Modern Foreign Languages

In the Modern Foreign Languages department we firmly believe that learning another language enriches your life and can open many doors in the future. We aim to give pupils the opportunity to learn at least two foreign languages during their education at St. Edward’s. At present we offer French, German and Spanish to GCSE and French and Spanish to A level.

Linguistic competence is important, as is an understanding of different cultures. We try to bring languages to life by giving the opportunity to spend time in a country in which the language is spoken and to this end we offer excursions, exchanges and study trips to France, Germany and Spain. Whenever possible we attend A Level Study Days and go on theatre and cinema trips. In June we celebrate a Day of Languages and offer other enrichment activities such as a Year 9 European Lunch, Year 8 Sandwich Surprise and Modern Language Poetry Recitation competitions as well as GCSE revision classes and an annual German Christmas Market. We also encourage pupils to take an interest in languages which are not on the curriculum and offer lunchtime Key Stage 3 Italian and German clubs.

We are a well-qualified and well-resourced department using both traditional and modern methods of teaching. We have three language assistants who contribute to the achievement of excellent levels of oral competence in all languages. We have achieved very successful public examination results in recent years – see results page for full details.

Pupils have gone on to study languages at university, both as main and as subsidiary subjects.

GCSE

French

All pupils study French from the start of Year 7. They have three French lessons each week and use the course book Tricolore Total 1.

In Year 8 pupils have two lessons each week. We use Tricolore Total 2 and Expo 2.

In Year 9 pupils have two French lessons each week. We use Tricolore Total 3 and Expo 3.

After Year 9 pupils choose to study at least one foreign language to GCSE from French, German or Spanish. Those who choose French have four lessons each week and use Encore Tricolore Total 4 or Expo 4. They follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus which requires the four skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

For AS and A2, we follow the AQA syllabus. Pupils have 6/7 lessons each week and a conversation class with the French Language Assistant. At AS four topics are studied: Media, Culture, Healthy Living, Family and Relationships. Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

At A2 three topics are studied: Multicultural Society, Environment and Contemporary Social Issues. In addition two cultural topics e.g. a region, a novelist, a dramatist, a period of 20th century history or an artist, are studied. Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

In Year 8 and 9 we offer a trip to France which is run at Easter every two years. Pupils in Years 9, 10 and 11 are encouraged to participate in the town exchange with Annecy.

A Level students are encouraged to spend time in France either through their own contacts or the Language department can help to find something suitable.

German

In Year 10 those pupils taking German GCSE have six lessons per fortnight, use Edexcel German textbook and follow the Edexcel syllabus which requires the four skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

In Year 11, there is a weekly conversation class with the German Language Assistant and there is a Year 9 lunchtime and after school German club.

There was a German trip to the Rhineland at Easter 2016 and we have a link with a Gymnasium near Berlin, with which private exchanges are possible.

Spanish

Spanish is studied first in Year 8 and by all pupils who have three lessons a fortnight and use Viva! 1. In Year 9 pupils continue with their second language. They have four lessons per fortnight and  they currently use Viva! 2.

In Year 10 those pupils taking Spanish GCSE have six lessons per fortnight, use Viva! Edexcel GCSE (Edexcel Higher textbook in Year 11 under the legacy syllabus) and follow the Edexcel syllabus which requires the four skills of Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

For AS and A2, we follow the AQA syllabus in Year 13 and the Edexcel syllabus in Year 12.. Pupils have 9 – 11 lessons each fortnight and a conversation class with the Spanish Language Assistant.

At AS four topics are studied: The evolution of Spanish Society and The Political and Artistic Culture of the Spanish-speaking World. Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

At A2 three topics are studied: Multicultural Society, Environment, Contemporary Social Issues. In addition two cultural topics e.g. a region, a novelist, a dramatist, a period of 20th century history or an artist, are studied. Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

In Years 8 and 9 we offer a trip to Barcelona which is run at Easter every two years.

There is a study visit to Valencia for Years 10 – 13 which has proved to be highly successful

A Level

  • AS: Listening, Reading and Translation: 40% of AS
    Writing: 30% of AS
    Speaking: 30% of AS
  • Full A level: Listening, Reading and Translation: 40%
    Writing: 30%
    Speaking: 30%

French and Spanish (Edexcel)

Course aims:

An A Level in French or Spanish aims to provide students with an excellent grounding in all aspects of the language with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing in the language as well as to deepen their understanding of the social and cultural aspects of the French or Spanish speaking world.

Entry requirements:

A minimum of a grade A at GCSE (or similar qualification) is expected for the chosen language(s). Knowledge of and ability in other languages is an advantage. Students need to have a passion for, and interest in, the language(s) studied.

Key features:

  • Provides a topic-based (such as cinema, music, education, traditions) approach to learning the language with a comprehensive grammar course.
  • Preparation and delivery of speaking presentations as well as weekly conversation classes allow students to communicate confidently and effectively in the foreign language.
  • Increases sensitivity and positive attitudes towards language and language learning through independent and collaborative approaches.

Higher Education:

A language qualification is useful in many different careers: International law, teaching, banking, business, marketing, tourism, translating, civil service, posts with international companies, as well as adding another dimension to world travel. Linguists are highly employable people in a number of job sectors and dual linguists are highly sought after in many fields.

Top universities look very favourably upon students who study a language at A Level.

French

For AS and A2, we follow the Edexcel syllabus and lessons include an additional conversation class with the French Language Assistant.

At AS there are two main themes: the Changes in French Society and the Political and Artistic Culture of French-speaking Countries. Within these, there are six sub-themes: Changes in Family Structures, Education, World of Work, Music, Media, Festivals and Traditions.

In addition, there is the study of a French film.

Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

At full A level two further main themes are studied: Immigration and Multicultural French Society and the Occupation and Resistance. Within these, the sub-themes are: the Positive Impact of Immigration on French Society, Responding to the Challenges of Immigration and Integration in France, the Extreme Right, Occupied France, the Vichy Regime and the Resistance.

In addition, there is the study of a French work of literature.

Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

A Level students are encouraged to spend time in France either through their own contacts or via work experience or home-stay options with such as Halsbury Travel.

German

For AS and A2, we follow the AQA syllabus. Pupils have 6/7 lessons each week and a conversation class with the German Language Assistant.

At AS four topics are studied: Media, Culture, Healthy Living, Family and Relationships.

Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

At A2 three topics are studied: Multicultural Society, Environment, Contemporary Social Issues. In addition two cultural topics e.g. a region, a novelist, a dramatist, a period of 20th century history or an artist, are studied.

Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

Spanish

For AS and A2, we follow the Edexcel syllabus and lessons include an additional conversation class with the Spanish Language Assistant.

At AS there are two main themes: the Evolution of Spanish Society and the Political and Artistic Culture of Spanish-speaking Countries.Within these, there are six sub-themes: the Family, the World of Work, the Impact of Tourism in Spain, Music, Media, Festivals and Traditions,

In addition, there is the study of a Spanish film.

Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

At full A level two further main themes are studied: Historical and Contemporary Immigration and Integration and Multiculturalism. Within these, the sub-themes are: the Origins of Immigration, the Influence of Muslims in Andalusia, the Influence of North African and Latin American Immigrants, the Benefits, Challenges and Attitudes of Integration and Multiculturalism.

In addition, there is the study of a Spanish work of literature.

Final examinations are taken in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

A Level  students are encouraged to spend time in Spain. There is a study visit to Valencia for Years 10 – 13, which has proven to be highly successful.