Teacher of Spanish, French, German, Arabic and Japanese

 

 Mrs M Moisin 2nd in Department
Responsibility for A Level courses
Teacher of French and German

 

Mrs C Donovan Teacher of German and French

 

Ms A Phillips Teacher of Russian, Spanish and French
Head of Frank House

 

Mr A Moraca Teacher of Latin and Spanish

 

Mr M Martin Teacher of Spanish and French
Head of Parks House

 

Miss R Jones Teacher of French and Spanish
Head of Austen House

 

Ms L Carleton Teacher of French and Spanish
Assistant Principal