Studying languages is about learning to communicate in a foreign language in a wide variety of situations. The curriculum is geared towards developing abilities and confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing in the language studied. It also equips the student with the skills required for further study, work and leisure. The student is offered an insight into the culture and civilisation of French or Spanish-speaking countries, with the aim of promoting global citizenship and international understanding. All student learn French and Spanish in Year 7. French and Spanish can also be chosen as GCSE Options (AQA) at the end of Year 9. French and Spanish can be chosen as A-Level options (AQA) in Year 12.
Technology is routinely used in the classroom and students use a range of electronic resources to work independently on grammar, listening or reading activities. Pupils have frequent opportunities in lessons to practise their speaking skills and improve their confidence in this area. KS5 classes also benefit from conversation classes, in small groups. These sessions build confidence in speaking, and enable wider discussion about current affairs in the countries where the target language is spoken.
In order for students to experience a foreign language and culture first hand, the Faculty runs a number of trips abroad. In Year 7, pupils take part in a study trip to Normandy, in France, to improve their language skills. We have a French partner school in Le Raincy, in the suburbs of Paris. We also run a languages trip to Murcia for Year 9 students.
We run clubs in Turkish, Mandarin and Russian using peripatetic staff and provide exam coaching in these areas, allowing native speakers to sit their GCSEs at Ashmole.