Modern Foreign Languages & Classics
The MFL Department at King William’s College is made up of four French, five Spanish and two German teachers and two teaching assistants. We also teach Latin at KS3, KS4 and KS5.
When students join College they are set in French and Spanish. In French, they are set two months after joining the School and in Spanish they are set after the January exams. Sets are also adjusted after the January and the June examinations.
In Lower Fourth, Upper Fourth and Lower Five, students have three 40 minute lessons per week for French and Spanish/ Latin. In M5, students have four 40 minute lessons per week for French, Spanish or both and in Upper five students have five 40 minute lessons for French and four 40 minute lessons for Spanish or both.
French and Spanish were both introduced in the Lower Fourth in 2007 and students have to study both languages until the end of Lower Fifth.
At the end of Lower Fifth, students can choose between French, Spanish or Latin or both languages for their IGCSE.
The International Baccalaureate
In Lower Sixth students can choose between:
- French B – Higher and Standard Level
- Spanish B – Higher and Standard Level
- Spanish AB Initio
- German AB Initio
- French AB Initio started in September 2013
In Lower Sixth and Upper SIxth, students have six 40 minute lessons per week.
- Miss Hewes is the Latin Teacher at KWC, the only school on the Island to offer this subject.
- From Lower Fourth to Lower Fifth, pupils learn basic translation skills, with the aim of being able to read sentences in Latin. Latin lessons are fun and interactive, involving mini-whiteboards and vocab-learning games ; students also partake in regular 'Culture Lessons', focusing on aspects of Greek and Roman daily life.
- In Middle Fifth and Upper Fifth, students take the GCSE course. They will deepen their understanding of the language, with the ultimate aim of being able to read and interpret Roman texts. The current verse author being studied is Virgil (Aeneid); we also read a selection of prose writings from Tacitus (Boudicca's Rebellion) and Julius Caesar (The Druids).
- At IB, students have the rare opportunity to explore a wide range of Classical texts, further immersing themselves in the language. We are currently studying the elegiac poetry of Catullus, Propertius and Ovid. Our Prose Set Text studies focus on Tacitus' vivid account of the untimely demise of the respected Roman general, Germanicus. IB Latin students will also undergo rigorous language-learning sessions, to ensure that their grammar and reading skills are up to speed. Moreover, in U6, students compile a Research Dossier, based on a Classics-related topic of their own choosing.
- IB Latin is an engaging, personalised and rewarding course, which will suit students who are interested in literature, ancient history and the construction of language itself.
Why study Latin?
- It is the root of many modern languages (English, French, Spanish...), so can help you understand where words come from.
- Provides a crash course in basic grammar (useful for understanding English).
- Chance to learn about the language, literature, culture and history of Rome – and discover how it shaped our modern society.
- Promotes an inquisitive mindset, encouraging students to consider the construction of language.
- Chance to learn Ancient Greek.
- A well-respected subject based on academic rigour.
Language clinics are offered at lunchtime for French and Spanish to support the students. Hispanic Day takes place in October and Francophonie Day takes place on 20th March. This year, French comedians came to give a performance in French in the King’s Court Theatre.
The French Department organises a trip to Paris for Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth every other year. Other trips have taken place in the past to Normandy.
The Spanish Department is organising an exchange with a school in Burgos. In October 2015, it was the first time the exchange was organised and it was a great success.
Other past trips include Madrid and San Sebastian.