Introduction to the Modern Languages Department
Personnel and responsibilities
The Modern Languages department at Lancing College has six full-time members, all of whom are capable of teaching at least two languages. There are also native-speaker assistants for French, German, Spanish, Italian and Chinese. The department is run by the Head of Modern Languages who is also Head of German, and there is both a Head of French and a Head of Spanish.
|Mr Sergei A Drozdov (BEd Siberia, Russia)
||Head of Department, Head of German
|Mrs Mechthild Brookes (Referendarstudium 2, Münster)
|Mr D Graham Davies (BA Portsmouth, ALCM)
||Head of Spanish, teaches French
|Mr Olivier De Sales (BA Université Montesquieu-Bordeaux IV)
||Teaches Spanish and French
|Mrs Laura Fryer (BA Newcastle)
||Head of French, teaches Spanish
|Mrs Qiao Liang (MA Sussex)
|Mrs Clare Mann (BA Leeds)
||Teaches Spanish and French
|Mr Kevin Perrault (Masters Nanterre Paris-Ouest la Défense, PGDipEd with QTS Birmingham)
|Dr Mark SW Palmer (BA Sussex, PhD Edinburgh, MIL)
||Teaches German and Italian
|Mrs I Tarbet (Msc Cranfield)
|Ms Magda Yeates (Licenciada, Bogotá)
French, German and Spanish are taught as part of the curriculum in the Department, and Italian, Mandarin and Russian are offered as co-curricular options. In the Third Form (Year 9), pupils usually study two modern languages and then choose at the end of the year whether to continue with both to GCSE or whether to drop one of them. It is a requirement for all pupils to study at least one modern language to GCSE, although in exceptional circumstances, extra support for English or lessons with the Learning Support Department can be arranged instead. Italian and Russian are currently offered as a Sixth Form enrichment course with the possibility of pursuing a GCSE, and also as a club for beginners. Chinese (Mandarin) is offered as a GCSE option for students who have prior knowledge of the language, and as a club for beginners. Mandarin can be continued as part of the Sixth Form General Studies programme. All pupils are entered for the AQA GCSE exams in German, Spanish and French and Sixth Form students are entered for AQA A Level exams. We offer French only as a continuation course in the four sets of the Third Form, as the vast majority of students joining Lancing would have studied French elsewhere for a number of years. Preferences for the second language are taken into account as far as possible, while remaining careful to achieve a balance between German and Spanish. There are four sets in Spanish, with one being a small continuation set, four in French and two in German in the Third Form. Students are set according to their abilities wherever possible.
The classrooms are situated in the Modern Languages corridor and are modern, well-equipped rooms. All rooms are now equipped with interactive whiteboards, projectors and computers on the College network. Significant use is therefore made of internet resources, the day’s news broadcasts and other authentic material. All rooms also have the full range of audio equipment, video/DVD machines and television linked to a satellite dish, although the most commonly used resources are now digital. IT suites and the Library are in easy access of the rooms. The individual departments are well stocked with teaching and learning resources, and the Library has become a central resource for Modern Languages, with foreign books, magazines, CDs and films. All pupils have iPads and are encouraged to use IT in their work, which is displayed both in the classrooms and in the corridors.
Teaching and Setting
Students have four periods per language each week throughout their time in the Senior School. In the Sixth Form, there are usually eight periods per week, with small group oral tuition with the language assistant in addition (usually one extra period per week). Students who wish to continue with languages in the Lower Sixth (Year 12) at AS Level are normally expected to have achieved a good grade (A* or A) at GCSE. Those that wish to continue to A2 Level are normally expected to have achieved a good grade (C or above) at AS Level.
Students are organised into sets from the start of the Third Form according to ability, based on results in Common Entrance, Scholarship or reports from previous schools. Having stated this, the ability to set fully has been reduced in favour of giving pupils greater choice; with pupils able to choose to study any two from French, Spanish and German, this means that all three languages need to exist in two option blocks, leading to slightly more mixed ability sets.
At the end of the Advent Term, there is an examination for all students and further changes are made on the basis of these results for the remainder of the year, provided that the option blocks allow it (which will be the case most pupils). A second examination is taken towards the end of the Summer Term. It is mainly on the basis of the results of these exams that students are setted for their GCSE choices In the Fourth Form, examinations take place in February; on the basis of these results that any further (and usually final) set changes take place.