The Language department’s aim is to help students of all abilities to use language effectively for the purpose of practical communication and in so doing to develop self-confidence and an awareness of how language works. We encourage students to gain insights into the culture and civilisation of other countries. We hope this will help develop positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages. We aim to create a feeling of enjoyment and achievement in all students and help them acquire skills and language necessary for further study, whether it is for leisure or work.
The department has nine members of staff and is located in the West Wing. We have six dedicated language teaching rooms, each with interactive SmartBoard and audio facilities. We also have access to Notebooks with internet connectivity and are well resourced with dictionaries, text books, magazines and mini-whiteboards.
Key Stage 3
The year 7 course covers the following topic areas: talking about yourself, friends and family, school, hobbies, pets, food and drink, where you live and clothes. There are two main assessments, one around Christmas/New Year and the other at the end of the year. These assessments use GCSE-style questions to help prepare students for the demands of public examinations.
The year 8 course covers the following topic areas: holidays, sports, where I live, daily routine, volunteering and famous French people. There are two main assessments, one around Christmas/New Year and the other at the end of the year. These assessments use GCSE-style questions to help prepare students for the demands of public examinations.
The year 9 course covers the following topic areas: healthy living, family and relationships, going out, planning a trip, house and home, jobs and ambitions. There are two main assessments, one around Christmas/New Year and the other at the end of the year. These assessments use GCSE-style questions to help prepare students for the demands of public examinations.
Key Stage 4
The year 10 course prepares students for the AQA GCSE examination. Topics covered this year include: me, my family and friends, technology in everyday life, free-time activities, customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities, home, town, neighbourhood and region and social issues. The assessment takes place in the year 10 exam period and involves a past GCSE examination.
Year 11 completes the AQA course and covers the following topics: global issues, travel and tourism, my studies, life at school/college, education post-16 and jobs, career choices and ambitions. There is a mock examination in January and the final examinations take place in May/June.
Key Stage 5
Year 12 complete year one of the A Level course for AQA and cover the following topics: the changing nature of family, the “cyber-society”, the place of voluntary work, French heritage, francophone music, Francophone cinema. Students will also start the study “L’Etranger” by Albert Camus. There is a mock examination in April and regular end of unit tests.
Year 13 complete year two of the A Level course for AQA and cover the following topics: positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised, how criminals are treated, teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment, demonstration and strikes - who holds the power, politics and immigration. Students will finish the study “L’Etranger” by Albert Camus and a French film, “La Haine” by Mathieu Kassovitz. Students will also undertake an Individual Research Project on a theme of their choice linked to the French Speaking world in preparation for their oral examination. There are two main assessments, in September and February. The final examination takes place in May/June.
Outside the Classroom
There are many opportunities to experience languages first-hand. In Year 8 there is a 4/5 day trip to France or Germany. There are long-established exchanges with schools in France and Germany and we have recently offered sixth form study visits to Spain. We run an annual language enrichment event with Manchester Metropolitan University, which uses language tasters and cultural activities in less widely taught languages to encourage the learning of languages generally. There are also revision or study trips to higher education institutions whenever possible.