Learning a foreign language helps our students develop an understanding of the world we live and work in. Students learn to appreciate different countries, cultures and people which enable them to make comparisons with their own society. The four aspects of language learning (listening, speaking, reading and writing) help students to express themselves and also explore the similarities between English and the language they are learning. 

No one can predict the field of work they will go in to or what role a foreign language will play in their career, but having a GCSE in a foreign language can only enhance future career possibilities.  Being able to communicate in another language is, quite simply, a lifelong skill, one which can be used throughout the world!


French or Spanish are the languages currently on offer at The Vale Academy. Students are allocated a language in Year 7 and study the same one throughout KS3. They continue with this language at GCSE, if they follow the English Baccalaureate pathway. 

Although only a small department of one full-time and two part-time members of staff, all languages are very well catered for.  

Mrs G Perseu: Curriculum Leader

Mrs H Holmes: Spanish

Mrs E Gelder: Director of MFL Delta Academies Trust 


Facilities and Resources

Equipped with interactive whiteboards in every specialist classroom, staff use a range of software designed to support and extend language learning. MP3 technology is also being used to help student vocabulary and grammar learning at home and new on-line resources also allow students to work away from the classroom environment, further developing their skills as independent learners.


Students are allocated a language upon their arrival at the college and study it throughout years 7 & 8. Language lessons allow the students to work in all 4 skill areas using a variety of engaging activities. Numerous topics are covered, enabling students to communicate at a personal level as well as being given more creative opportunities.

 KS4 and Courses 

The AQA GCSE course places equal emphasis on reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Students study 3 key areas: 

  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

The content of the GCSE course is much more interesting and relevant for today’s teenagers.


September 2011 saw the MFL department introduce AS Spanish for the very first time and in September 2017 German and French have been introduced as well. Following the AQA course, Y12 and 13 students develop their foreign language learning in much greater depth but have the luxury of doing so in much smaller groups. The 3 topic areas are: 

  • Social issues and trends
  • Political and artistic culture
  • Grammar  

The ‘Learning Platform’ is available for KS5 students with plenty of exam papers for them to practise, in preparation for their exams! 


Forthcoming events / Enrichment / Extra-curricular activities 

Lunch time and after school support is available for all students should they need one to one help or wish to take their language learning further. Students have had the opportunity to practise their language skills in trips abroad: Barcelona, Spain in April 2013, Lille, France in December 2014.

And finally . . . . . . . . . . . did you know? 

Approximately 93% of the world does not speak English as a 1st language and 70% of the world does not speak English at all! 

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” (Nelson Mandela)

Useful websites