Modern Foreign Languages

“Language skills are vital for our exports, education, public services and diplomacy.” - All Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages

College believes passionately that there are many irrefutable reasons why everyone should be able to speak at least one foreign language. There is a huge demand for linguists in every sector and many students go on to use language skills in business, security, diplomacy, travel, media and culture. Less tangible, though scientifically proven, are the benefits that language learning have on the brain and the development of our mother tongue. Furthermore, learning a foreign language enhances communication, a skill much prized in a wide range of careers.

The Modern Languages Department at College is one of the largest of any school in the UK. The core languages we teach are: Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, German and Spanish. Japanese is also available in the Sixth Form. In addition, wherever we can, we support pupils' individual needs and home languages. Currently we have students studying Modern Greek and Russian alongside the main curriculum. Language learning has been revolutionised by developments in technology, and we combine new resources along with the knowledge and experience of our team of highly proficient teachers.

We work closely with students to enable them to become independent language learners who are curious about the world around them. We run residential trips to China, Japan, Spain, France, and Italy, longstanding German and Italian exchange programmes and work experience in Europe. These trips enable our students to practise their language skills, experience the culture of the target country and build fantastic and positive memories.

The Modern Languages Department offers a wide range of activities ranging from debating clubs to film nights. We encourage pupils to take part in competitions such as the UK Linguistics Olympiad, the Oxford University film and fiction competitions, the Anthea Bell and Stephen Spender poetry translation competitions and external essay competitions.


Pupils choose two languages from a combination of: Mandarin, French, German and Spanish. In LC3 (Year 9) they may pick up an additional language ab initio choosing from French, Italian and Spanish.


All students prepare for AQA GCSE or CIE iGCSE (depending on language) as the formal qualification and we link study wherever possible to culture and current events. All pupils take one MFL GCSE and many take several languages.


If following the IB pathway, students can study Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish at Standard or Higher Level. They can also choose from Chinese, Italian, Arabic, Japanese and Russian ab initio. Classes run subject to sufficient numbers.

If following the A Level pathway, pupils can study ItalianFrench, German, Spanish or Mandarin.
(Please click the links for details of the exam board specifications).


Head of MFL: Dr Elizabeth Gerry BA MA MSt DPhil (French, German)

Mr John Campbell BA MA (Head of French, German)
Mr Lorenzo Moya LLB MA (Head of Spanish, French)
Miss Sue Bemrose BA (Spanish)
Mrs Yan Burch BA (Head of Oriental Studies, Mandarin)
Mrs June Clements BA (Italian)
Mrs Anne Ferré-Dyèvre L ès L (French)
Mrs Fei Gao BA MA (Mandarin)
Mrs Catherine Lygoe MA MPhil (French, German)
Miss Yolanda Martínez LP (Spanish)
Mrs Isabelle McDonald M ès L (French)
Mrs Marieli Mooney BA MA (Spanish)
Dr Carla Quirighetti BA (French)
Mrs Lola Roca-Aguilera LLB MA (Spanish)
Mrs Ann-Kathrin Salge-Dexter StEx M1 ès L (Head of German)
Mrs Fuji Sonnenschein BA MA (Mandarin)
Mr Josh Sumner BA MA (Spanish, French)
Dr Elisabetta Tondello BA MA (Head of Italian, Spanish)
Mrs Yayoi Takahashi (i/c Japanese)


Mrs Ruth Ahmedzai-Kemp (Arabic)
Mrs Maria Koschalka (Russian)
Mrs Pina Clarke (Italian)
Mrs Xiao Ling Nottle BA (Chinese)
Mr Guo Ping Huang (Chinese)
Miss Irina Cornillon-Ballester (French) - British Council
Miss Manon Decoën (French) - British Council
Mrs Dagi Reynolds-Beasley (German)
Miss Yolanda Martínez LP (Spanish)
Mrs Belén Dynes (Spanish)
Miss Iris Irimia Núñez (Spanish) - British Council