Years 7, 8 and 9
In their first year at Cobham Hall, students follow a carousel programme, which introduces them to the three core languages: French, Spanish and German. In each language, they learn basic communication and vocabulary, with the emphasis on speaking skills and the common principles of language acquisition. For French, students are taught at two separate levels, depending on their prior exposure and competence in the language. All girls continue to study French until the end of Year 9.
A topic-based approach is used to teach and learn French in Years 7, 8 and 9. Language is introduced and practised with the aim of working from individual words to building communicative competence and confidence in a wide range of contexts. Pupils are supported across the four key skill areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing in a range of different ways, while grammatical structures and rules are also explored and developed. ICT presentations, props, games, activities, mime, songs and puzzles are all tools used to learn and consolidate lesson material. Pupils are encouraged to explore their own learning preferences and to use methods which suit them in terms of developing their linguistic acquisition as part of their independent study. Various online and digital resources are also used to support learning.
Years 10 and 11: GCSE
At GCSE level, pupils are encouraged to consolidate and build on the language acquired in previous years. Topic-specific vocabulary and grammar are reviewed and revised and activities continue to be based around the four key skill areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing. Further use of available online and digital resources is promoted, in order to support the development of independent linguistic awareness and progress. Communicative independence is reinforced by students giving presentations, working in groups, planning activities to support learning and making choices about activities which will develop their own linguistic competence. Continued use is made of ICT, online resources, puzzles and activities to support language acquisition. Time is also spent thinking about effective revision strategies and designing tools to support these.
Assessments include regular class tests across all four skills in Years 10 and 11, unit tests, internal examinations at the end of Year 10 and GCSE examination papers at the end of Year 11.
Sixth Form: A Level
Choosing to study a Modern Language at A Level is the smart route to a great future in today’s global, multilingual and interconnected world. This two-year programme builds on the skills acquired at GCSE to boost communicative fluency and to immerse students in the culture and heritage of the country where the language is spoken. The course is linear, with final examinations at the end of the two years. Key topics cover contemporary political and social issues relevant to teenagers and to their future careers. Students also study works of literature and film as a means of cementing and contextualising the linguistic and cultural content of the course. More than one language can be studied.
All Year Groups
Language Assistants – The Languages Faculty at Cobham Hall benefits from the support of native speaker language assistants who support students in the development of their communication skills at all levels throughout the school. Students receive both whole class and one-to-one support.