Modern Foreign Languages

Information about French and Spanish subjects

Contact head of subject for further information.

Students are given the opportunity to study both Franch and Spanish. They may choose to take these to GCSE level when selecting their options.

Why study a language?

English is not enough! The world has become a much smaller place. It's really important that you learn to speak and understand other people no matter where they are from.

You can travel all over the world and feel like a true local.

Languages are the perfect way to meet new people, immerse yourself in new cultures and make a difference to who you are.

Speaking another language really makes you stand out from the crowd and you’ll be able to work anywhere in the world.

Learning a foreign language can help you understand your own language.

You develop 4 key skills that are vital for any learning; listening, speaking, reading and writing.

You have tonnes of fun learning about a wide range of topics from shopping, to sport, to food and entertainment.

They’re good for you! Speaking more than one language increases your brain capacity and you have better memory too.

It’s an impressive achievement to speak a foreign language but one your friends and family will envy and employers will love!

Foundation Stage

Year 7 students are given the opportunity to study both French and Spanish at Birkdale High School. These are studied for three hours each within the fortnightly timetable. For some, this will be a first taste of studying a foreign language, whilst others may have already done so at primary school. During this year, students learn how to talk about themselves, their family & pets and school.

Towards the end of the academic year, students are asked to choose the language that they would like to continue studying for the remainder of Key Stage 3.

Year 8 students study their chosen language for 5 lessons per fortnight. Students study topics such as leisure, food and the future tense.

In Year 9, students continue to study their modern language of choice for 5 lessons. Topics studied include media, pocket money, world of work and tourism.

Examination Stage

Much of the GCSE course is controlled assessment based with each of the four key skill areas accounting for the following

  • Listening – 20%
  • Speaking – 30%
  • Reading – 20%
  • Writing – 30%

The speaking and writing assessments are done throughout Years 10 & 11 with students working on these both at home and at school. The following topics are studied in speaking and writing

  • Education
  • Holidays
  • The world of work
  • Media
  • Lifestyles

Additional support is offered by staff in lunch time and after school sessions to those students who may be under performing in either key skill areas.

Weekly vocabulary assessments give our students the opportunity to develop their understanding of French/Spanish vocabulary whilst enabling them to reach their full potential in Listening and Reading.

As a department, we feel that putting our students’ understanding of a language into practice is very important. We therefore run regular trips abroad and we are lucky to have forged links with schools in both France and Spain. Our foreign exchange visits have been a huge success in recent years and we look forward to our trip to Spain in April 2015.

Subject Maps

Foundation Stage Map

Subject Maps

Examination Stage Map

French Specification

Specification for French from Edexcel.

Spanish Specification

Specification for Spanish from Edexcel.


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About Us

Birkdale High School, a limited company registered in England and Wales under Company number 07695504.

Registered address: Windy Harbour Road, Southport PR8 3DT

Headteacher: G Bourgade


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