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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.  

French and Spanish

Key Stage 3: Years 7 - 9

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.

Key Stage 4: GCSE - Years 10 and 11

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 Kerboodle (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.   



Key Stage 3: Years 7 - 9

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.

Key Stage 4: GCSE – Years 10 and 11

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.