Modern Languages


Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are an important part of the Dean Close curriculum. The vast majority of our pupils sit at least one language to GCSE, and we have a significant number who continue their study to A Level. The majority of these continue studying a language either as a single honours course or in conjunction with another subject. In fact, university language graduates have the best employment record of all non-vocational degrees.

In the classroom

Most Fourth Form pupils study French and Spanish, before choosing to continue with both languages or opt for just one of these for GCSE.

Our aim is to equip GCSE pupils with a strong basic foundation that they will hopefully use in later life.

The core AQA GCSE specification explores three broad themes:

  • Identity and Culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Our A Level courses offer students the opportunity to improve their language skills while discovering much more about the societies and cultures of the countries in which the languages they study are spoken.

The AQA A Level specification explores:

  • Current trends in society
  • Current issues in society
  • Artistic culture
  • Aspects of political life
  • At least one film
  • At least one book/play

German is offered as an enrichment option for Sixth Form students, who sit AQA GCSE German after two years of study.

Native speakers of a language sit GCSE or A Level examinations in that language and are supported wherever possible through extra tuition and feedback on mock exam performance. Students in recent years have achieved qualifications in Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Russian, in addition to French, Spanish and German.

Outside the classroom

The MFL Department organises a range of enrichment activities to foster students’ curiosity and passion for languages.

  • We currently offer:
  • Beginners’ Mandarin Chinese club during Monday Afternoon Activities
  • Biennial week-long summer holiday study trips to Montpellier (France)
  • Biennial week-long summer holiday study trips to Salamanca (Spain)
  • The option of work experience in France or Spain for Sixth Form
  • Our popular Modern Languages Film Society
  • MFL Society with visiting speakers from universities
  • A range of competitions, both internally, and externally, including the Cheltenham Language Debates, UK Linguistics Olympiad, and essay prizes for a range of universities.
  • Visits to lectures at schools and universities in the local area

The departmental Twitter page is a great place to get a taste of what our students are up to.

Salamanca Trip 2018

In this section

Contact Senior School

Shelburne Road
GL51 6HE
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1242 258000
Fax: +44 (0)1242 258004

Admissions Enquiries
Tel: +44 (0)1242 258044