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Modern Foreign Languages

The Languages department aims to develop skills, confidence and creativity in the four key areas: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.

Teachers are specialised, experienced and enthusiastic, using a wide range of activities and strategies to help pupils enjoy learning foreign languages whilst developing their linguistic ability. The use of the foreign language in and outside the classroom are considered a vital part of languages teaching at Silverdale as well as developing cultural awareness of many parts of the world where they speak French and Spanish. 

The department offers a range of student support and challenge, as well as trips abroad, when permitted, which enhance pupils’ language learning experience.

The department is based in six classrooms, all of which have interactive smartboards. Pupils also have regular access to a language laboratory. We are well stocked with a range of up-to-date teaching resources and online textbooks, and we subscribe to a number of excellent websites and interactive resources which pupils can access in lessons and at home.  

We have good links with the Learning Resource Centre which also has a number of foreign language books, magazines and films.

why choose to study this subject at our school?

Silverdale has a long history of specialising in the teaching of modern languages. In 2016, through its Teaching School, it established the only national teacher training course specialising in modern languages: the National Modern Languages SCITT (School Centred Initial Teacher Training). This means we are in touch with the very latest developments in modern languages teaching, helping train the teachers of tomorrow and ensuring our lessons reflect the very best practice.

Key Stage 3 

All Year 7 students study French, following the Dynamo course from Pearson. At the beginning of every school year, they have the opportunity to order A CPG revision guide through the school.

A number of students will study Spanish in addition to French in Year 8, and into Year 9. At Key Stage 4 they will then have the opportunity to study French, Spanish or both languages to GCSE. Some students will only study French in Years 8 and 9, to ensure they make the best progress at Key Stage 3. This will greatly help them to achieve their full potential in French at GCSE.

Teachers’ assessments are based on careful consideration of work across the four skill areas and we use regular tests to help us track the progress of each pupil, and to inform our teaching provision.



Nearly all pupils study for one GCSE qualification in either French or Spanish with some studying for two GCSE qualifications.

The final examinations for pupils taking the GCSE consist of listening, reading, speaking and writing exams. Pupils will be entered at either Foundation or Higher level in all skill areas. They are assessed at the end of the second year in the summer term of Y11. In Y11 we organise penpals with a school in Nice, south of France and this always proves popular, helping with motivation and language skills.

beyond the classroom 

We believe that a love for languages is developed further when you visit a country where it is spoken. We endeavour to offer trips abroad to as many students as possible. At Key Stage 3 we take students to Normandy in France and Tossa de Mar in Spain. In KS5 we visit Nice in the south of France where we meet our penfriends from the Lycée Massena and experience the rich culture of Provence. KS5 Spanish students sometimes go to Madrid, the capital, and sometimes to Granada in the south of Spain. We also take students to local universities to broaden their understanding of language learning and have some clubs and language activities running during the year.

future pathways 

The government has recognised that there is a modern languages skills gap. Choosing to study a language at A level and degree level is way of boosting your employability. Many degree courses, for example, in science, law and business, offer a year abroad, sometimes requiring a language at A level.

Students with language skills are in demand. These skills can be used in almost any career, particularly in businesses that trade internationally. They provide work opportunities in law, medicine, business, construction, research, media, government and finance, as well as many other areas. With the globalisation of industry and commerce, graduates with a good command of modern languages are sought after for numerous roles working overseas or in the UK.


Employers are searching not only for the language competence but also the soft skills that learning a language can bring: problem solving, independence, creativity, resilience, communication, observation, listening, team working and organisational skill. A language can be the skill that singles candidates out from the crowd.