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Modern Languages

The Languages Department is a forward thinking department located in its own fully equipped building with four classrooms. Students have access to language magazines, DVDs in French, German and Spanish and books to help further reading skills and enable students to enjoy the culture and language further. Students also have access to a variety of apps on their iPads to further their language progression both in and outside school.

Key Stage 3

Students at KS3 enjoy three hours a week of languages. Year 7 students study one language on entry to Saint Aidan's, either Spanish or German, for the whole year. Spanish has been newly brought into the curriculum for Year 7 in September 2018, replacing French. Year 8 and 9 students study two languages and study one language per half term for three hours a week and are given enrichment work in the language they are not studying each half term.

We have a vast range of resources for students at KS3 to learn a language and these give students the opportunity to extend their knowledge of the language and to explore and research the cultural aspect of the country. Studio French resources online and textbooks are used in Year 9, Viva Spanish is used in Years 7 and 8 and Stimmt resources online are used in German Years 7, 8 and 9. Assessment takes place at the end of each module in all four skill areas – listening, speaking, reading and writing and is marked against the GCSE mark schemes in order to prepare pupils for languages at KS4.  Ipads are a core part of language learning and we use a variety of apps to further our listening and reading skills.

Key Stage 4

We have a large take up of students at KS4 to study a language. Students enjoy three hours a week of their chosen language in Year 10 and two hours a week in Year 11, following the AQA full course. Students are given the opportunity to further their knowledge of the language with three main themes that we cover:

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  3. Current study, future study and employment

Students can build on their learning at KS3 and explore new vocabulary, tenses and involve themselves in interesting and interactive activities.  All lessons are interactive and iPads are used to enhance the learning and there is a strong emphasis on immersing the students in the language and the culture of the country.

The assessment at the end of the two year course is as follows:

Paper 1 Listening exam – 25%

1 exam – Foundation tier 35 minutes and Higher tier 45 minutes.  Pupils will answer questions in English and French/German/Spanish.


Paper 2 Speaking exam – 25%

1 exam consisting of a role play, a photo card and a general conversation.  Foundation tier will last 7-9 minutes and Higher tier will last 10-12 minutes.

Paper 3 Reading exam – 25%

1 exam – Foundation tier 45 minutes and Higher tier 1 hour.  Questions in English, French/German/Spanish and translation from French/German/Spanish into English.


Paper 4 Writing exam – 25%

1 exam – Foundation tier 1 hour and Higher tier 1 hour 15 minutes.  Questions will include a list task, a message, a translation into French/German/Spanish and a structured writing task.


All students will be given a speaking book, a vocabulary booklet and it is advisable to purchase a revision guide and work book from school.


The Department offers Mandarin Chinese after school class on Tuesday nights which leads to the FCSE qualification on a two year course and Latin club is now available.  We also compete in the Routes into Languages Modern Foreign Languages Spelling Bee each year, having come 5th place nationally in 2018 against over 20,000 students from all over the UK. The Spelling Bee Club is offered to both Spanish and German students in Year 7.  Film club takes place every Thursday lunchtime where a film is shown in either French, Spanish or German and all year groups are welcome to take part, and Spanish Club occurs every Tuesday for pupils of all ages.

We have strong links with partner schools in Germany and the Department has a successful German Exchange programme with The Christoph Scheiner Gymnasium in Ingolstadt, Germany that has been running for over 25 years for Years 9, 10 and 11. Every year a group of 20 German students visit our school and stay with our families and then we make our return visit in the Summer and spend a week experiencing life with a German family and in their school. We also have a 5 day residential trip to Paris in February for all students to experience the wonderful culture and sights of Paris, including a trip to Disneyland.  We also have a 4 day trip to Berlin for all our students to enjoy in the Autumn Term where they can experience the cultural sights of Berlin.

Faculty Staff

Mrs K GillDirector of MFL Lead Practitioner for Teaching and Learning
Miss S BrighamTeacher of Spanish and French, MFL KS3 Co-ordinator
Miss C ButlerTeacher of German
Miss L SmithTeacher of Spanish, French and German 

Oct 23
We have landed! On track for our 1am arrival back at school. Please remember not to park in the coach bay... see you all soon!
Oct 23
Slight delay from Berlin by at least half an hour 🙄 we've had a game of Rummy and now on to the oreos 😁
Oct 23
43 miles in total walked and we are still going 🚶‍♂️🚶‍♀️🥾😬🇩🇪
Oct 23
Busy day today at the Berlin Wall Documentation centre and Topography of Terror 🇩🇪 https://t.co/jt4RqzeqQg
Oct 22
58km in 3 days! Amazing walking!