Languages

At Holbrook Academy, we offer the opportunity to study two of the most useful European languages – French and Spanish. Learning a language opens doors to finding out about new cultures both within Europe and beyond.

French is an official language in more than 29 countries, stretching across the globe from Africa to island nations in the Indian Ocean and from Canada to the South Pacific as well as islands in the Caribbean.  Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world being one of the primary languages in South and Central America as well as large sections of the USA – it has an estimated 460 million native speakers which puts it ahead of English!

Key Stage 4

French and Spanish are offered as options, working towards the Edexcel GCSE examination. All language qualifications contribute to the EBacc.

A variety of teaching and learning resources are used, including the Studio Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French, and Viva Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Spanish books.  Alongside these textbooks we have access to the Pearson ActiveLearn digital learning platform which has a wealth of different tasks and resources to support learning.  In addition we also use Seneca Learning and pupils find that the Duolingo App is very useful and engaging.

The GCSE course covers five themes which are:

  • Identity and Culture
  • Local Area, Holiday and Travel
  • School
  • Future Aspirations, Study and Work
  • International and Global Dimension

Key Stage 3

All students study French throughout the three years of KS3. Most students in Year 8 and 9 also study Spanish, and both languages are offered as options to GCSE exam level in KS4.

Progress in both French and Spanish is assessed in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, and equal emphasis is placed on all four areas of attainment.

Home learning is set on a regular basis and includes online tasks, such as reading and listening comprehensions, grammar exercises and vocabulary learning, as well as writing short passages in the target language and preparing translations. In French the Pearson Dynamo course is used which links up perfectly with the requirements for KS4 and in Spanish we use the Pearson Viva course which does the same.  As at KS4, alongside these excellent text books, students benefit from access to the Pearson Activelearn digital learning platform, which supports their progress at all levels.

French and Spanish lessons actively promote co-operation, empathy and cultural and global awareness.


FRENCH

Year 7 Numbers, family, identity, likes & dislikes, school, free time, home town. Articles; gender; present tense verbs; irregular verbs; adjective agreement; compound sentences; verb plus infinitive; negatives; near future tense.
Year 8 Holidays; festivals & celebrations in the French speaking world; food & drink; digital technology; leisure activities; home life; local area; sport. Perfect tense; more negatives; using two tenses together; reflexive verbs; questions; more adjectives; modal verbs.
Year 9 Family & relationships, role models, using technology, more on sport, more on leisure, daily life, shopping for clothes, more festivals and traditions, shopping for food & drink. Using present & perfect tense together; prepositions; more negatives; comparative adjectives; more modal verbs; more on forming questions; using three tenses together.

SPANISH

Year 8 Identity; family & pets; likes & dislikes; weather; free time; school; house and home; festivals in the Spanish speaking world; food & drink; places in a town. Definite & indefinite article, present tense, adjectives, irregular verbs, question words, compound sentences, possessive adjectives, near future tense.
Year 9 Holidays; digital technology; TV & music; more food & drink; making plans; sports. Preterite tense (talking about things that happened in the past); using two tenses together; more on the near future; demonstrative adjectives; using three tenses together