French | Belmont Preparatory School | Mill Hill School

Modern Foreign Languages

The Modern Foreign Languages department is whole-heartedly committed to the communicative approach to the teaching and learning of Languages and we equip our pupils with the skills they need to communicate with people in French and Spanish-speaking countries.

We also believe that the learning of a modern foreign language should be an enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding experience that makes a valuable contribution towards our pupils’ general education and their personal sense of achievement.

We believe that Languages are best taught in the target language since it is only way pupils may acquire greater fluency, but recognise that pupils also sometimes need some explanation in English in order for them to feel confident about their learning.

Foreign languages play an increasingly important part in modern life and children are naturally receptive to language learning.

At Belmont, we seek to encourage the use of French and Spanish for both classroom management and communication and to place an emphasis on real language that is presented and practised through relevant, authentic and useful activities so that it gradually becomes the usable property of each pupil. We give our pupils an awareness of the nature of language, how it works and the important function it has in the world around them. We also offer our pupils insights into and encourage an interest in the culture and civilisation of French and Spanish-speaking countries.

Pupils in Year 6 have the opportunity to write to pupils in a French school. In Year 7 and 8 our pupils can also make life-long friends, experience the French way of life and culture by spending a week in Rouen with a French family during the longstanding French Exchange. In 2019, we plan to run our first Spanish trip to Andalucía for Years 7 and 8.

We also seek to contribute to the general education of each pupil. Therefore we aim to:

  1. develop each pupil’s study skills by encouraging them to work collaboratively in small groups or pairs as well as individually.
  2. promote good learning habits.
  3. promote the learning skills of general application e.g. analysing, memorising and drawing inferences.
  4. develop communication skills.
  5. encourage a love of learning.
  6. provide an environment whereby each pupil may derive enjoyment and stimulation.
  7. develop each pupil’s self-confidence and potential.
  8. encourage a broad perspective of the world; promote in the children positive attitudes towards speakers of foreign languages and a sympathetic approach to cultures and civilisations other than their own.