Welcome to the Modern Languages Department at Bexley Grammar School.
Our teachers show pupils how to communicate using as much of the target language as possible – so our classrooms, for the most part, are English-free zones! Don’t worry though, we use lots of techniques and games so you’ll end up speaking another language confidently and spontaneously without even realising it! In the classroom, students are taught to communicate in the target language not only with their teacher but with their peers.
Visiting the relevant country and speaking the target language to native speakers are imperative to learning a language and so trips abroad are an important part of language learning at Bexley Grammar School. Usually, annual European language trips take place to locations such as St. Malo, Cologne, Spain and Sardinia and every two years, there are trips to Moscow, Shanghai and Tokyo. Each year, cultural student exchange trips abroad are also found for students in Years 12 and 13, who are paired with students of a similar age with similar interests in a “twin school” to further practice their language skills in a new, exciting and authentic context. We aim to equip the professionals of tomorrow with the linguistic skills that will enable them to compete successfully in Europe and beyond.
Languages and language learning is of utmost importance to Bexley Grammar School. We also believe that learning about the culture of your chosen language is equally important as learning the language itself. Therefore, we always include intercultural aspects in our lessons and even have special cultural topics in all Key Stages where we study these aspects more to greater depth.The school does all it can and constantly looks for further ways to boost and enhance the language learning experiences of its students all in an effort to promote culture, internationalism and the importance of languages in today’s multicultural, fast-moving world.
key stage 3
All pupils in Year 7 study a modern language; either French or German. Towards the end of Year 7, pupils choose a second language for Year 8 onwards. We are very proud to offer a wide range of languages: German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. We actively promote use of the target language, which is not unusual in language classrooms, however at BGS, we prefer to hear the students expressing themselves creatively with the language - not just our teachers. We aim for a zero-English environment in our language classrooms! We create a safe and supportive environment in which students are encouraged to take risks and therefore make rapid progress. Students take part in various extracurricular activities and competitions to celebrate language and culture throughout the year.
key stage 4
Students continue to study two languages to GCSE.
At GCSE level, students will cover a range of relevant and interesting topics. This includes cultural topics such as festivals in target language countries, or differing school systems. Students will also have an opportunity to engage with target language films and literature. The emphasis is on helping students to be confident at expressing themselves in the target language. By the end of the course, students will also be able to speak confidently in the present, past and future. Listening, reading, writing, and speaking are all assessed at the end of the course.
For the IB, you have the opportunity to study languages at three different levels: Higher, Standard or Beginner Level. Whichever level you choose, you will have the opportunity to discover so much more about the cultures associated with the language that you are learning. All students will study a range of topics from identity to social issues, and Higher students also get the chance to discover the rich world of literature as they study two works in the target language. Thanks to an immersive environment and conversation classes with native speakers, IB students finish their course as confident communicators with a wealth of knowledge about the countries throughout the world where that language is spoken.
extra curricular activities
Visiting the relevant country and speaking the target language to native speakers are imperative to learning a language and trips abroad are an important part of language learning at Bexley Grammar School.
All pupils in Year 9 have the opportunity to spend a week in the country of their first language.
- Pupils in Year 10 who have Spanish, Russian or Japanese as a second language also have the opportunity to visit Salamanca in Spain, Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia or Tokyo in Japan.
- Sixth Form students have visited Vienna, Berlin, Paris and Tokyo and have most recently had the opportunity to do work experience in France, Germany and Spain.
- Sixth Form students have the opportunity to visit Vienna, Berlin, Valencia or Caen. We are now also offering a one week work experience placement in France, Germany or Spain.
- Y12 students have the opportunity to train as Foreign Language Leader Assistants (FLLA). This is a nationally certified qualification which trains students to teach language clubs in local primary schools.
A number of after-school and lunch time clubs offer opportunities for pupils to either learn an additional language in a more relaxed environment or to hone their skills in a language they already study. Current clubs include: Chinese, Russian and Japanese.
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