Dear Parents and Guardians
In preparation for their move to Wycliffe, Year 8 pupils are asked to finalise their choices for modern languages, so I am writing to explain how languages work at Wycliffe Senior School.
In Year 9, students opt for two languages from French, German, Spanish and Japanese. In Year 10, students are expected to continue with a language to GCSE, and many students choose to continue with both languages. The choices that you and your child make now are therefore very important, as they will determine which GCSEs they can study in languages.
In Year 9, we try to offer as much flexibility as possible. German and Spanish are both offered either as a beginners course, or for continuers. Japanese is run as a beginners course only, and French is only offered as a continuers course. Some students will have studied only a small amount of a language, in a club, for example, and would like to start from the beginning again. In those cases, we would recommend the beginners course. We do differentiate and there is flexibility in the timetable so that we can move students between groups when necessary.
Although the norm is for all students to study two languages in Year 9, there are always some exceptions. Students who have additional SEN or EAL support often have these lessons in the language block, and therefore only study one language.
We are often asked which languages your child should choose, and this is a difficult question to answer. Some students find that they prefer to continue with French, as they have already invested a considerable amount of time and effort in it. The more phonetic spellings of Spanish can suit some students better. Students with a logical mind sometimes prefer to study Japanese or German. Japanese can also suit students who have a strong visual memory. Ultimately, your child should choose the language that they enjoy the most and that they find they understand best. For those students who are only studying one language, they need to be sure that this is the language that they would like to continue studying to GCSE.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further clarification.
Mr Ben Urquhart
Head of Languages
Wycliffe Senior School