The Language department’s aim is to help students of all abilities to use language effectively for the purpose of practical communication and in so doing to develop self-confidence and an awareness of how language works. We encourage students to gain insights into the culture and civilisation of other countries. We hope this will help develop positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages. We aim to create a feeling of enjoyment and achievement in all students and help them acquire skills and language necessary for further study, whether it is for leisure or work.
The department has nine members of staff and is located in the West Wing. We have six dedicated language teaching rooms, each with interactive SmartBoard and audio facilities. We also have access to Notebooks with internet connectivity and are well resourced with dictionaries, text books, magazines and mini-whiteboards.
Key Stage 3
The year 7 course covers the following topic areas: talking about yourself, family, school, free-time and hobbies, where you live and food and drink. There are two main assessments, one around Christmas/New Year and the other at the end of the year. These assessments use GCSE-style questions to help prepare students for the demands of public examinations.
The year 8 course covers the following topic areas: food and drink, describing facilities in your local area, clothes and fashion, holidays and daily routine. There are two main assessments, one around Christmas/New Year and the other at the end of the year. These assessments use GCSE-style questions to help prepare students for the demands of public examinations.
The year 9 course covers the following topic areas: festivals, the media, hobbies, healthy living, planning a trip, the environment and school and future career. There are two main assessments, one around Christmas/New Year and the other at the end of the year. These assessments use GCSE-style questions to help prepare students for the demands of public examinations.
Key Stage 4
The year 10 course prepares students for the AQA GCSE examination. Topics covered this year include: Me, my family and friends, technology in everyday life, free-time activities, customs and festivals in German-speaking countries/communities, home, town, neighbourhood and region and social issues. The assessment takes place in the year 10 exam period and involves a past GCSE examination.
Year 11 completes the AQA course and covers the following topics: global issues, travel and tourism, my studies, life at school/college, education post-16 and jobs, career choices and ambitions. There is a mock examination in January and the final examinations take place in May/June.
Key Stage 5
Year 12 complete year one of the two-year A Level course for AQA and cover the following topics: the changing nature of family, the digital world, youth culture: fashion and trends, music and television, festivals and traditions, art and architecture, the cultural life of Berlin past and present. Students may also start the study of Der Besuch der alten Dame by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. There is a mock examination in April and regular end of unit tests.
Year 13 complete year two of the A Level course for AQA and cover the following topics: multiculturalism in German-speaking society: immigration, integration and racism as well as aspects of political life in the German-speaking world: Germany and the European Union, politics and youth, German re-unification and its consequences. Students will finish the study of Der Besuch der alten Dame by Friedrich Dürrenmatt and a German film, Almanya – Willkommen in Deutschland by Yasemin Samdereli. Students will also undertake an Individual Research Project on a theme of their choice linked to the German speaking world in preparation for their oral examination. There are two main assessments, in September and February. The final examination takes place in May/June.
Outside the Classroom
There are many opportunities to experience languages first-hand. In Year 8 there is a 4/5 day trip to France or Germany. There are long-established exchanges with schools in France and Germany and we have recently offered sixth form study visits to Berlin and to Spain. There are revision sessions and lunch clubs to practise speaking or study trips to higher education institutions whenever possible.