Studying a Language at GCSE

We strongly recommend that students continue with the study of at least one language at GCSE.  As well as enabling you to speak a specific language, studying languages teaches you how to learn a language, showing you how languages fit together.  Furthermore, being successful at learning a language shows an employer that you have good communication skills and that you are able to apply rules and patterns.

“Speaking another language is not merely a skill to be admired today but a vitally important business asset”  Source: Managing Director York Place Company Services

Studying one language

Students have the choice of continuing with French or German to GCSE level or starting Spanish and taking it to GCSE level. Students should choose a language according to personal preference and which language they consider they would achieve best at.  No language is easier than another at GCSE level; they are just different!

Studying two languages

In the modern world where links with Europe are becoming stronger all the time, the knowledge of two foreign languages and cultures is a valuable asset and skill for the 21st century employment market.  Studying two languages would take up two of your choices.

Studying Spanish

Students study Spanish ab initio (from scratch) to GCSE level.  As this course is from scratch it is geared towards students who have made very good progress in languages at KS3.  Building on the language learning skills developed in KS3 students are able to achieve a high level at GCSE in two years. Students can study Spanish as their only language or alongside either French or German.

GCSE Content

The content is very similar, whichever language you study.  In Year 10 and Year 11 we build on work done at Key Stage 3 with the emphasis on being able to communicate and express yourself on topics of interest and in situations that will be useful in later life.  You also develop your understanding of grammatical tools of the language and learn about the cultures in the countries where the language is spoken.


Reading and Listening are assessed at the end of the course.  You will take one exam at either Foundation or Higher Tier. (20% each of the final mark).  Writing and Speaking will be assessed by pieces of work done through the course and submitted to the Examination Board (30% each).  The department offers the AQA specification.


Students can follow up their GCSE language studies by taking French, German and/or Spanish in the Sixth Form as AS/ A2 level.  Knowledge of a language is an important skill to demonstrate on a C.V.

Visits abroad

We currently provide students studying French with the opportunity to take part in an exchange visit to France, for German we have an exchange visit to Austria, and for Spanish an exchange visit to Spain.  For more information or advice talk to Miss Wilson or Miss Mark, or your other language teachers.