All students have the opportunity to learn French and Spanish in Years 7-9. They are then highly encouraged to take one or both languages at GCSE as an options subject. We also have a thriving home languages department where students are encouraged and supported to take qualifications in their home language.
We believe that the ability to communicate in a foreign language not only makes travelling abroad far more enjoyable but also opens up a whole host of doors and rewarding experiences to a young person including the excitement of discovering a new culture.
“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
In the Modern Foreign Languages department students are encouraged to develop their linguistic fluency through a varied curriculum that focuses on both the language itself as well as its target cultures in equal measures.
Key Stage 4
We recommend that all pupils take a GCSE in a foreign language. It is also possible to take two language GCSEs; students who do this really benefit from the similarity of the courses and always do very well.
Over the course, students will cover a variety of topics linked to them and their wider global community. All four skills are based around the following three themes: identity and culture, local and global areas of interest, current and future study and employment. Within these students will have the opportunity to branch out to debates of topics that are of genuine interest to them. The course structures for French and Spanish GCSE are identical and focus on developing reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. The course is linear with all exams taking place at the end of Year 11 and there is an equal weighting of all four skills (25%) and students must be entered for the same tier (higher or foundation) for all. The reading and listening exams give students the opportunity to discover and reflect on extracts of authentic materials and we are pleased to see that translation has become a key element of the written paper. With increased emphasis on spontaneous speech and interaction, our aim is to enable students of all abilities to develop their language skills to their full potential, equipping them with the knowledge to communicate in a variety of contexts with confidence.
Trips, Visits and Exchanges
We believe that it is important to see how foreign languages can be put to use in authentic situations. This allows a student of a language to really see the progress they are making and adds relevance to their studies. For this reason, we offer a wide range of trips and visits for both languages, from exchange programmes and residential trips to day trips to many of the facilities that London already has to offer. We now run exchanges to both Strasbourg in France and Córdoba in Spain.
Exam Board: AQA
Final Grade – Grades 1-9
Structure of Assessment
25% Paper 1 – Listening exam
25% Paper 2 – Speaking exam (role-play & general conversation)
25% Paper 3 – Reading exam (including short translation)
25% Paper 4 – Written exam (including short translation)
Key Stage 5