Head of Department: Mrs C Strange

Head of French, Ms C Parkin; Head of German, Ms C Savova; and Head of Spanish, Miss B Vazquez.

Examination Board: Edexcel

Study of languages gives students a degree of academic rigour and a better understanding of a wide range of current topics and cultures. It widens horizons and imbues a greater tolerance towards different ways of life and attitudes.

As at GCSE, the emphasis of the course is on acquiring excellent communication skills. Speaking and listening are as important as reading and writing and the main difference lies in the breadth and depth of knowledge expected and the flexibility with which this knowledge can be used.

Course Content
  • Youth culture and concerns
  • Lifestyle, health and fitness
  • Travel, tourism, environment and culture
  • Education and employment
  • Customs, traditions, beliefs and religions
  • National and international events
  • Literature and the arts

As well as using a variety of recommended textbooks, we also employ a wide range of up-to-date material from newspapers, magazines, the internet, TV, radio and film. All four skills are constantly practised and there is great emphasis on grammatical accuracy and acquiring a wide vocabulary.

Girls are expected to read around the subject and to keep abreast of current affairs at home and abroad. The formation of individual opinions and the discussion of these are a key part of the course. Each girl has an individual lesson with the language assistant every week during which, in addition to general conversation, chosen topics for Units 1 and 3 are prepared and practised.

We organise where possible brief cultural visits to the target language countries during the Autumn term of Year 12 (Rouen, Berlin, Barcelona). These not only provide an insight into modern France, Germany and Spain but also give a great deal of historical background to the course.

It is also an opportunity for girls to gel as a group. Girls are encouraged to undertake a week of work experience abroad through the company Halsbury during October or February half terms, or at Easter.

Scheme of Assessment (Modular)
AS  Unit 1

Spoken expression and response in target language

8-10 mins 30% of AS
  Unit 2  Understanding and written response in target language 2 ½ hours  70% of AS
  Unit 3  Understanding and spoken response in target language                 11-13 minutes 35% of A2
  Unit 4 

Research, understanding and written response in target language

2 ½ hours  65% of A2

 Orals are conducted in school by teaching staff but all units are externally marked.