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Departments: Languages

At Finham Park School, we believe that the study of a foreign language not only provides our pupils with useful skills which are fast becoming essential in a modern and highly competitive world, but it also gives them a liberating and life-enhancing experience, which adds breadth to their cultural, social and linguistic knowledge and skills.

The languages department is made up of nine members of staff with all staff able to teach two foreign languages. We also have two visiting Hanban teachers from China each year. The Department has a commitment to extending learning beyond the formal curriculum. We have links with schools in St. Etienne and Noyon. The link with Noyon is to be used to support our immersion programme in French Geography, which has been recognised by the TDA and has attracted the interest of the French Embassy.

In Year 7, half of our pupils learn French, whilst the other half learns Spanish. French is taught throughout Key Stage 3 & 4 using the highly acclaimed Studio course. Spanish is taught using the Mira course. At GCSE, the Department prepares candidates for the AQA, specification A.

Pupils are currently taught in mixed ability groups in Year 7 with setting in Year 8 and 9. Substantial use is made of the target language in the classroom, and there is a strong emphasis on quality of relationships and on confidence building. Lessons aree lively, carefully structured and interactive.

AS and A2 French & Spanish is taught using the AQA specification for French/Spanish anchored to the Nelson Thornes course, but making extensive use of the internet and other resources for exploration of the specified topics. In year 13, students take part in the city-wide exchange with St. Etienne. They stay with French families and undertake work placements in primary schools. They then host their French partners here in Coventry. The French students are then placed with local primary schools.

Teaching in Years 12 & 13 involves half-day sessions and the school works to the Sixth Form timetable which is common across all Coventry schools. The Department also offers enrichment programmes in Spanish and Mandarin. French and Spanish are offered to AS and A2 level within the consortium, and are taught at Finham Park if groups sizes are viable.

Finham Park is the home of the only Confucius Classroom in the West Midlands. As part of the year 7 and 8 enrichment programme, all pupils in year 7 & 8 take two 12 week modules in Mandarin and Chinese culture. In year 9, Mandarin is one of the options available as part of the 3 year KS4 programme. We also offer a Sixth Form enrichment course in Mandarin. The Confucius Classroom also focuses on outreach work, providing teaching and resources for use in other local schools; at both primary and secondary level. We also take part in national events organised by the Schools Network Confucius Institute.

We have an active group of International Student Leaders from Year 7-13 who organise and participate in a range of activities including: meeting and greeting international visitors, organising international events such as 'International Day' and 'The European Day of Languages'.

Course specifications

  • KS3 French
  • KS3 Spanish
  • KS3 Mandarin
  • GCSE French
  • GCSE Spanish
  • GCSE Mandarin
  • A-level French and Spanish

    Below are some links to websites relating to the languages courses:

    French & Spanish

    web link Kerboodle
    web link VocabExpress
    web link MFL Resources
    web link Languages Online
    web link BBC languages
    web link MFL Heinemann
    web link The Ashcombe
    web link Bitesize languages


    web link Jeux de Lettres

    Department staff
    Mrs K Howarth: Subject Leader for MFL, International School Co-ordinator and Confucius Classroom Manager
    Mrs J Darby: Assistant Subject Leader for MFL
    Mrs M Hunton: Teacher in charge of Spanish
    Mrs N Buckley
    Ms M Crombie
    Ms H Lewis
    Mr S Marfleet
    Mrs S Savage
    Mrs J Staton
    Mr C Walters
    Ms D Yan