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

why choose to study this subject at our school?

Silverdale has a long history of specialising in the teaching of modern languages. In 2016, through its Teaching School, it established the only national teacher training course specialising in modern languages: the National Modern Languages SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). This means we are in touch with the very latest developments in modern languages teaching, helping train the teachers of tomorrow and ensuring our lessons reflect the very best practice.

Key Stage 3 

All Year 7 students study French, following a course which covers all the key areas; students are assessed against the criteria of the National Curriculum.  All students will be issued with an exercise book for their class and homework, and a vocabulary book with key vocabulary for the year. At the beginning of every school year, they will also have the opportunity to order dictionaries and magazines through the school.

A number of students will study Spanish in addition to French in Year 8, and into Year 9. Some students will only study French in Years 8 and 9, 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.



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

The final examinations for pupils taking the GCSE consist of listening, reading, speaking and writing exams. Pupils will be entered at either Foundation or Higher level in all skill areas. They are assessed at the end of the second year in the summer of Y11.

beyond the classroom 

  • Year 7 & 8 languages club.
  • Foreign languages film club.
  • Year 9 trips to France, Germany and Spain.
  • Visits to local universities.

future pathways 

The government has recognised that there is a modern languages skills gap. Choosing to study a language at degree level is 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.

With the globalisation of industry and commerce, graduates with a good command of modern languages are sought after for numerous roles working overseas or in the UK. There are also opportunities to work for the diplomatic service.