The Languages Department offers French, German and Spanish as taught GCSEs.
We believe that by studying the language and culture of different countries and regions that we not only learn about our own and become more literate users of English, but they we become able to critique our own culture and engage in active debate about cultural and societal issues.
The Languages Department ensures that rigorous study and assessment is firmly embedded to enable students to access assessments with confidence. Our teachers use a range of techniques to build the confidence of learners to help produce competent linguists.
We also run numerous trips abroad, for example the annual Christmas market trip to Cologne, our trips to Berlin, Lille, Madrid and Paris. The Department exploits the myriad opportunities Central London has to offer and we often visit the Institut Français, the BFI and other cultural institutions to enrich the learning experiences of our students.
KEY STAGE 3
Students study topics which are relevant and current, for example the Day of the Dead in Spanish and Bastille Day in French. Students will be able to express themselves with confidence and use three different time frames by the end of Key Stage Three, which ensures they are equipped with the necessary skills for Key Stage 4.
We use a range of resources to ensure students are engaged with language learning and exploit the interactive technology we are fortunate to have in school.
Students learn vocabulary online for homework as we are sure this will best prepare them for the demands of the curriculum. Students sometimes complete extended reading tasks for homework to challenge them outside of the classroom.
In Year 8, students also follow a literature unit, whereby students study a range of short stories in the Target Language and begin to analyse these texts.
KEY STAGE 4
At KS4, students follow the AQA GCSE course and continue to develop the skills learned at KS3.
At the end of Year 11, students take a speaking examination, for which they prepare over the course of Year 11, a written examination, a listening examination and a reading examination. Each examination constitutes 25% of the final GCSE grade. Students will be able to discuss a range of issues, including Travel and Tourism, Environmental Issues, Social Issues and the World of Work.
In KS4, students’ homework is a combination of vocabulary learning, the use of GCSE Pod, SAM learning and other online platforms, as well as specific targeted examination practice. Students will have the opportunity to develop their languages-specific revision skills in class to support their revision at home.
KEY STAGE 5
KS5 sees a development of the linguistic skills and cultural awareness founded at KS3 and KS4. Students have the opportunity to discuss issues in contemporary society of the languages in which their chosen language is spoken. The skills developed at KS5 help prepare students for study in Higher Education, as we work to break down complex texts and debate cultural, societal and moral issues in the target language.
KS5 also affords the opportunity to study a literary text (currently we study Camus’ L’Étranger) and a film (Kasowitz’s La Haine), which allows students to develop their analytical skills and deepen their understanding of French culture.
In German, we study Goodbye Lenin! We study the historical and social context on the film and in Spanish in Year 12, we study Pan’s Labyrinth and look at Franco’s regime.
The examinations are taken at the end of Year 13.