Welcome to the Languages Department

Welcome to the Languages Department

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”


Knowing a modern foreign language is the perfect way to meet new people, to immerse yourself in new cultures and to make a difference to who you are. It develops self-confidence, makes you stand out from the crowd and enables you to work anywhere in the world. It also deepens your understanding of your own language.                                                                                                  To know a modern foreign language is an impressive achievement which demonstrates commitment, tenacity and independence.


  • S Cox (Head of Languages)
  • A. McKernan 

Curriculum Aims

  • Develop in students the ability to understand spoken and written French/Spanish
  • Develop in students the ability to communicate in spoken and written


  • Foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world
  • Promote among students an awareness and appreciation of other countries,

   cultures and languages

  • Enable students to experience success and develop in them a positive attitude to learning
  • Provide a variety of learning opportunities
  • Enable students to understand themselves as a learner who are motivated, creative and independent. Develop in students strategies to learn, recall and manipulate language

Links to SMSC:

Students learn about the different ways the world has shaped us, especially with reference to French and Spanish speaking countries Students learn about different aspects of culture, religion, political implications and how these impact on society. We try to teach students that there are different but equally valid ways of approaching life.

Links to British Values including Prevent duty:

The study of languages covers all aspects of our British values, which are constantly referred to when analysing the values of French and Spanish speaking countries.

Key Stage 3

Course title: KS3 Modern Languages (Spanish – Years 7 and 8)

Course Overview: 

All students learn Spanish in Years 7 and 8. There are two lessons per week. The course uses the Mira 1 and Mira 2 textbooks.

Year 7 topics:

  • Unit 1 Hello – Basic information about me                                                                                                        
  • Unit 2 School – Subjects, In the Classroom, My Teachers, Opinions                                                       
  • Unit 3 My Family – Describing myself, my family and my pets                                                                          
  • Unit 4 My House – Where I live and what I do at home                                                                                       
  • Unit 5 My Free Time – Hobbies, sports, opinions and future plans

Year 8 topics:     

  • Unit 1 The Town – Places, Weather and Future Plans
  • Unit 2 Routines – Describing my day              
  • Unit 3 Holidays – Holiday Destinations and a past holiday                                      
  • Unit 4 Food and Drink – Mealtimes, Eating Out, Shopping
  • Unit 5 Barcelona – Being a tourist in Barcelona

Key Stage 4

Course title: GCSE French or GCSE Spanish

Course Overview:

GCSE MFL is an option subject. In 2019-20, there is one Spanish group in Year 11, one Spanish group in Year 9 and one French group in Year 10.

Students follow the AQA GCSE course using either the AQA Viva textbook or the AQA GCSE French textbook.

In Year 9, there are 2 lessons per week. In Year 10 and 11 there are 3 lessons per week. Students are expected to complete at least one hour of homework per week.

Key Areas of Study:

  • Theme 1 - Identity and Culture
  • Theme 2 – Local, national, international and global areas of interest.
  • Theme 3 – Current and future study and employment


The AQA GCSE examinations take place at the end of Year 11. Each paper is 25% of the final mark.

  • Unit 1: Listening
  • Unit 2: Speaking
  • Unit 3: Reading
  • Unit 4: Writing

Progression to:  A level French or A level Spanish

Further Information

Why learn a modern language?

Learning a modern language provides the perfect opportunity for students to develop the skills needed for 21st century life. As our world becomes more interconnected it is essential to be able to communicate well with others and to demonstrate empathy for others. These skills underpin the learning of a modern language.

Where does a modern language qualification get you?

Whatever students decide to do as a career, it is possible that they will one day find themselves working for a multi-national company or firm with connections abroad, or even just using the language while on holiday.  Employers want people with skills such as engineering, law and chemistry who can speak a language too!  Many companies give preference to applicants with suitable language skills.

Teaching and Learning

A variety of teaching strategies are used to engage students through the four skill areas of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.  Students take part in group work, co-operative learning, surveys, pair-work, drama, singing, interactive games and quizzes.  Both our language rooms are equipped with an inter-active white board. Learning a modern language is about fun, enjoyment and success for all.

Enrichment Activities

Additional sessions after school are available each week to reinforce student learning or to extend and deepen student knowledge.

Trips and Visits

In recent years there have been successful trips to Cantabria, Barcelona, Normandy and Strasbourg. These are both rewarding and memorable trips which enable students to really experience the language.


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