At Gartree High School pupils have two language lessons a week in Year 7 and three lessons a week in Years 8 to 11.

The first language taught is French, but in Year 8 pupils have a short Spanish taster course in the spring term. Following this course, pupils can opt to study Spanish from Y9 to GCSE or to continue with French up to GCSE.

Language lessons give pupils an opportunity to understand and use French and Spanish across a wide range of topics. Pupils regularly work on developing their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. We also encourage pupils to gain an understanding of the differences and similarities between languages and make links to the English curriculum.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 students start with an introductory module focusing on key grammatical concepts. They understand and manipulate sentences across a range of topics, using a range of pronouns and verbs, negative sentences and adjectives, they look at how to form the present tense, they begin to understand that the tense of a sentence can change and learn how to form the future tense. The topics covered are Personal Information, Leisure Activities, Weather, Food, My House, Holidays, and Places in Town and Directions.

In Year 8 many students begin to produce pieces of work of more complexity, length and detail. The past tense is introduced and the future tense is revised. The topics covered are Daily Routine, the School Day, Clothing, Health, and Food and Shopping, Festivals and Global and Social Issues. In the spring term students have a taster course of Spanish.

In Year 9 at Gartree students begin work towards GCSE. The AQA specification is used for GCSE languages. Students follow the 3 year scheme of work, starting in Year 9. In Year 9 students studying French and Spanish will cover topics on Me, my family and friends, relationships with family and friends; Home, town, neighbourhood and region; My studies; Free-time activities, music, cinema and TV, food and eating out, sport; and Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities.

Key Stage 4: GCSE

Two subjects are offered at KS4: French and Spanish


How the course is assessed: 75% final examination; 25% teacher-assessed speaking task (externally moderated)

Exam Board: AQA French 8658 and Spanish 8698

Course overview: The courses consist of three broad themes: Identity and Culture; Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest; Current and Future Study and Employment. Within these themes, the courses cover a variety of topics including Technology in Everyday Life, Customs and Festivals in French and Spanish-speaking countries and communities, The Environment and Jobs, Career Choices and Ambitions. In exploring these topics students will develop their ability in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), as well as gaining a fuller understanding of the world around them.

You can expect to:

* Develop an understanding of your chosen country and culture through the use of authentic materials including newspaper articles, poems and film.

* Improve your spoken communication, confidence and public speaking skills in your chosen language.

* Explore a wide range of topics including new technologies, social and global issues and future career choices and ambitions.

* Develop problem-solving strategies.

* Enhance your knowledge of how a language is structured.

Where does it lead?

Studying a modern foreign language will enable students to improve their communication skills and confidence, as well as allowing them to express their ideas, interests and opinions to speakers of their chosen language. It will deepen their understanding of how languages work, will stimulate their cultural knowledge and can enhance their understanding of many other subjects including English, Music, Mathematics and ICT.

Language study adds an international dimension to their choice of GCSE subjects, and is valued by future employers and higher education providers alike.

Other useful information

Achieving proficiency in a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE requires a commitment to independent study and regular revision. You can make use of a range of online resources as well as materials available in school to help you progress.