Modern Foreign Languages – Ages 11-16

At Ratcliffe, we strive to nurture a lasting enthusiasm for foreign languages.  By offering pupils a choice of French, German and Spanish, our aim is to develop motivated, competent linguists, who will reap the life-long benefits of being able to speak and understand another language. 

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

Academic Programme

All pupils study French, German and Spanish in Year 6 on a carousel.  In Year 7, the majority of students choose to study any two of these until the end of Year 9, and at least one modern foreign language in Years 10 and 11. In Year 9 students start the Edexcel GCSE for both languages that they are studying.  This enables students to spend three years studying for the GCSE course.


Languages are taught in designated classrooms by highly experienced members of staff, including two native speakers and three language assistants from Germany, France and Mexico, who concentrate on developing oral skills.   

We use interactive whiteboards and the latest digital resources in all of the key stages to support learning, both in and out of the classroom. 

Co-Curricular Activities

The department offers a wide variety of co-curricular clubs and activities for all age groups, and we encourage all pupils to participate in the various language challenges offered through House competitions.   

We run a variety of annual trips abroad, including homestays to Salamanca/Granada in Spain, and to Nice or Montpellier in France.  We also have a long established link with the Bischöfliches-Cusanus Gymnasium in Koblenz, Germany, with whom we organize an exchange. 

We are actively involved in competitions promoted by Business Language Champions; our Year 10 students won the French code-cracking competition in Shropshire in 2017. We also regularly run a House competition where students in every year group are challenged to win points for their House by completing a language quiz.

The European Day of Languages

Year 13 pupils Sarah Astill and Olivia Delargy led a most informative and entertaining assembly for the European Day of Languages which took place on 26th September.  They outlined the fact that English is only spoken by a very small minority and consequently the importance of learning other languages.  This point was highlighted through their lively quiz, which included well known lines from famous films including Star Wars, and proved to be very popular with students.  The benefit of learning foreign languages was clearly and enthusiastically communicated!

The Modern Foreign Languages House Competition

The Modern Foreign Languages department has recently launched a House Competition for each year group.  Simply turn up and complete a short vocabulary test which will win a point for your House and help you with your vocabulary learning.   The quizzes are updated twice a month so there are plenty of points up for grabs!


Mrs S Cushing, Head of Languages -
Miss S Beddoes, Second in Languages -
Miss M Casas, Teacher of Spanish -
Mrs A Crebbin, Teacher of French and Spanish –
Mr P McCrindell, Teacher of German -
Mrs J Reddin, Teacher of French -
Mrs J Leite, Teacher of Spanish -
Mr A Kellighan, Teacher of Spanish -

Mrs W Zaragoza, Spanish Language Assistant –
Mlle D Carlotti, French Language Assistant –
Herr M Münsch, German Language Assistant – mmü