Portland Place School

Portland Place School

Modern Languages


Modern Languages at Portland Place


At Portland Place, we teach French, Spanish and Italian. Modern Languages are compulsory from years 5-9, and, because of their importance to the English Baccalaureate, strongly encouraged and popular with years 10 & 11. There is also the possibility to take at least one language at A level. Many other students, who already have another language, are encouraged to develop that, and we can arrange tutors for specialist languages.


We start teaching one language (at present Spanish) in year 5&6; in year 7 students are taught one language of their choice (French, Spanish and-or Italian) and they will study until the end of year 9. The study of a language at KS4 is not compulsory; however students are encouraged to take a language to GCSE (and sometimes A level). Our GCSE and A-Level pass-rate is well above the National average.


Students are encouraged to express themselves in the target language during lessons, and we maximise the opportunities of getting the students to practise their language skills


Year 5 & 6 students are encouraged to research and experience different parts of Spanish culture, as well as (merely) learn the language. This can include such activities as visits to a tapas bar to experience Spanish cookery, and the creation of a Spanish magazine.


In year 7, 8 and 9 students learn to describe themselves, express their likes and dislikes, and talk about their spare time and their environment. They develop their 4 skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) at their own pace with interactive methods targeted projects.

At Key Stage 4, most students study a language: a GCSE in a Language is now becoming a requirement for entry to most top universities in the UK. We have chosen Edexcel as our exam board for French, Spanish, and AQA for Italian.


At Key Stage 5, students enjoy lessons based on French/Spanish/Italian culture and history including extending their knowledge of grammar and of the country itself. French is using OCR exam board and Spanish and Italian are using Edexcel.


The MFL department offers a range of extra curriculum activities to students and rewarding opportunities to put into practice what has been learnt in class. Some of the trips run are: Home Stay in Bordeaux, Italian Exchange, Salamanca, Trip to Brussels, Day trip to La Fromagerie, Tapas tasting and Pizza making. There are often cross curricula trips with other department.

Throughout the year, the department promotes languages with different activities (such as the European Day of Languages, Flamenco workshop, Onatti performances, Bastille Day, the MFL film club etc), as well as interactive and fun lessons. We aim to inspire students: Language acquisition is a boon and a joy.



Project by Mila Douglas, explaining what verbs use ETRE in the perfect tense in French.


Languages day at Portland Place School