“You live a new life for every new language you speak”
Miss W Bell (Head of French)
Mrs A Burtney (Head of Spanish)
Miss S Marrs
Mrs L Vincent
Mrs E Weir
Mlle Nolwenn Busson (French Assistant)
Sr Iago Alonso Vázquez (Spanish Assistant)
- To ensure that language learning is a positive and enjoyable experience for all pupils
- To inspire confidence through the achievement of individual personal best
- To develop linguistic capabilities to the highest degree
- To raise awareness of other countries and cultures
- To promote communication skills which are transferable to other areas of life
- Key Stage 3 – All pupils study French in Year 8 and French and Spanish in Years 9 & 10.
- Key Stage 4 – Pupils continue to study French or Spanish or both to GCSE level. They currently follow the CCEA Specification and are examined in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The oral examination is conducted by their teacher.
- AS/A2 – A varying number of students continue their language studies at A Level. They follow the CCEA Specification, covering a wide range of topics. The oral component is externally conducted and assessed.
Facilities & Resources
All pupils are taught by specialist teachers, mainly in subject-specific classrooms. We also make use of ICT suites where pupils have the opportunity to reinforce their language skills using interactive websites. Each A Level student attends a weekly class with the Language Assistant for extra speaking practice, and GCSE pupils also have access to the Assistant on a rota basis. A range of reading materials and resources is available in the Margaret Curry Library for further independent study and research.
Achievements and Successes
Since 1997 the French and History Departments have combined to take roughly 45 Year 10 /11 pupils to Northern France and Belgium every other year. The trip allows pupils to visit First World War trenches, cemeteries and museums, as well as complete French activities and, of course, visit Paris and the Disneyland resort! We enjoyed a highly successful trip in October 2008.
In 2007 the Spanish and Geography Departments organised a trip to Barcelona for 31 Year 10/11 pupils. They had the opportunity to combine their study of the ecosystems of the Ebro Delta with cultural and linguistic aspects of life in a vibrant Spanish city. Pupils also enjoyed a day in Port Aventura theme park. This trip proved most successful and another similar excursion is being planned for October 2009.
- The Sixth Form attend language study days at The Queen’s University of Belfast.
- There are also regular outings to the Queen’s Film Theatre to watch foreign language films, often relating to the A Level course.
- The European Day of Languages is celebrated each year in school, with events such as quizzes, a special assembly and a croissant sale.
- A group of Year 9 pupils meet annually with St Patrick’s Grammar School to enjoy a French Breakfast and quiz.
- Both language departments enjoy a high success rate in external exams and a number of our students go on to study languages at university.