Exam Board: AQA
Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in GCSE French.
Learn French in a specialist language setting
The Languages Department at Silverdale has a proud history: the school was originally a specialist language college and has recently been chosen to run the only national teacher-training course in modern languages in the UK.
We aim to develop skills, confidence and creativity in the four key areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Teachers are specialised, experienced and enthusiastic, using a wide range of activities and strategies to help students 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 offers a range of extracurricular activities and trips abroad in order to enhance the language learning experience at our school.
The department is based in six classrooms, all of which have interactive whiteboards. Pupils also have regular access to 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 students can access in lessons and at home.
We have good links with the Learning Resource Centre where a number of foreign language books, magazines and films are kept. In 2017 91% of our students achieved A* to C grades.
Students follow the AQA specification, which covers a wide range of topics, e.g. social issues and trends, aspects of French-speaking society, multiculturalism, political and artistic culture, as well as aspects of political life in the French-speaking world.
In the first year of A-level students will study a film, and in the second year they will also study a book. Students will undertake the listening/writing/reading and speaking exams at the end of the second year. All students will complete an internal transition exam at the end of Year 12.
As part of our enrichment programme, Year 12 students can also sign up for the beginner’s Mandarin Chinese course which they can continue to a GCSE qualification in Year 13.
Beyond the classroom
Past activities have included:
- Year 12 study visit to Nice, France.
- Visits to local universities.
- Chinese summer school.
The government has recognised that there is a modern languages skills gap. Choosing to study a language at degree level is a way of boosting your employability.
Besides the traditional paths of interpreting, translating and teaching, students with language skills are in demand. These skills can be used in almost any career, particularly in businesses that trade internationally. There are also opportunities to work for the diplomatic service.
There are many degree courses in languages but you could also choose to combine French with a new language or a subject from a different area–such as politics, music or engineering.