A Real ‘Buzz’ At The Y7 MFL Spelling Bee Final!

Last Friday the MFL department hosted the final round of the Year 7 MFL Spelling Bee competition- and what a buzzing final it was!  The finalists had already claimed victory at the first stage, where they had competed against their fellow classmates. The three highest scorers from each House then reached the final, which saw the challenge move up a gear.

All the participants were asked to learn 100 words from their language of study. Not only did they have to recite them, but also spell them. And if that wasn’t challenging enough for our studious spellers, they could only use the French or Spanish alphabet.  As I’m sure you can agree, this was no easy task, or as the Spanish would say – ‘no era pan comido’.

All the finalists amazed us with their astonishing recall and a whole swarm of students came to cheer on their friends.  All participants were rewarded for their efforts with sought-after House Points.

MFL ParticipantsMFL Winners  MFL Spelling Bee Y7





Well done to the runners up who received 2 House Points each – Casey F (Spanish 7M) and Leon H (French 7B).

We would particularly like to congratulate our overall winners who were awarded 3 House Points:  French Winner: Roberto H (7L)  and Spanish Winner: Abigail B (7N)

MFL Environmental House Campaign

MFL Environment Campaign 2016Congratulations to Amy Tridgell (13A) and Sophie Noxon (13N) who have successfully produced an environmental campaign in French as a house event in MFL, and have therefore won 3 house points each.

This has involved delivering a detailed presentation followed by questions, a poster (see photo), interviews, and even a petition, so ‘félicitations’ to the girls on their hard work and excellent level of French.

Christmas Around The World

One important British value that we promote in MFL is the understanding of other people’s culture. Y7 have been reflecting on this, showing their awareness and understanding of other cultures as they undertook research entitled “Christmas around the world”.  The aim was to discover how Christmas is celebrated in other countries and students were each given a country to research.

Various cultural traditions were explored, including how to say “Merry Christmas”, how Christmas is celebrated in that country, and four names of Christmas foods including a dessert.

While you may think that Christmas has passed, you’ll see from 2 slides towards the end that Christmas is yet to be celebrated in at least 2 countries……please take the time to look through the slideshare below to find out which!


French Quizmasters!

Before Christmas, our Y9 linguists will complete a written assessment on our most recent topic of ‘Personal Identity’. Due to upcoming changes to the style of the Modern Foreign Languages GCSE, the students are now required to possess a much deeper knowledge of the grammatical framework of the language.

To prepare them for this, we have spent a lot of time this term delving into many areas of grammar, particularly the conjugation of various tenses. To test how well they have taken all of this on board, the students were asked to create a quiz to give to the rest of the class. Some chose to hand-write their questions, whilst others made good use of their iPads to create online quizzes on useful apps such as Socrative or Quizlet. Teachers can monitor everybody’s progress on these apps and the students can evaluate their results to see which areas they need to revise.

French quiz  1  French quiz  3  French quiz  2





The Y9 students really enjoyed the competitive element of the quizzes and were able to mark each other’s questions. They particularly enjoyed ‘playing the teacher’ as they were the ones who had created the questions!

Y11 MFL House Poster Success Criteria Competition

Y11 MFL students have been producing ‘success criteria’ posters to help them with their upcoming speaking and writing exams. Congratulations to the following winners who have received three house points each – their posters can also be seen below: (please click on the images to view larger versions)
FrenchSarah Kenway 11M & Jess Miller 11M
GermanLily Jones 11N, Louise Reilly 11R & Molly Robinson 11R
SpanishLouise James 11B & Eve Blyth-Morter 11A
Geman Y11 success criteria Spanish Y11 success criteria  French Y11 success criteria

2015 Ruth Bate MFL Award

Ruth Bate Award 2015The 2015 Ruth Bate Award was recently presented to Y10 students Chloë S and Alex W  in recognition of outstanding performance in the Young MFL Leader programme. The award’s key criteria are personal achievement, commitment, creativity, pro-active participation, enthusiasm, assisting others, initiative and promoting MFL through example.

History of the award – Ruth Bate was a language teacher at Simon Balle School who died in January 1989. In her will she left a sum of money in a trust fund to be used to promote MFL at the school and a permanent award was set up in Ruth’s name. The shield and a list of students who have received the award are permanently displayed in the MFL department.

It is hoped that this award will preserve the memory and some of the qualities of Ruth Bate as well as recognising the achievements of a new generation.

Langfest 2015

Please see below a write up of Langfest by Joseph Chapman Y10:

Wednesday 1st July saw the culmination of this year’s MFL Young Leaders Programme in which 150 Key Stage 2 pupils from five local primary schools spent the day at Simon Balle School to learn about other languages and cultures.  Earlier on this year, groups of Y10 students became Young MFL Leaders and prepared short games and activities to help teach younger students German, French and Spanish. The leaders then went into local primary schools (Bengeo, Mill Mead, Morgans, Abel Smith and Wheatcroft) twice to do these activities with the children, one revolving around language and one revolving around culture.

The climax of the project was Langfest. The primary school children took part in four different workshops in French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. The day finished with an awards ceremony in the hall in which prizes were given to the best individual students and schools for their enthusiasm and participation in activities.

All in all, the day was a great success thanks to all the staff involved in organising and running the day, especially Mr Taylor for whom this will be the last Langfest after many years of running the event.

Food In Focus….Spanish Style!

¡Una clase de cocina española!

Esta mañana un grupo de estudiantes en año 9 tuvo una experiencia bastante diferente. En vez de escribir, ¡decidimos tener una fiesta de comida española! Los estudiantes entraron en la sala de cocina donde recibieron dos recetas diferentes. Una mitad de la clase tuvo que preparar churros con chocolate, un plato típico de España, un poco como buñuelos largos. Los otros grupos cocinaron unas tortillas de patatas. Primeramente los alumnos prepararon los ingredientes frescos pero tenían que leer las instrucciones en español (¡y a veces en ingles si era absolutamente necesario!). Para crear un ambiente cultural, mientras que cocinábamos, escuchábamos música tradicional. Después podíamos probar la comida típica del país y discutir y hablar sobre el sabor de estos platos (¡en español, por supuesto!)

Nos lo pasamos bien y nos gustaría agradecer a Señora Ellis, Señora Jones y Señora Nwahba por toda su ayuda.

A Spanish Cooking Class!

This morning a group of Y9 students had quite a different experience. Instead of writing, we decided to have a Spanish food fiesta! The students entered the food room where they received two different recipes. Half of the class had to prepare ‘churros with chocolate dipping sauce’, a typical Spanish dish a little like long doughnuts. The other groups cooked typical Spanish potato omelettes. Firstly the students prepared the fresh ingredients but they had to read the recipe instructions in Spanish (and sometimes in English if it was absolutely necessary!). To create a cultural atmosphere, whilst cooking, we listened to traditional music. Afterwards we were able to try the local food and talk about the tastes of these new dishes (in Spanish, of course!)

We had a great time and we would like to thank Mrs Ellis, Mrs Jones and Dr Nwahba for all of their help.

Food In Focus Spanish Style 2015

MFL Vocabulathon

ks3 vocubulathon house totalsStudents in Y7-9 have been competing in the MFL Vocabulathon house competition, in which they were tested on 50 words studied this year in their respective foreign language(s).

Winners from each class received 3 house points, 2 points for second place, and 1 point for third place.

Congratulations to the winners and all students who took the competition seriously and tried their hardest.

ks3 vocubulathon winners

The Final Return Of The Gugelhupf

The last installment in the culinary trilogy – A bilingual production: MFL and Food Technology

Marmakuchen cakeUnd gerade wenn du denkst, dass es sicher ist wieder in die Küche einzutreten….And just when you thought it was safe to enter the kitchen…   Gugelhupf  3…in einem 9ten Jahrgang Klassenzimmer in der Nähe von dir!…coming to a Year 9 classroom near you! Die Schüler aus Klasse 9 wollten alles auf einmal haben! The students from Year 9: They had their cake and ate it!

Wie man einen traditionellen deutschen Schokoladenmarmorkuchen bäckt in einer Gugelhupfform bäckt.  How to bake a traditional German chocolate marble cake in a Gugelhupf baking tin.

uk flag

Many thanks again to Mrs Jones and her team for making this possible!

welsh flag

Diolch yn fawr unwaith eto i Mrs Jones a’i thîm am wneud hyn yn bosibl!

german flag

Vielen Dank nochmals an Frau Jones und ihr Team, die das möglich gemacht haben!


3rd Gugelhupf.mov from Simon Balle on Vimeo.