Curriculum - Languages

The department is made up of 7 full-time members of staff, 3 part time teachers and one language assistant.  The department is currently managed by Mr Jordison, who is assisted by Key Stage 3 coordinator Mr Hutchinson, Key Stage 4 coordinator Mr Perks and Key Stage 5 coordinator Mrs Morley.


All members of the department are language specialists who work hard to contribute to good results achieved at GCSE and A-Level.  French is our main language but some are given the opportunity to learn Spanish.

The Department

Mr Jordison

Mrs Holdgate

Mrs Morley

Mr Hutchinson

Miss Stavri

Mrs Duncan

Mr Perks

Ms Spratt

Ms Shutt

Mrs Lloyd

Mrs Soderberg

Ms Boaler

KS3 Languages

The study of a modern foreign language is a compulsory part of the National Curriculum at Key Stage 3.


At Chellaston Academy the National Curriculum language studied is French.  All students at Chellaston will study French from Year 7 to 9. Some will also get the opportunity to study Spanish.




Flight Plan


After their first half term at Chellaston each pupil will be given an individual Flight plan based on their KS2 attainment results.  KS2 attainment is an average of the Maths and English levels a student attained in Year 6. Based on this data pupils will be given a challenging but hopefully achievable target grade for French / Spanish for the end of Year 7, 8, 9 and then Year 11.


Those students with KS2 attainment of Level 0.5 and below will have specific individual needs and therefore their targets will be set accordingly.


Not all students will follow this progress line exactly and it should be noted that students progress at different rates at different times of their education. This flight path of targets should be taken as an indicator of potential.




Year 7


In year 7, pupils are taught in setted ability for French. Most pupils will receive 5 language lessons a fortnight. The course in Year 7 includes an introductory course with the aim of allowing all pupils to reach a certain point regardless of the amount of French that they have previously learnt at primary school. After this, pupils will study a course that follows a textbook (Studio1) which is designed to make sure that pupils progress through the 1-9 grades at an appropriately fast pace. Pupils will be assessed formally each term to monitor their progress and to assess whether or not they are working to their potential.  Alongside the study of the French language, pupils will also look at some cultural elements of France such as Francophonie and French festivals. The most able students in the year group will also have the ability to study Spanish in Year 7. These students will receive 3 lessons of French and 3 lessons of Spanish (Mira 1)across the 2 week timetable. As with the French, pupils who study Spanish will be formally assessed each term and a level will be given to show how much progress is being made.



Year 8


The year 8 year group is divided into two halves for timetabling purposes. We place pupils within these two year halves in sets according to their ability in French. Setting enables us to pitch our lessons appropriately, allowing each pupil to achieve their full potential. There are six parallel teaching groups in each year half. We assess pupils each term to again monitor their progress and intervene where necessary to ensure that pupils are working to their full potential. In some cases that may mean moving to a higher or lower set in order to best meet each individual pupil’s needs. There are five, timetabled, one hour periods of language study per fortnight in Year 8.


In Year 8 pupils will study either 5 lessons of French or 5 lessons of Spanish. The French course in Year 8 follows on from the Year 7 one in that it follows the textbook Studio 2. This continuity and familiarity with the way the textbooks are set out enables pupils to quickly understand the new vocabulary and grammar that is being introduced. As with the Year 7 course, pupils in Year 8 also study some of the cultural elements of France, such as French cuisine.


The course for Spanish is fast moving and designed to ensure that pupils make rapid progress in their second language. This course follows the textbook Mira 2 and allows pupils to access the basic grammar and vocabulary that is needed and developed on in Year 9.




Year 9


Year 9 is structured in exactly the same way as Year 8 in terms of how the 5 lessons are divided up. Once again pupils are placed in sets and taught accordingly to their capabilities. One of the main aims of the Year 9 course is to prepare students for the GCSE course that starts in Year 10 and this includes giving pupils a taster of GCSE style questions in the assessments that they take.


Language Courses


Language learning is divided into four skill areas; listening, speaking, reading and writing. A high proportion of the lesson time is spent developing listening and speaking skills. Good concentration is important for success in languages. Pupils will have an exercise book where all work should be kept in a neat and tidy fashion. We ask that if possible all language books are kept in a plastic wallet and brought to all lessons.




There will be regular assessments throughout the year. The results of these tests will be used for termly tracking and cumulatively to produce an exam result which will be reported to parents. These assessments should be approached seriously and pupils should revise thoroughly for each of the four elements. We report progress using the new 1-9 grading system that has replaced National Curriculum levels.  Please note that your child’s level in French or Spanish will be lower in year 7 and 8 than in subjects they have studied at Key Stage 2. On arriving at Chellaston Academy, students will be provided with challenging but hopefully realistic target levels for French for the end of Year 7 and then again at the start of Year 8 and 9. We would encourage all parents to attend the Parents’ evening later in the year to discuss their child’s progress in detail.




Pupils will be set four lots of language homework per fortnight. They should spend approximately two hours in total on this. Learning vocabulary and grammatical structures is a very important part of language acquisition. Learning homework should have the same priority as written homework.  All homework will be set on Show my Homework and therefore parents can monitor the amount of homework that is being set. Parents can also monitor their child’s progress by looking regularly at their exercise book. Teachers will highlight problems as they arise. Please bear in mind that there will be little evidence of listening and speaking practice. If teachers have a particular concern they will also make a note in the pupil’s handbook.





The department runs a number of trips to France and Spain in KS3 as we feel that giving pupils a chance to visit the countries where the languages are spoken is crucial, both in broadening pupils’ views of the world and also allowing pupils to use the language learnt in the classroom in real life situations. Examples of the trips that we have run in the past are as follows;


1, A trip to Paris and Eurodisney

2, A trip to Normandy and the D-Day beaches.

3, A trip to Strasbourg to experience the Christmas markets.

4, Trip to Barcelona


Each of these trips are not only educational but last long in the memory.



Details of KS3 courses are available to download from the links below:

GCSE Languages

We use the AQA exam board for both GCSE French and Spanish.


What will I study?


Over the course of the two year course we will be covering the following three themes:


1. Identity and culture

2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest

3. Current and future study and employment


Within these themes we will study the following units:


Year 10

• Relationships, marriage and partnership

• Social media and mobile technology

• Music, cinema and TV

• Food, eating out and sport

• Healthy and unhealthy living

• Holidays and travel and regions of France/Spain


Year 11

• France/Spain and its customs and festivals

• Home and where I live

• Charity and voluntary work

• Environment

• Poverty and homelessness

• School, subjects and life at school

• University, work and careers



In addition to this we will develop the four skills that you need when learning a language:


• Listening

• Speaking

• Reading

• Writing



How will I be assessed?


All assessments will be taken at the end of Year 11. All assessments carry an equal weighting of 25% each. Students will be entered for the same tier in all papers in either foundation or higher.


Listening exam: May / June of Year 11 (Foundation 35 minutes / Higher 45 minutes)

Speaking exam: April / May of Year 11(7-9 minutes foundation/ 10-12 minutes higher)

Reading exam: May / June of Year 11 (Foundation 45 minutes / Higher 60 minutes)

Writing exam: May/ June of Year 11 (Foundation 1 hour / Higher 1 hour 15 minutes)



Details of assessment type:


Paper 1 – Listening:

• Responses to a recorded script played twice.  Questions may include: multiple choice, best fit, gap fill in French/Spanish or English.


Paper 2 – Speaking:

• 3 part speaking exam including (a role play, a discussion based on a picture stimulus and a general conversation)


Paper 3 – Reading:

• Responses in English and Spanish. Question types may include: multiple choice, gap fill, reading comprehension.


Paper 4 – Writing:

• Foundation  - 4 tasks to complete (basic sentences / short 40 word task, a 90 word task and a translation from English to French/Spanish)

• Higher – 3 tasks to complete (a 90 word task, a 150 word task and a translation from English to French/Spanish)



What skills do I need to be successful?


1. An interest in language

2. Desire to communicate with others

3. Organisational skills

4. An eye and an ear for detail and accuracy

5. A logical mind and an ability to recognize language patterns



Which subjects do GCSE languages combine well with?


The study of a language combines well with a wide variety of subjects and is widely promoted at university level as the most useful subsidiary subject of all. It is particularly useful in marketing, business and tourism, the armed forces and law. As such, combinations with Business Studies, ICT, History, Geography, Science and CDT would be particularly beneficial.  A qualification in languages is very highly regarded by companies dealing with business abroad as skills learnt for the study of one language can be successfully transferred to the study of other languages.

A Level French and Spanish

We use the AQA course, which aims to encourage candidates to develop the knowledge and skills acquired at GCSE and use their language skills in a wide range of contexts. They will gain a useful insight into another culture and reflect on various aspects of contemporary society including an in depth study into film, literature and music. In addition, the course will enhance their employment prospects, facilitate foreign travel and improve their linguistic level.



A level French


How will I be assessed?


In May/June of Year 12


• AS Unit 1 - Listening, Reading, Translation into English.

• AS Unit 2 -Translation into target language, Essay on set text or film.

• AS Unit 3 - Oral exam- A discussion on two stimulus cards on themes studied at AS.


In May/June of Year 13


• A-level Unit 1 - Listening, Reading, Translation into English, Translation into target language.

• A-level Unit 2 – 2 essays on set texts / films.

• A level Unit 3 – Oral exam including a discussion on a stimulus card on a theme covered at A- level and a presentation and discussion of an individual research topic.


What will I have to study?


Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends (Year 12)


• The changing nature of family

• The 'cyber-society'

• The place of voluntary work


Artistic culture in the French-speaking world (Year 12)


• A culture proud of its heritage

• Contemporary francophone music

• Cinema: the 7th art form


Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues (Year 13)


• Positive features of a diverse society

• Life for the marginalized

• How criminals are treated


Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world (Year 13)


• Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment

• Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?

• Politics and immigration


A French film (Year 12 and 13) and a French novel (Year 13 only)


What is the individual research project?

 Students can choose their own area of interest, which can include a French novel, French author, musician, a region or a period from French history. Their research must include online sources.






A Level Spanish


How will I be assessed?


In May/June of Year 12


• AS Unit 1 - Listening, Reading, Translation into English.

• AS Unit 2 -Translation into target language, Essay on set text or film.

• AS Unit 3 - Oral exam- A discussion on two stimulus cards on themes studied at AS.


In May/June of Year 13


• A-level Unit 1 - Listening, Reading, Translation into English, Translation into target language.

• A-level Unit 2 – 2 essays on set texts / films.

• A level Unit 3 – Oral exam including a discussion on a stimulus card on a theme covered at A- level and a presentation and discussion of an individual research topic.


What will I have to study?


Aspects of Hispanic society: (Year 12)


• The changing nature of family

• Cyberspace

• Equal rights


Artistic culture in the Hispanic world (Year 12)


• Modern day idols

• Spanish regional identity

• Cultural heritage


Multiculturalism in Hispanic Society (Year 13)

• Immigration

• Racism

• Integration


 Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world (Year 13)


• Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens.

• Monarchies and dictatorships

• Popular movement


A Hispanic film (Year 12 and 13) and a Hispanic novel (Year 13 only)



What is the individual research project?

 Students can choose their own area of interest, which can include a Hispanic novel, Hispanic author, musician, a region or a period from Hispanic history. Their research must include online sources.



How are the A level Spanish and French courses delivered?


The lessons are classroom-based but each pupil has a one-hour small group conversation lesson with our native assistant.


Who are these courses suitable for?


French or Spanish is for you, if you enjoy meeting people and conversing in a foreign language or if you are interested in working abroad in the future.


Where will my languages take me?


There are a wide variety of courses available at universities, which combine studying a foreign language with subjects as diverse as science, history, law, business and international relations. Linguists can then go on to careers in international business, finance, law, accountancy, teaching and the travel and tourism industry. The possibilities of working abroad are endless.


 What materials do I have to provide?


Students will need to purchase a copy of the textbook. A grammar book and a large bilingual dictionary are useful for independent work.


How can I prepare myself for the course?


Reading authentic articles on line, watching foreign films, listening to foreign language radio stations and trying some simple works of literature will definitely prepare you for the A level course.



Long Term Plan


Long Term Plans for Languages can be downloaded here