Girl Chemistry

We aim to:


  • Develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning.
  • Develop the ability to use the language effectively for practical communication.
  • Offer insights into the culture/civilisation of the country.
  • Encourage positive attitudes to foreign languages and the speakers and countries of the languages.
  • Provide intellectual stimulation and enjoyment.
  • Promote learning skills of a more general application (e.g. analysis, memorising, independent research), and thus form a firm foundation for the skills/attitudes required for further study, work and leisure.
  • Make language learning fun!


Pupils in Year 7 study French and are taught in mixed ability groups in Term 1. After an assessment in December, pupils are then taught in classes set according to ability for the remainder of the year. Students start studying German as an additional language in Years 8 and 9.

Foreign languages are currently an optional subject at Key Stage 4 and at the end of Year 9 pupils may opt for French or German, or indeed both languages, to study to GCSE level. Spanish is also offered as a fast track language option at GCSE for those pupils with a proven ability in language learning.  French and German is offered at A level with German sometimes being taught within our school consortium. Years 12 and 13 and many previous students have gone on to read languages at university level including Oxbridge. The department follows the Edexcel Examination syllabus at Key Stage 4 and the AQA Examination syllabus at Key Stage 5.

Mandarin Chinese is offered in Years 12 and 13 as an ab initio language with pupils being invited to weekly core lessons and optional extension lessons.  We also offer a weekly Mandarin session during lunchtimes at KS3.


Teaching and Learning

Pupils are taught following a communicative approach and use of the target language is a high priority in lessons. They enjoy the benefits of state of the art resources in a newly refurbished languages facility that includes projectors in every classroom equipped with Apple TV, access to class sets of iPads and  additional opportunities for individual language practice with our experienced language assistant at KS4 and 5. The four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing are developed through a variety of interactive tasks and pupils are encouraged to use revision websites at home for further independent practice.


Exchanges and Trips

The following trips are offered this year. Language Study visits will be offered to Year 10 GCSE students.

  1. Cross-curricular residential trip to Brittany for Year 8 pupils (French & Humanities)
  2. Language Study trips are being investigated to be offered to year 10 GCSE students of French and Spanish.
  3. Year 10 German students are invited to take part in the exchange to Hamburg.

Year 12 students studying languages are actively encouraged to sign up for independent work experience visits to France or Germany for the October half term. This has proved to be a very popular option in recent years.

Those students studying Mandarin in Year 12 are considered for the annual summer camp study visit to Beijing.