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Summer Fields Oxford

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Modern Languages

Our ambition is for all boys leaving Summer Fields to be enthusiastic and inquisitive language learners. They will have the confidence to communicate in French, both orally and in writing and have a secure grasp of grammatical structures governing language.

jeanE noËl-davies, HEAD OF french

By providing a secure foundation of subject knowledge, concepts and skills we equip our pupils for the next stage of their linguistic education and for a lifelong love of language learning.

They leave Summer Fields with the knowledge that those rules of syntax learnt with us can be applied to new languages. We inspire confidence and encourage them to learn by their mistakes; creating enthusiastic learners who are open to new ideas and experiences, curious, questioning and keen to experiment. We know that learning French is only the starting point of their language journey.

French is taught from Reception to Year 8, with the Pre-prep syllabus focusing on the spoken word so as not to interfere with the secure understanding of English phonics. Once these are established, written French is introduced, with a strong focus on accuracy from an early age.

Our lessons are engaging and interactive, with pupils spending time reading, writing, speaking and listening in every session. The syllabus is adapted to the boys’ needs and support is given in class to those who need more scaffolding and extension provided when appropriate.

Each year we organise:

  • A French day for Year 7s. This consists of a dress-up day, varied workshops and a play performed by Onatti
  • Oral competitions and presentations in each year group
  • Poetry reading competitions in classes
  • Translation and creative writing activities in class
  • Holiday diaries from Year 7

The boys also enjoy a range of internet-based games, challenges and activities.

The department also currently offers Mandarin and Russian to pupils who are either maintaining a second language or preserving a home language. We have the expertise of native language specialists who deliver one-to-one sessions in addition to the curriculum. These are arranged on an individual basis when we feel that the pupil can manage the added academic workload.