“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith
Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Pupils learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.
Learning languages gives pupils opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. They explore the similarities and differences between other languages and English and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. The development of communication skills, together with understanding of the structure of language, lay the foundations for future study of other languages and support the development of literacy skills in a pupil’s own language.
Year 7 French
Pupils cover topics which include personal details, family and friends, where you live, finding your way about town, daily routine and leisure. Pupils aim to understand short texts and use simple sentences. They are introduced to the present tense.
Year 8 French
Pupils cover topics which include families, jobs, the weather, free time and going out, shops and shopping, food and eating out. Pupils aim to understand texts of increasing length and to talk and write in more complex sentences and short paragraphs. They are introduced to the past tense.
Pupils also begin Spanish as a second language. The amount of time allocated and the level of work are dependent upon progress in French and English in Year 7.
Year 9 French
Pupils cover topics which include holidays and travel, money, future plans, health and healthy lifestyles. Pupils tackle a range of texts in a variety of styles and look to extend their writing and speaking work. They use the present, past and future tenses.
The Spanish course continues as in Year 8.
Years 10 and 11
French and Spanish GCSE are offered using the Edexcel exam board syllabus. Both courses offer pupils the opportunity to use and manipulate the language, as well as learning about the culture and the customs in the French and Spanish speaking world, by practising the four main skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. Each of these skills is assessed by an exam at the end of the course – there is no longer any Controlled Assessment.
The exams are as follows:
Listening – 35/45 minutes
Speaking – 7-12 minutes
Reading – 45min/1 hour
Writing – 1h 10 min/1h 20 min.
All these exams are worth 25% of the whole course.
The exams are based on the five main themes: Identity and Culture; Local area, Holiday and Travel; School; Future aspirations, Study and Work; International and Global dimension.
Regular revision of grammar structures and vocabulary will be of great benefit to pupils studying GCSE French and Spanish.