Modern Languages

Modern Languages

Bienvenue to the French Curriculum Area at Somercotes Academy.

Studying a language at Somercotes Academy helps our students to develop the cultural knowledge and linguistic competences necessary to compete in the international arena.

Please explore these pages to find out more about what we offer.

Ethos & Values

  • To enhance the students' experience of language learning, through the effective delivery of the curriculum, using outstanding resources.
  • To encourage independent language learning with an international focus.
  • To have consistently high expectations and match these with high quality resources and learning strategies.
  • To provide a range of educational experiences appropriate to the age, ability and needs of our students.
  • To adopt a philosophy of continuous improvement in all aspects of French.

Knowledge & Skills

Students develop their four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in a variety of contexts to prepare them for language use in the global community. We cater for a range of different learning styles: visual, aural and kinaesthetic. There is scope for students' personal growth as learners, through active participation in class lessons and homework, which provides students with the ability to communicate effectively and with confidence, both orally and in writing, in a variety of styles and situations in the target language.

Students are encouraged to express personal opinions and communicate effectively in a range of "real life" situations; for example, business transactions, ordering food in a restaurant and asking for information about a town.

Our Language Laboratory provides students with the opportunity to enhance their computer skills and it also grants a further opportunity for oral and aural practise through the use of headphones and microphones.


Resources & Facilities

There are currently two language classrooms in the Curriculum Area; one of which is a language laboratory, equipped with twenty eight computers and specialist language learning software (Sanako). This sort of technology enables the students to work on their speech and pronunciation as well as interacting on a one-on-one basis with the teacher and other students. The other classroom is equipped with an Interactive White Board. The whiteboard allows the teacher to produce highly motivating and interactive lessons, which the pupils thoroughly enjoy. In addition to all this, we provide the students with the latest edition textbooks and exercise books.

Miss Drury and Miss Chignall teach in the Language department at Somercotes Academy. Both teachers are highly motivated and encourage the students to learn and enjoy French. Miss Chignall runs a popular lunchtime Languages Club for Key Stage 3 students (years 7 and 8) and Miss Drury runs lunchtime revision sessions for GCSE students (years 9, 10 and 11), which are always well attended.

Once a year, we organise for a French theatre production company to come to the Academy and perform a play entirely in French. We organise for the play to be based around topic specific vocabulary which the students have covered in lessons. This will also be useful for their GCSE exams, so they are fully able to understand the play.


Courses & Qualifications

Key Stage 3:

Students follow the National Curriculum in Modern Foreign Languages.

Key Stage 4:

GCSE in French (AQA) - assessed using controlled assessment and traditional exams.

The assessment is weighted:

  • Written controlled assessment - 30%
  • Speaking controlled assessment - 30%
  • Reading exam - 20%
  • Listening exam - 20%

Learning Outside The Classroom

Language Club

A Language Club gives students the opportunity to develop their interests in particular topics in French and it also allows them some more independent learning time. The club is held once a week and is on offer for all year 7 and 8 students. The focus is very much on what interests the students, so we welcome their input. It is a good way to meet new people and learn some extra French whilst having fun!

French Trip

Somercotes Academy is looking into the possibility of combining with Tollbar Academy for their yearly trip to Ch√Ęteau d'Ebblinghem in the North of France. This trip is an excellent opportunity for students to improve their French speaking ability and most importantly, students will gain confidence in using French and they will understand the practical benefits of learning and using the language. We believe this is of great benefit to students of all abilities.


Where Does This Take Me In The Future?

  • Learning a language provides opportunities for students who may wish to be employed in the world of Business.
  • Learning a language provides transferable skills, knowledge and understanding for the ever-changing world.
  • Languages motivate students via applied learning and continuous assessment.
  • GCSE Language qualifications provide a springboard to further and higher programmes of study.

Just under 50% of companies lose business because of language barriers. At Somercotes Academy, we aim to provide our students with opportunities to make themselves stand out to future employers. Linguistic competence is a much sought after skill.

Learning a language shows that you are a brave individual who is not afraid of a challenge. You have a well-trained memory in order to learn and recall all the extra words in a foreign language. You are able to converse in another language and therefore likely to be adept at communicating in your mother tongue too. You are open minded and like to try new things. You can perform well, even when under pressure, as you can successfully converse in a foreign language without prior preparation.

Learning a language allows you to better appreciate and understand cultural and historical connections. You are confident and can talk to lots of different people in the world. You persevere when things become difficult, because learning a language is not easy but it is worth it.

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Somercotes Academy Principal

Caroline L Yates
BA (Hons).

Tollbar MAT Chief Executive

David J Hampson
OBE, BSc, BA.
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