Expectation & Excellence
established 1546



“The limits of my language are the limits of my world” (Wittgenstein)

We believe that learning and practising a foreign language is not only very satisfying in itself, but once you have it, linguistic power opens up a whole world of opportunities and experiences for you. Travel really does expand your mind and if you can visit the country and communicate with people in their own language, you'll not only encounter more friendliness and courtesy, but you also end up with a far greater understanding of other countries. Ultimately, we aim for you not only to become functional, successful linguists, but to relish a real interest and enthusiasm for other cultures. We want no Colyton student to discover that their world is limited by their language.

- Mr Banks, Head of MFL / Head of Careers Education & Guidance



Mr Banks Head of MFL / Head of Careers Education & Guidance
Mr Banks teaches French and German and is also responsible for Careers Education & Guidance.

Mrs Hughes Second in Department / Teacher of French & German
Mrs Hughes joined the department in January 2014, having taught for many years in Somerset. In addition she has worked in France and Germany. Interests include playing the violin with much enthusiasm (though not terribly well) and bridge. 

Mrs Armour MFL Teacher

Mrs Bentall Part-time teacher of German

Mrs O’Shea Teacher of French
Mrs O’Shea joined the department in 2008, as a part-time member of staff. She is a native French speaker and has lived in England since 1989. Mrs O’Shea teaches French throughout the Key Stages and has taken part in the French exchange which the school offers to students in Years 8 and 9. Mrs O’Shea also speaks Spanish and runs a Spanish club most years. She is also a fully qualified fitness instructor and covers PE lessons when required. She is currently running a Fitness Club for Year 10 girls.

Language Assistants - Mrs Smith (French); Mrs Bentall (German)


Acquiring a language is not only an intellectual exercise: it's also practical and we try to ensure that almost all lessons have some practical activity. We’re always trying out games and communicative exercises so that you get the skills and confidence as well as the knowledge to make you a successful, functioning linguist. We try to strike the right balance between listening, reading, speaking and writing over a sequence of lessons and we love to use lots of different technology. Now that digital sound files are accessible to almost everybody, we are increasingly encouraging students to complete listening tasks on their own MP3 players or computers. In addition, every class enjoys at least one lesson per fortnight in the language laboratory, when you can practise speaking and listening using headphones and therefore controlling recordings to suit your needs.

At present we offer exchanges to students in Years 8, 9 and 12, to both France and Germany. Younger students can go to Villefranche-sur-Saône (north of Lyon) or Eckental (near Nuremburg). Sixth Form students can complete work experience in Brittany or Bavaria. We have been working with these host schools for many years and we love taking groups to these exciting parts of the continent. Trips abroad to Europe offer you opportunities for realistic communication. They also help you gain an accurate view of the country and people, because so often we have to overcome stereotypes of foreign places and peoples. In lessons we try to paint an accurate picture in your mind, but if you can experience the real thing, that is, the linguistic arena where the language is spoken, then you can be in a position to make your own judgement with confidence.

Whenever it is practical, we teach in the foreign language. You may occasionally find it necessary to concentrate really hard to understand but have no fear, this is part of the learning process: it develops your comprehension and concentration so that the sounds can be recognised later in the exam or 'in the field'. Words are the most powerful tools we have and all Colyton students can become master craftsman in their use, even well beyond national borders.