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Modern Languages


French, German and Spanish

The fundamental aim of the Modern Languages Department is to provide each student with a sound understanding and appreciation of other languages and cultures in a global setting. This is achieved through high expectations of work, an exciting curriculum and opportunities for students to experience the target language outside the classroom.

The study of a foreign language builds a real breadth of knowledge and develops skills of communication and critical thinking, which are readily transferable and highly sought-after in further education and employment.

In lessons, girls will develop the four skill areas of language learning: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Students are expected to complete regular homework which is focused on consolidating or extending work done in the classroom, examples of which are vocabulary learning, creative writing, grammar exercises or reading and listening comprehension tasks.

KS3 (Years 7-9)

First Language: All girls in Year 7 learn one of French, German or Spanish and they continue their study of this language throughout Years 8 & 9 – this is referred to as their First Language.  Girls have 2 hours of First Language every week in Year 7, and 1 hour and 30 minutes in Years 8 and 9.

Second Language: During Years 8 and 9, girls also pick up a Second Language.  Girls have 2 hours of Second Language in both years so that students may have a real choice as to which language they continue to GCSE. A number of students choose to continue with two languages.

We follow the new Programme of Study (2014 onwards) in Modern Languages. Throughout Years 7, 8 and 9, girls are formally assessed once per term either in a Core Assessment or a Summer Examination.  They will be assessed in 5 key areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing and Grammar. 

KS4 (Years 10-11)

All girls continue with their study of at least one Language at Key Stage 4; we offer French, German and Spanish, as well as Latin. There will be both formative and formal assessment throughout the two-year course. From September 2016 we will be using the new AQA GCSE specification, which gives students the opportunity to achieve a high level of language proficiency by the time they sit their GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11.

The new specifications include more topical and up-to-date material, including learning about the target language countries. The content is divided into the following themes:

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

KS5 (Years 12 and13)

We currently offer French, German and Spanish at A-Level, with some courses being offered in collaboration with Watford Grammar School for Boys. From September 2016 we will be using the new AQA A level linear specification, which offers students an exciting range of linguistic and cultural learning.

  • Social issues and trends
  • Political and artistic culture
  • Grammar
  • Works: Literary texts and films

Extended curricular opportunities

  • Trips abroad & cultural activities: German & French Exchanges; KS5 Cultural Trip to Berlin and KS3/4 trip to Spain; Onatti Theatre performances (French, German and Spanish); G&T trips.
  • Sixth Form: Language Conferences; Film Clubs; Young Interpreters; Masterclasses.
  • KS3: Language Leaders Award; Languages Club.
  • Annual celebration in school of European Day of Languages. 


We subscribe to the following websites, which students can also access outside of the classroom; – a website for French, German and Spanish at KS3 and KS4 – a website for French, German and Spanish at KS4 and KS5 – a website for French at KS3 and KS4 - a website for German at KS3 and KS4
www.espanolextra – a website for Spanish at KS3 and KS4