Modern Languages

The Modern Languages Department comprises eight members of staff: Mr Neil MacKinnon (Head of Department – French, German, Spanish), Mrs Janice Brown (French, German), Mrs Fiona Cram (Spanish), Mr Frank McAvinue ( Spanish), Mrs Gillian Mackenzie (French, German), Mrs Irene McGrath (French, Russian), Mrs Lynsey Smith (French, Spanish) and Mr David Summerville (French, German).

Pupils start learning French in L6 in the Junior School, and pick up a second foreign language when they enter Form 1. Increasing numbers of pupils are choosing to continue their study of both languages beyond the compulsory stage, with a further increase in numbers of pupils studying Modern Languages at Advanced Higher level and beyond, as the need for language skills in the workplace is being more widely recognised.

The emphasis in our lessons is on communication in the foreign language, and the Department promotes the use of ICT in learning Modern Languages, both in school and for homework. We actively pursue links with the countries whose languages we teach and offer a range of trips and exchanges annually, visiting the Cantal region of France, Hessen in Germany and Murcia in Spain.  It is gratifying that many of our pupils have maintained links with exchange partners over the years, with one former pupil actually ending up marrying his German exchange partner! Where possible and appropriate, our pupils attend screenings of foreign language films and activity days organised by eg the Goethe Institut. Our pupils have successfully taken part in competitions organised by national and international bodies, including the University of St Andrews and SALT.

The Modern Languages staff play an active role in the life of the school, with involvement in several co-curricular activities such as CCF, Charities committee and Environment club, Debating and the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme. In addition, Mrs Brown and Mrs Cram are members of the Guidance staff.

For further information, please see the curriculum pages.

Read the report on the German Exchange Trip 2010.
Read the report on the UK-German Connection Trip 2011.