Learning a foreign language is a skill for life which will enhance both communication skills and
employment prospects. It also provides an opening to other cultures. A high-quality languages
education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Learning
should enable pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand
and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for
students to communicate for practical purposes; learn new ways of thinking and read literature in
the original language. Language acquisition should provide the foundation for learning further
languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries and enable them to communicate
with people from other countries, whilst working in this country. The study of a modern foreign
language at GCSE should also broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond
familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world.
Students are taught to understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of
authentic sources. They are encouraged to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and
spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion
and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and
intonation. As far as writing is concerned, by the end of Key Stage 4, students should write at
varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures
that they have learnt. Through their studies, students can also discover and develop an
appreciation of the culture in countries were French/Spanish is the official language.
The examination comprises 4 components, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. All
skills are equally-weighted and each contribute 25% towards a student’s final GCSE grade (9-1).
The themes covered are: Identity and culture; Local area, holiday and travel; School; Future
aspirations, Study and work; International and global dimension.
Studying French/ Spanish for GCSE enables students to continue developing the language skills
they have acquired at KS3 and to learn to use the language more independently as well as gaining
a greater insight into the culture of the French/ Spanish – speaking world.
We use the Edexcel exam board and the specification provided by Pearson, (who provide the
Active Learn resources for the Edexcel GCSE courses) which is very thorough, the sequence of modules
is logical and it generally looks appealing to students of this age.