contact us
parent portal
contact us
parent portal

Modern Foreign Languages


Modern Foreign Languages

‘Languages open you up to a new world’

"Learning a language isn't just a rewarding way to connect with another culture but boosts individual job prospects." British Council.

At Malvern St James, the enthusiastic and highly experienced staff all share a love for languages and strongly believe that learning a foreign language is something students should enjoy and find rewarding.

To complement the stimulating lessons taught, our students are encouraged to extend their knowledge and their progress beyond the classroom.  

The Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) Department offers:

  • Conversation classes in small groups
  • Regular lessons in our multi-media Language Laboratory
  • Individual sessions for Oxbridge candidates
  • Regular drop-in sessions
  • Regular revision sessions for GCSE and A Level students
  • Saturday workshops to develop GCSE skills further in Year 11
  • Trips to France and Spain
  • A pen friend scheme with Germany
  • Extra-curricular languages (Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Japanese and Russian)
  • Mandarin Speaking and Calligraphy competitions
  • A Gifted and Talented Pupil Day hosted by Oxford University 
  • Cooking activities
  • Cinema and theatre visits

The range of combined degrees and further education courses involving a language is limitless. Knowing a second language is a massive benefit and the possibilities are endless. Whether it is for a career that will take you around the globe or to supplement your career in banking, commerce, Law or Medicine and to give yourself that extra edge in the interview process.  


More than 220 million people speak French on the five continents. French  is as well as a language of international diplomacy, a global business language and a top internet language, which indicates the growing importance of French.

The question should no longer be Why French? but more exactly Why not French? and Why not now?

At  Malvern St James, a strong emphasis is placed on building learners' confidence and competence in spoken and written French.

Every other year, pupils in the Preparatory department as well as in years 7 and 8 are invited to take part in a study tour in France where they have the opportunity to practise their spoken French and to gain an insight into life in France.

We believe that our GCSE  course broadens our pupils' horizons, develop their cultural knowledge and understanding and foster transferable skills such as confidence, communication, problem solving and creativity.  

Through social, intellectual and cultural themes as well as the study of literature and film, our A Level students develop their linguistic knowledge whilst exploring the influence of the past on present-day French-speaking communities. The requirement to research an area of interest also enables them to enhance their cultural appreciation and to develop most valuable skills.

We not only encourage enjoyment of language French, but also the recognition that studying languages enables our students to take their place in a multi-lingual global society. 


Keep up to date with French at MSJ by following @msj_french on Twitter


French further information

Key stage 2

Pupils in the Preparatory Department have French lessons in the curriculum every week. As well as learning language skills, lessons foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen pupils' understanding of the world. Pupils explore the patterns and sounds of language through songs and rhymes, and  engage in conversations; speaking in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures.

Pupils also have the opportunity to appreciate and practise stories, songs, poems and rhymes in French. Lessons also provide an opening to the culture of France and French speaking countries. Pupils have the opportunity to celebrate Epiphanie and make pancakes. The lessons provide the foundation for learning further languages.

Key Stage 3

French is continued by all in Year 7. As well as the language, pupils learn about the culture of the countries where French is spoken. Pupils discover the enormous satisfaction of being able to communicate in a foreign language and are therefore encouraged the use of the target language as much as possible in lessons. Pupils have regular lessons in our multi-media language laboratory. Every other year, students are invited to take part in a study tour in France where pupils have the opportunity to practise their spoken French  and to gain an insight into life in France . 

GCSE French

The GCSE course in French helps students develop their language skills in a variety of contexts and a broad understanding of the culture of countries and communities where French is spoken. The course not only encourages enjoyment of language learning, but also the recognition that language skills enable students to take their place in a multi-lingual global society. At MSJ, Students have one conversation class a week in small groups, where they have the opportunity to practise guided and spontaneous conversations.

AS and A2 French

Among the many benefits, the AS and A2 specification  is designed to encourage students to develop the knowledge and skills acquired  at GCSE level and therefore use French in a  wide range of contexts. Students will also gain a  useful insight into another culture and reflect  on various aspects of contemporary society. 

All students have a conversation class every week , this not only helps students to gain in confidence, but also to improve on their fluency and pronunciation.  The AS and A2 students also have  timetabled lessons in the language laboratory where students have the opportunity to further practise their listening and reading skills .

AS and A2 students are encouraged to read and listen to the target language as it  is a key component of learning a language . There are many benefits to developing excellent reading and listening skills. Through reading and listening, students not only gain access to culture, but also develop their target language skills, as they are exposed to authentic forms of the language. 

Students also have the opportunity to attend a Reading club. Pupils read articles in newspapers, listen to French songs and watch French films.  Pupils have not only the opportunity to acquire new vocabulary and idioms, but also to discover French literature and culture.


German is the most widely spoken language in Europe. Since Germany is the most populous European country, more people speak German as their native language than any other language in Europe. 

It is also the official language of Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein and many people also learn German as a second language. Germany has the third strongest world economy and a high standard of living. It is also a beautiful country with a diverse history and a land of enormous culture.

With knowledge of German, you greatly enhance your employment opportunities; Germany has the largest economy in the European Union and the third largest in the world. German is still a leading language in the disciplines of Science, Literature, Art, Philosophy and History.

Your linguistic skills will put you ahead in a more and more competitive employment market. German is required or recommended by many undergraduate programmes be it for Business, Medicine or Law. Many German firms employ graduates such as BMW, Siemens or the Deutsche Bank. The Language itself can open many doors and provide employment in a German speaking country and German shares many similarities with English so easy for students to learn.

German further information

Year 8

Pupils can opt to study German in year 8. They follow the Echo Express 1 and 2 textbooks but the emphasis is on creativity too. Pupils not only learn the Language basics which includes grammar, but are encouraged to learn the language through songs, poems and even fairy tales. Year 8 pupils recently wrote their own Red Riding Hood play script in German and performed this complete with their own costumes. They even wrote their own song and built this into their script. Creativity is a key part of language learning. Pupils also regularly use the language lab, play language games and are encouraged to take an active part in lessons. There is also a lunchtime German Club where pupils sing songs, make German models and extend their knowledge of the Language and Culture. 


The AQA iGCSE course includes all 4 Language Skills- Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Pupils follow the AQA iGCSE course which is a two year course. There is no coursework submission so pupils are encouraged to manipulate the language and structures they know so they are able to write essays freestyle. All pupils in Year 10 and Year 11 have Conflab – lunchtime conversation sessions where they practise their conversational skills. This prepares them for the final Speaking Examination. They are able to gain in confidence and familiarise themselves with essential structures and vocabulary for their year 11 speaking examination. Pupils are encouraged to consolidate their classroom Grammar work by utilising Language software such as Languages Online, BBC Bitesize and the AQA Kerboodle site. All pupils have Grammar Workbooks to consolidate class learning.

A Level

Groups tend to be much smaller at AS and A2 Level – allowing for greater individual attention. Again all 4 Language Skills – Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing are focused on. Topics at AS include  New Technology, Cinema, Music, Holidays, Relationships and Sport. Some of these topics may have been met before for the iGCSE, but at AS Level the topics are more indepth and pupils acquire a greater understanding of Grammar. There are weekly Conflab sessions and pupils have an AS Grammar Workbook to consolidate 
classroom learning. Pupils are encouraged to watch German films and German television to consolidate their learning and read around the topics taught.

A2 German adds a Cultural Dimension to the Language as pupils explore and gain a greater insight into aspects of German Culture. Pupils must study two different Cultural Topics The film Sophie Scholl is currently being studied. This film concerns the life of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans- who led the White Rose Movement which aimed to inform the German public about the atrocities of Hitler’s Germany. The other Cultural Topic at present is the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the events leading up to this. The Cultural Topics present pupils with an intellectual challenge and stimulate their interest in Germany – be it German History, 
Literature, German theatre or German Cinema.


Spanish is the second-most widely spoken language in the world, with 400 million native speakers, and official status in  21 countries in  South, Central and North America, Africa and Europe. Spanish offers the opportunities to discover a huge number of cultures, as well as the business possibilities.

Learning Spanish is increasingly becoming a necessity.

 At Malvern St James, we strongly believe in Spanish as a skill for life and in the benefits that studying the language can offer.

 As well as developing pupils' language skills to their full potential, lessons at Key stage 3 and GCSE foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of  Spanish and Spanish-American culture and lifestyles. This is achieved through watching Spanish language films, creative work, Spanish cookery and food tasting sessions.

The A Level focuses on how Spanish-speaking society has been shaped socially and culturally and how it continues to change. Aspects of the social context are studied, together with a literary text and a film. The course equips students with highly valued  transferable skills including communication, resourcefulness, creativity, research skills and  critical thinking that will enable them to proceed to further study or employment .

Our GCSE and A  Level students also have the opportunity to take part in a trip to Barcelona which enable them to  build their intercultural understanding as well as their language skills.


Keep up to date with Spanish at MSJ by following @msj_spanish on Twitter