Welcome to the Languages Department.
Learning a foreign language is more than just a boost to your CV or handy for travelling. Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. It improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well.
The ability to communicate effectively in another language helps to promote self-confidence. Not only will a familiarity with a foreign language give you a greater insight into the workings of your own language, but it will also undoubtedly provide you with a deeper understanding of other cultures.
The Modern Languages Department at Cranbrook School is made up of three full-time and one part-time teacher, all of whom are extremely dynamic, enthusiastic and dedicated. Our goal is to provide every student with a rewarding and enjoyable experience of learning a language in the hope that they might wish to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired once they leave school – whether that be by furthering their language studies at university, or simply by practising the language whilst on holiday in France or in Spain.
Two of the most popular trips in the school are organised annually by the Modern Languages Department. Every year, the Y12s take part in an exchange with a lycée in the Basque country and the Y10 with a collège in Normandy.
The department also organizes for Y12 and Y13 in both French and Spanish to see classic theatrical performances in London. The school has also a long tradition of inviting theatre companies to deliver a play to the juniors in French and Spanish.
All pupils will study French in Year 7 and there are plans in place for an end of year trip to Le Touquet.
In year 8, pupils will continue with either French or Spanish to GCSE. If they choose to do so they may study both languages. The numbers of students taking Spanish has increased recently. At all Key Stages there is a strong emphasis on using the target language as frequently as possible in the classroom. We focus on the 4 skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing which contribute 25% each to the final exam grade, and regular significant assessments take place.
At AS and A2 Levels, the topics are challenging and interesting – in recent years pupils have studied films such as La Haine, Manon des Sources, Volver, Todo Sobre Mi Madre , as well as literature with Un Sac de Billes by Joseph Joffo and La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Federico García Lorca.
The breakdown for the A level paper is as follows:
- Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation 40%
- Paper 2: Written response to works and translation 30%
- Paper 3: Speaking 30%
Head of Modern Languages: Mrs I Lavigne-Kidney Lavigne-KidneyI@cranbrook.kent.sch.uk
Teachers: Ms A Croot, Miss M Bisserier, Mr R Maimi