We live in a multi-cultural and multi lingual world where English is not enough. Glenalmond offers French, German and Spanish, taught by highly qualified staff with international experience, who inspire pupils to become confident, proficient linguists.
A candidate with a second language will always be attractive to employers, and in some managerial and law careers it may well become an essential part of an application. Proven benefits of a language include better reasoning and problem solving skills, greater reading confidence, awareness of other points of view, efficiency in adapting to new tasks, better negotiating abilities, understanding of priorities and leadership skills.
All pupils study French and follow a course designed to provide the academic challenge of Common Entrance but also linguistic and cultural enrichment. Along with studying the traditional topics, pupils are exposed to film and culture and encouraged to work as much as possible in the target language.
All pupils study French in four sets and follow a course which builds on Common Entrance providing depth and breadth – again combining traditional topics with insights into culture and language beyond the classroom. An emphasis is placed on oral confidence and a strong grammatical foundation. All Third Form French students are able to participate in the annual trip to France.
A Modern Language is compulsory at GCSE and pupils have a choice of either French or Spanish, with the option of adding a second language of French, German or Spanish as an option. Pupils follow the AQA Certificate (iGCSE), with an emphasis on practical communication covering topics of socialising, travelling abroad, being part of a community and making choices. Examination is at Foundation or Higher Tier with examinations taken in the four skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, each worth 25%. Pupils are set according to ability in French and Spanish, numbers permitting. We do assist pupils to take examinations in other languages such as Italian, Chinese, Russian and Dutch as required.
Pupils may choose to study French, German or Spanish at AS and A2, following the AQA specification. At AS there is a steady progression from GCSE with pupils studying topics such as Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living and Family and Relationships. There is an emphasis on expressing and justifying ideas and opinions as well as demanding a high level of grammatical and linguistic accuracy. The examination is in two parts, a 15 minute spoken test and a 2 hour written examination testing comprehension and essay writing.
Pupils can choose to continue with their AS Modern Language, following the AQA specification and achieving an advanced level of linguistic proficiency, able to debate such complex topics as the Environment, The Multi-Cultural Society and Contemporary Social Issues such as animal testing, euthanasia or the death penalty. There is a strong emphasis on presenting and defending opinions – a valuable skill for later life. Pupils also study two cultural topics from literature, film or theatre.
There are a wide variety of super-curricular activities offered by the MFL Department. Pupils are regularly offered the chance to see new foreign language films with Perth Film Society, visit the theatre and opera, take part in Immersion Days with other local schools, participate in language trips abroad and exchanges.
Jenny Davey Head of Modern Languages German, French, Spanish
Jenny Davey has been Head of MFL since 2009. A graduate of Edinburgh University in Hispanic Studies, she has an international background and was Director of Curriculum, Learning and IB at a school in England prior to joining Glenalmond. Jenny is Secretary of the Independent Schools Modern Language Association and sits on the atb8 Northern Schools Committee, also acting as a consultant and examiner for the International Baccalaureate.
Sasha Baldwin Lower School French Coordinator French – part time
Inés Reynolds Teacher Spanish, French – part-time