French and German are important and successful subjects at Camp Hill Boys (CHB) School. We have consistently seen some excellent results both at GCSE and AS/A2 level. The value and importance of learning a foreign language is evidenced at CHB by its being a compulsory subject through to GCSE. We believe that the command of a modern foreign language (MFL) is an important life skill, an intellectual challenge, and a significant factor in making our boys highly employable in the future. We focus on communication skills and, in order for the pupils to be able to showcase their skills in their speaking and writing, we place a strong emphasis on the grammar and language structures of the target language.
Trips and Exchanges
We have a partner school in Germany, the Schule am Ried in Frankfurt am Main. For Year 8 pupils there is an exchange programme. The German partners come to Birmingham for 6 days in May when our boys are in Year 8 and our boys make the return trip to Frankfurt in October of the same year, ie when the boys are in Year 9. In Year 10, we take selected pupils to participate in the VDI (the Association of German Engineers) Schülerforum at the Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences) in Frankfurt. One of the teams that took part in 2012 is pictured. In Years 11 and 12, boys are able to do a week long work experience placement in Frankfurt and are accommodated with host families connected to the Schule am Ried. The work experience partnership programme won a Trade and Investment award in 2003.
From July 2015, French AS students will have the opportunity to spend 4 days in Chinon (Loire Vallee). Chinon provides an attractive base for exploring the area. Pupils will stay in pairs in families carefully selected by the travel company Ardmore, who are specialists in this kind of homestay residential. They will spend their evenings with their host families, including their evening meal, giving them the opportunity to experience French culture first hand and, to practise their French in an authentic environment. Days will be sent with the group, experiencing some of the many cultural delights of the Loire Vallee
From May 2016, pupils in year 8 will have the opportunity to spend 4 days in France. Pupils will be paired up and stay with host families. The trip will include a day excursion to Paris (bateau mouche – Eiffel Tower – cité des sciences), a visit to the Asterix theme park and one day will be spent with the host families. As most of the French families do not speak English, pupils will be encouraged to develop their speaking skills. This trip is an invaluable experience as pupils will be immersed in French life for 3 days.
Key Stage 3
Pupils will have the opportunity to learn either French or German in Year 7 as their first Modern Foreign Language. In Year 8, they will then be introduced to their second Modern Foreign Language. We currently use the Tricolore course book in French and the Zoom course book in German.
Key Stage 4
A MFL remains a core subject until GCSE. At the end of Year 9, pupils opt for either French or German. They can of course take both languages. In both French and German boys will follow the AQA GCSE examination syllabus. The active skills, speaking and writing, as well as the passive skills, listening and reading, are each worth 25%. All skills are examined in the public examination period in year 11. Syllabus codes are as follows:
- AQA French GCSE Full Course – syllabus code 8658
- AQA German GCSE Full Course – syllabus code 8668
In Years 12 and 13, we aim to develop fluency and language skills through the study of themes and topics related to the target-language countries and we follow the AQA examination syllabus for both French and German. All topics are firmly rooted in the culture of the target language country. The year 12 topics include: Family, The Digital World, Youth Culture, Festivals and Traditions, Art and Architecture, a book or a film. The year 13 topics include: Immigration, Integration, Racism, Politics and Youth, a book or a film.