Modern Foreign Languages

Modern Foreign Languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

Key Stage 3

Year 7: All students learn French and German. Lesson activities are very varied and students are immersed in the foreign language from the very first lesson in terms of hearing their teacher talking in the language, and building their own spoken confidence.

Years 8 and 9: All students continue with French and German and take Spanish as a third modern language from scratch. Students really enjoy the variety and challenge of three modern languages; they are frequently encouraged to make links between languages taught in school and those which they may speak at home..


Key Stage 4

Students opt to study the new Edexcel GCSE in at least one modern language, many choosing to take two. Students have the opportunity to develop their linguistic fluency, skills and cultural appreciation beyond GCSE with more challenging translation in and out of the language and literary extract analysis. Our aim is also to provide cultural depth and breadth outside and well beyond the examination syllabus.


Key Stage 5

The study at A Level of any Modern Language complements all other subjects offered in the Sixth Form enormously, as it provides numerous and significant transferable skills, such as communication, forming a logical argument and understanding foreign cultures at a deep level. Students acquire a rigorous knowledge and appreciation of language and society, as well as having the chance to enjoy the study of one or more literary texts or classic French, German or Spanish cinema. These are discussed and debated in the language, and this enhances our students’ ability to argue convincingly in a foreign language, as well as giving them a lifelong curiosity for the multifaceted and dynamic nature of European cultures.

‘….we should aspire to allow children who may be monolingual to strive to become as bilingual as they can possibly be.” Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, June 2014.

MFL Curriculum Breakdown for each Key Stage

Curriculum activities and trips

All Year 7 students take part in a cultural and adventure residential week in Normandy in June each year. Here, they appreciate French culture and history, as well as speak the language. KS4 students have the opportunity to go on either a French Exchange to Paris, a German exchange to Munich or a five day trip to Seville. For KS5 students a conference trip to Paris or a 4 day trip to Nice are provided, and a culture and language trip to Berlin has been run 5 times. We run a diverse range of extra-curricular activities including French Debating Society and Translation Club, KS3 German and Spanish Clubs. Please see the MFL blog at or follow us on Twitter @hbsmolangs

Languages here are more than just a subject. I feel much more like a native speaker than a student. Studying cultural topics and literature makes it exciting
HBS Student
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Academic Programme
We are committed to providing a broad education that is ambitious, varied and stimulating.
Years 7 - 9
At Key Stage 3, we want to enable girls to pursue a wide variety of academic and extra-curricular interests to the full.
Years 10 - 11
Progress into Key Stage 4 is both a psychological one, entering the ‘GCSE years’, as well as a literal one.
Sixth Form
Sixth Form is a vibrant, friendly and happy community, where every student is valued and given individual attention.