French and Spanish are both taught from Year 7 to Year 9. Pupils then choose at least one language to study to GCSE. We may be able to offer either language as a core subject if there is sufficient demand. Languages are taught in mixed ability sets up to GCSE. Groups are then split according to ability where there is more than one class. Languages are increasingly popular with students at all levels of ability and the department has produced some very impressive results in recent public examinations.
Key Stage 3: Years 7-9
Pupils cover the topics of personal introductions, home life, school life, free time activities, food and shopping. A variety of texts and ICT equipment are used and lessons include a mixture of whole class teaching, group work and independent learning. We build on all four language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing. There is always a busy working atmosphere with a range of activities, supporting the learning requirements of each pupil. Pupils are encouraged to participate actively in lessons by responding using verbal and non-verbal methods, explaining and justifying their answers. Pupils begin to cover GCSE material in Year 9 to help prepare for their GCSE language courses.
Key Stage 4: GCSE
Students are prepared for the GCSE AQA Syllabus. Most students are entered for the Higher Tier syllabus, although decisions about level of entry are not finalised until January of Year 11. Pupils are assessed on all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in a final paper. Students also spend time with our language assistants.
Key Stage 5: A Level
Students are prepared for the AQA units. At AS level, Students cover the topics of Traditional and modern family values, Cyberspace, Gender equality, The influence of idols, Regional identity and Cultural heritage. They also study a film for French and a play for Spanish. At A level, they cover the topics of Multiculturalism and Aspects of political life. They study a book for French and a film for Spanish and in both subjects, students prepare an Individual Research Project as part of their oral examination. Students also have individual sessions with our language assistants.
Students have the opportunity to travel abroad for a cultural tour of Paris or Barcelona and to attend topic days for the A level course. We are currently investigating further residential trips and travelling theatre groups.