At KS4, pupils have the chance to opt into one or two languages from French and Spanish.
What will students learn? This is a three year GCSE course comprising 12 topics, many of which will already be familiar, for example school, shopping, holidays. The course covers three main themes. These are:
Identity and culture (relationships, technology and free time activities)
Local, national, international and global areas of interest (house and home, healthy living, poverty)
Current and future study and employment (school and future career)
How will students be assessed? Assessment will be by external examinations in each of the four skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing at the end of the course. These are each worth 25% of the final grade. Students will be entered for either Foundation or Higher papers.
How are students taught? Our specialist GCSE teachers work closely with groups and individuals to develop their understanding of spoken and written French/Spanish and to develop effective communication skills in the target language. Students will be taught to understand and provide information about the topics and how they relate to themselves and other people, including people in countries and communities where French/Spanish is spoken.
What abilities, skills and interests will students need?
French Students will have studied French at KS3. The GCSE course builds upon previous knowledge and further develops important skills, such as self-reliance and working with others.
Spanish Students will have studied Spanish at KS3. The GCSE course builds upon previous knowledge and further develops important skills, such as self-reliance and working with others.
Students following these courses will be expected to work flexibly, be prepared to take on new challenges and ideas and improve their own learning performance. Studying a foreign language also develops listening skills and the ability to work with unpredictability – invaluable life skills. There may also be an opportunity to visit the country of the language being studied.
What could this course lead to? Students could progress on to do A and AS levels in French/Spanish, followed by a degree at university. In addition, a language is seen as a highly desirable “add on” subject with many other degree subjects particularly Business and Marketing, as well as English, Law, Economics. There are rewarding careers available in translation and interpreting, sales, travel and tourism. Languages will open many doors. For those students planning to apply for university in the future, many of the Russell Group universities require a GCSE in a language even if they are not applying to study languages.