The Royal Belfast Academical Institution

Modern & Foreign Languages

Modern Languages Staff

Ms P Miller: Spanish/French Head of Department

Mrs M Matchett German/French

Mr D Wilson French/Spanish

Miss N Cosgrove French/Spanish/German

Mrs L Tomb Spanish/ French

Mrs S McGonigle French/Spanish

Teaching and Learning

The Modern Languages Department is a forward thinking and inclusive one where all ability levels in languages are welcomed and progressed. Spanish, French and German are all taught from Key Stages 3 to 5. Spanish is the core language in Year 8 and boys can choose French or German to complement their Spanish in Years 9 and 10, thereby granting all pupils the opportunity to make an informed choice for GCSE. The CCEA specifications are followed at both GCSE and A Level in all three languages.

There are currently three full-time members of the Department and three part-time teachers. In addition, three native speakers assist with Advanced Level conversation classes in Spanish, French and German. There are six classrooms situated in two corridors, one above the other. All rooms are currently equipped with Interactive Whiteboards and audio equipment. A Departmental Resources Room is located on the upper floor.

Thanks to Mrs McGonigle, we enjoy frequent communication and trips with our partner school in France, Collège du Bas Chablais, This is a fantastic opportunity for our boys to learn first-hand from and alongside French young people.

Inst is also delighted to have been re-accredited with the highly prestigious International School’s Award from the British Council which recognises the school’s contribution to global education, with pupil learning at its core. Activities which are woven into the tapestry of the award include links with schools in Buenos Aires, Argentina and IES Río Nora, Spain as well as trips to Berlin, Barcelona, the Cern Institute in Switzerland and Japan. The international element of the school is highly valued and provides a platform for lifelong skills development for our boys, providing them with unique and sought after opportunities.


At Key Stage 3 pupils follow the ¡Viva! Textbook and online material in Spanish covering topics which include personal description, free time, school, family and friends and town. In French, we use Dynamo and Stimmt in German. These course books are supplemented by the universally celebrated interactive language websites ¡Oye!, Zut!, Gut! and Linguascope. The boys are actively encouraged to use these websites in and outside school which allows them to develop their ICT skills in tandem with consolidating their language knowledge. Online homework is also a key feature of Key Stage 3.


Pupils can also opt to study either Spanish, French or German for GCSE. Pupils follow the CCEA specification in all three languages. The MFL GCSE courses encourage boys to broaden their linguistic knowledge within the four skill areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. > GCSE > Specification > GCSE > Specification > GCSE > Specification


Students may choose to study two of either French, Spanish or German. The smaller class sizes and contact with the languages assistant allows pupils to further develop their language skills in a friendlier and more relaxed setting. By the end of the A2 course pupils will have developed considerable linguistic confidence and fluency, dealing with a range of topical issues, detailed grammar points and a literature text in the target language. > GCE (from 2016) > Specification > GCE (from 2016) > Specification > GCE (from 2016) > Specification

Examination highlights Summer 2020

AS & A2 Spanish 100% A - C

GCSE French 25% of grades were

A2 German 100% A*- A


We are lucky to have had Sports Lawyer and Past Pupil, Andrew Nixon from Sheridans Law Firm in London return to the school in order to talk to the boys about his career using Modern Languages and where this has taken him. Andrew’s practice focuses principally on non-contentious and contentious commercial and regulatory matters, including rights exploitation and protection, governance, arbitration and dispute resolution. Andrew has a particular interest in sports technology, digital media, sports data, and E-sports.

Career Opportunities

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

28 2021
CDG A Level standardisation and moderation
06 2021
GCSE CDG moderation & standardisation
10 2021
Year 10 Exams
10 2021
Year 11 Study Leave
College Square East, Belfast, Co. Antrim, BT1 6DL
Tel: 028 90 240461
© 2021 The Royal Belfast Academical Institution