Why Study Languages?

  • English is not enough
  • A little language can make a lot of difference
  • Some companies pay their employees up to 20% more for a good language qualification
  • Maximum career prospects – You will be in demand!
  • Languages are a skill which can enhance your chosen career path
  • Enjoyment!  Languages improve the quality of your life
  • Languages enable you to enjoy new cultures
  • You will have the opportunity to travel and visit foreign countries
  • You will meet lots of new people from different countries
  • Languages provide enriching experiences



Students are taught in mixed ability groups in KS3 and most receive 5 hours of either French or German a fortnight. Our transition phase focuses on different learning techniques and learning styles. Students study links between languages, how to learn a language and key vocabulary.  They also explore poetry, stories, magazine articles and are encouraged to read for context.  In our promotion of oracy and spontaneity, students use Group Talk to express opinions, agree or disagree, and give reasons for their thoughts. As a result, MFL lessons are highly engaging and interactive, with teaching resources now predominantly web-based, but retaining more traditional mediums where appropriate.


All students are entered for GCSE French or German and receive 5 hours MFL teaching per fortnight.  Currently, students in Years 9 and 10 have the opportunity to study GCSE Spanish. Spanish is delivered within the curriculum timetable and is an option subject that students choose at the end of Year 8.  Again, materials are largely web-based enabling engaging, interactive lessons and designed to support the Scheme of Learning for the reformed GCSE under the AQA exam board.


Students studying French, German or Spanish at KS5 receive 5 lessons per week and follow the AQA course. We also appoint Foreign Language Assistants and interns who work with students to develop their speaking skills each week. Students also benefit from opportunities to visit foreign countries through exchanges and trips, thus enjoying studying abroad and experiencing the culture of the target language country.

Mission Statement

Modern Foreign Languages

Hele’s has a strong international ethos and our mission is to promote intercultural understanding, whilst equipping our language learners with the skills necessary to become global citizens and lifelong learners.

The MFL Department at Hele’s is housed in its own corridor, with 5 teaching rooms, 2 seminar rooms and 2 ICT suites.

Every fortnight, Y7 students take part in a MFL club where they spend time enjoying learning about languages and culture. We listen to songs, play games, complete quizzes and more.

We also run a Language Leaders programme where students in Year 9 and 10 lead events such as teaching in primary schools, teaching at KS3 and running extra-curricular clubs. These students receive awards as a recognition for their hard work and commitment to language learning.

German Exchange 2017

Hele’s School students and staff spent a week in Germany over the Half Term break, forging new friendships with students from the Marienschule in Limburg an der Lahn, a beautiful town in Hesse, not too far from Frankfurt. Students from Years 10 and 11 who are studying GSCE German were hosted in German families and experienced first-hand what life is like for young people in Germany today. The first culture shock was a 7:30 start in school on our first day – for many, this meant leaving the house just after 6:30 to get the bus/ train into the town!! On the other hand the 1 o’clock finish was appreciated, and our students realised just how much homework can be done when you have the whole afternoon to do it. During the afternoons we spent time with families and many students got involved with sporting activities, musical events or learnt new board games to overcome any language barriers. As confidence grew students soon picked up new words and phrases and were delighted to show these off to accompanying staff.
Hele’s students visited Schloss Freudenberg in Wiesbaden, and the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz with their partners and teachers, as well as numerous other local towns and attractions with their host families. Frankfurt, Marburg, Koblenz and Cologne were popular locations and a snowy start to the weekend gave an added frisson of excitement to the trip.
We welcomed our German partners back to Hele’s immediately after the Easter weekend, where they experienced life in a busy secondary school and no doubt enjoyed some traditional family life. I know they were looking forward to seeing our beautiful city, and tasting fish and chips!

Accreditations Copyright © 2012 - Heles School. All rights reserved. Hele's School is part of Westcountry Schools Trust. Registered address: Harford Road, Ivybridge, Devon PL21 0AJ. A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales. Company number: 07398467.
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