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Prince’s Teaching Institute update for MFL

We are very proud in MFL that we have achieved the Quality Mark from the PTI again. Over the past three years, we have set annual objectives across four areas:

1.    Challenge within the curriculum
2.    Challenge outside the curriculum
3.    Opportunities to develop and share staff expertise
4.    Raising the profile of languages internally and externally

These objectives have helped us to improve our schemes of work and the department offer as a whole and provide a more challenging and enriching experience for our students.

We have now graduated from the Schools Programme and are embarking upon our Associate Department research project, which involves a 3 year attempt to analyse and hopefully improve our extra-curricular provision still further so that we can raise enjoyment and recruitment levels.

MFL Residential:  Friday 14th November – Monday 17th November 2014
Oxford Belfry Hotel

I was honoured to be asked to be a Teacher Leader at this residential for MFL Heads of Department who are just embarking upon their journey as part of the Schools Programme.

The Friday was a preparation day for the 5 teacher leaders with the PTI team before the delegates arrived on Saturday morning. There followed a rich programme of events including lectures from Oxbridge academics in French, German and Spanish, taster workshops in various languages including Hebrew and Arabic and of course seminars run by the teacher leaders where delegates hared good practice and discussed their various issues and problems. Highlights included an address by Emma Jane Kirby, respected Radio 4 journalist and committed language lover and an after-dinner speech on the Saturday night by Sir Ivor Roberts, a former UK Ambassador to various countries around the world.

As part of the programme, I was asked to bring two students from Gordon’s to form part of a 5-strong pupil panel who fielded questions from all of delegates over a two hour period. I am delighted to say that Tom Wood (Year 11) and Emily Hickin (Year 12) both acquitted themselves admirably and many delegates and members of the PTI Steering Group went out of their way to say how impressed they were with the way they conducted themselves and the answers that they gave. They were a credit to themselves and the school.

Tom Wood (Year 11 BA) making his point as part of the Pupil Panel on the PTI MFL November Residential.

Emily Hickin (Year 12 Windsor) as part of the pupil panel at the Prince’s Teaching Institute MFL Autumn Residential.

On the final day, as part of the closing plenary, I was asked to give a speech summarising our main findings from the three days together. These could be summarised as concerns over recruitment and retention (of both pupils AND staff!), concerns over exams and the power of trips and wider enrichment.

Simon Depoix giving a speech at closing plenary.

On the panel (L-R) Rene Koglbauer (President of Association of Language Learners, Bernice McCabe (Headmistress of North London Collegiate School and Co-director of the PTI, Claudia Marsh, Head of Languages Cardinal Newman School, Brighton and fellow Teacher Leader, Katherine Smith OCR Subject Specialist – Languages).


                     Simon Depoix (Teacher Leader) in full flow at PTI MFL November Residential   

For further details, please refer to the PTI website: