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Modern & Classical Languages

We enable students to develop language skills to their full potential and we recognize language learning not just as a highly academic subject but also a life skill that opens up many opportunities for students. Students have three hours a week of language lessons in Y7, with one hour each of French, Spanish and Latin. In Y8 & Y9 students continue with two of these languages, with two hours of lessons per week for each language. 

All girls study at least one modern language to GCSE and have the option of taking Latin as well. Students have five 1 hour lessons a fortnight in each language in Y10, and four per fortnight in Y11. All three languages are offered at A Level. Students are taught by specialist language teachers for 4 hours per week. In the case of Modern Languages, an additional lesson per week is conducted by one of the two Foreign Language Assistants.  

Languages Curriculum Intent

The Language Department intends to provide all students with a linguistic, creative and cultural language experience in all three Languages. In the globalised world which we live in, we help all students to recognise how the linguistic skills which they develop in language learning are essential for future employment. We develop our students to appreciate a sense of cultural pluralism and an understanding of other cultures.

The department is made up of enthusiastic and committed team of modern and ancient linguists who want their students to progress in all the skill areas through a series of interactive and engaging lessons and experiences. We recognise these as five key areas (in line with the new GCSE); listening, reading, speaking, translation and writing. Students take charge of their progress in all their skills through their personalised progress trackers which they have in their departmental made “Handbooks”. They track their progress on our 1-9 Grade descriptions.

At our school, language lessons incorporate cultural and creative projects, grammar and translation activities, vocabulary learning games as well as activities, which develop the

five skills to enable students to achieve their potential and become confident independent young linguists. Our students enjoy working in groups, pairs and independently, within the classroom and in ICT suites. There is a positive learning environment in our classes, whereby students willingly step out of their comfort zone and actively take part in lessons.

In Year 7, students study all three Languages; French, Spanish and Latin and students then have the option to continue with two of these throughout Year 8 and 9. At Key Stage 4 all students study a Modern Language, and we encourage our remarkable learners to study 2 Languages. At both Key Stages, students follow the Studio course in French, The Viva Course in Spanish and the CLC course in Latin. At GCSE, students will sit all of their exams at the end of year 11 with the AQA exam board in French and Spanish and the OCR board in Latin. At both Key Stages, students use Active Learn or CLC online, an online resource for students to access to reinforce their learning, complete set homework and revise at their comfort.

Years 7,8 & 9 - French and Spanish 

Year 7 and Year 8 – Students develop their language learning through enjoying a wide variety of teaching techniques.  Regular use of group work and carefully selected materials ensure that language learning is stimulating and challenging.  Students enjoy regular access to the Digital Language Lab and use of the Virtual Learning Environment and are encouraged to use their languages creatively and develop independent learning skills.  Students are also encouraged to develop cultural knowledge of the countries where the languages and reflect on their own lifestyle.  

Year 9 – Students develop greater independence and are encouraged to give and justify opinions and make links with other subjects.  They become confident at using a wide range of tenses and vocabulary.  Students develop the skills needed to succeed at GCSE and become confident language learners. 

Their progress is tracked throughout KS3 against the GCSE levels so that students are rewarded for their progress and are well prepared for further study.

Years 7,8 &9 - Latin 

Student’s progress through the Cambridge Latin Course, a series of text books which presents Latin through engaging stories and exercises.  This includes the use of the Cambridge Latin Course e-learning program providing activities and videos. Added to this, the Latin department has developed a wealth of original resources to ensure that students have fun when learning the language, but that they have a thorough understanding of Latin grammar.  Students are regularly assessed on Latin vocabulary, grammar and their ability to translate short stories from Latin to English and to answer comprehension questions in English on Latin stories.

In the summer term, all Year 7 students take part in a Latin Drama competition, where each tutor group puts on a performance of a Latin story.  This enables students to appreciate Latin as the Romans would have heard it, as well as developing team working skills.

At the end of Year 9, those students who have decided not to continue Latin to GCSE, have the option of taking the WJEC Level 1 Latin exam, so that they have a qualification to show for their three years of Latin study.

Years 10 and 11 - GCSE French and Spanish

Students have regular contact with the Foreign Language Assistant to develop their Speaking skills and help them to prepare for the oral part of the GCSE exam. We currently follow AQA for Modern Languages.

The AQA text book is used extensively in lessons and each student is allocated a unique password to access all the interactive online material to accompany the book.  Students are normally required to access Pearson Active learn (AQA resource website) to complete homework tasks.

There is an opportunity for students to visit Spain and France in Y10 and further develop their linguistic ability and cultural knowledge.  In both Spain and France they stay with families in small groups and attend a language school as well as doing cultural activities. These trips are very popular.  

Years 10 and 11 - GCSE Latin 

We follow the OCR Latin specification, which provides students with an opportunity to study and appreciate Latin verse and prose literature in the original, as well as gaining a strong grasp of this root language.

Students build on the vocabulary and grammar knowledge gained in Key Stage 3. They complete Cambridge Latin Course Book 3, study parts of Book 4, then continue with a variety of resources to complete the required levels of language skills. The literature set texts are studied in the Summer Term of Year 10 and throughout Year 11.

Educational Visits

The Languages Faculty runs educational visits to the parent countries in order to support and extend classroom learning.

  • Year 10 - Homestay to France and Spain
  • Year 10 - 13 biennial Latin Trip to Italy to visit Rome, Pompeii, Vesuvius & Herculaneum
  • Y12-13 French and Spanish language school courses and work placements are facilitated

Languages Prefects

Our Team of Language prefects plays a key role in school. They help to run our Language Support Workshop at lunchtimes where younger students can receive support to complement their work in lessons. In addition, they assist in our Open Evenings as guides and helpers.