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Modern Foreign Languages


The Languages Department aims to develop skills, confidence and creativity in the four key areas: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. Teachers are specialized, experienced and enthusiastic, using a wide range of activities and strategies to help pupils enjoy learning foreign languages while developing their linguistic ability. Authentic resources and the use of the foreign language in and outside the classroom are considered a vital part of languages teaching at Silverdale and the department also offers a range of extracurricular activities and trips abroad in order to enhance the language learning experience at our school. In addition, we employ foreign languages assistants who work with all groups in order to give all pupils the opportunity to practice their linguistic knowledge with native speakers who in turn give them an insight into young people’s lives and the culture of the countries where French, German and Spanish are spoken.

The department is based in six classrooms, all of which have interactive whiteboards, as well as a state of the art languages laboratory.  We are well stocked with a range of up-to-date textbooks, independent packs and dictionaries for all key stages.  In addition, we subscribe to a number of excellent websites and use a wide range of interactive resources which pupils can access in lessons and at home.  We also have a bank of laptops which are used in lessons.

We have good links with the Learning Resource Centre where a number of foreign language books, magazines and films are kept.

We work closely with the student support department and the English department in order to develop pupils’ literacy skills.


Key Stage 3:

All pupils study at least one modern foreign language from Y7. Pupils in forms S, L and V will study German while pupils in forms E, R and D will study Spanish. In addition, most pupils in Y7 will also study French. All pupils follow courses which cover all the key areas and are assessed against the criteria of the National Curriculum.  All pupils will be issued with an exercise book for their class and homework, and, at the beginning of every school year, they will also have the opportunity to order dictionaries and magazines through the school.

In every year pupils will have regular contact with the foreign language assistant.

Some pupils will only study one modern foreign language in order to be able to access support to enhance their literacy and numeracy skills.

Teachers’ assessments are based on careful consideration of work across the four skill areas and we use regular tests to help us track the progress of each pupil.

Key Stage 4:

Most pupils study for one GCSE qualification in either French, German or Spanish with some studying for two GCSE qualifications.

We are currently following AQA GCSE specifications.  This includes Controlled Assessment (two pieces in writing, two in speaking). The final examinations for pupils taking the GCSE consist of one listening and one reading exam. Pupils are entered at either Foundation or Higher level.

All pupils will have regular sessions with the foreign language assistants in preparation for their speaking assessments.

Key Stage 5

AS/A2 courses are offered in French, German and Spanish.

Students follow the WJEC specification which covers a wide range of topics, e.g. leisure, tourism, social issues, current affairs, immigration, the environment and education. Pupils will also study the geography of the country, foreign language films as well as the countries’ culture and traditions.

At AS level, the speaking exam is conducted either by the teacher or a visiting examiner in April, and the Listening/Reading/Writing exam takes place in May.

At A2 level, the speaking exam is conducted by an external examiner at the end of April/beginning of May, and the Listening/Reading/Writing exam takes place in June.

All pupils will have weekly sessions with the foreign language assistant in order to improve their conversational skills and prepare for the speaking exams.

Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Y7&8 languages club
  • Foreign languages film club
  • Y9 trips to France, Germany and Spain
  • Y12 study visit to Germany
  • Y12/13 study visit to Madrid, Spain
  • Y13 work experience/exchange to Amiens, France
  • Visits to local universities