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French, German or Spanish


The aims of the Languages department are to:

  • Make the study of languages and cultures an enjoyable and relevant learning experience, encouraging students to continue their study of language;
  • Foster positive attitudes, interest and enthusiasm for languages and other cultures;
  • Provide opportunities for students to understand the importance of languages in their studies, as well as developing an invaluable skill to showcase for future careers.


Key Stage 3

At Northgate we offer three languages: French, German and Spanish. At Key Stage 3 our language course aims to enable students to communicate successfully in foreign languages in practical situations, to learn about and understand aspects of the culture, customs and daily life of the relevant countries, and to encourage a positive attitude to foreign language learning and culture.

At Key Stage 3 classes study either French, German or Spanish for two lessons a week. Students have timetabled access to the Language Centre facilities, enabling them to become familiar with interactive self-study languages software.

From September 2023, Year 8 students will be placed on one of two pathways:

  1. Pathway 1, where students will continue with the same language that they started learning in Year 7;
  2. Pathway 2, where students will have the chance to study an additional second language until the end of Year 9.

These pathways will be determined by teacher assessment and teachers’ professional judgement.   


What will students learn?

In Years 7, 8 and 9, students will learn to communicate about:

  • Greetings
  • Personal information
  • Clothes and fashion
  • Family and pets
  • Daily routine
  • Hobbies and interests
  • School and future plans
  • Holidays
  • Where they live – home and abroad
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Food and healthy eating
  • Film and television
  • Internet and social media
  • World geography and where the target languages are spoken


How will students be taught?

New language is introduced by whole-class teaching using the interactive screen, coursebook, and audio and visual resources, with an emphasis on phonics, vocabulary, grammar and translation. Then the language is practised with a partner or in a small group, using role-play and language games. The work is then consolidated through writing activities. Students will use ICT regularly. Trips abroad will support students in their learning. 


How will students be assessed?

Students are assessed on the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing across each year.

Key Stage 4

What will students learn?

Students will learn to communicate in French, German or Spanish on the following topics:


Identity and Culture

  • Daily life

  • Relationships, friends and family

  • Cultural life


Local Area, Holiday and Travel

  • Travel and tourist attractions

  • Holidays

  • Town, region and country


International and Global Dimension

  • Environment 

  • Events – sports, music etc



  • What school is like

  • School activities


Future Aspirations, Study and Work

  •  Languages beyond the classroom

  • Ambitions

  • Work


How will students be taught?

Students will already be familiar with the way languages are taught in Key Stage 3. New language is introduced by whole-class teaching using the interactive screen, coursebook, and audio and visual resources. Then it is practised with a partner or in a small group, using role-play and language games. The work is then consolidated by writing activities. Students will use ICT regularly. The German department also runs an exchange visit.


How will students be assessed?

In French, German and Spanish, the language is assessed at Foundation or Higher level.                



Foundation: 35 minutes

Higher: 45 minutes



Foundation: 45 minutes

Higher: 1 hour



Foundation: 7–9 minutes

Higher: 10–12 minutes



Foundation: 1 hour 10 minutes

Higher 1 hour 20 minutes


Examination board & course type

Edexcel - GCSE French (1FR0), GCSE German (1GN0), GCSE Spanish (1SP0).


What can studying this subject lead to?

The aim of these courses is to enable students to use the language confidently, both in Britain and abroad, and to give them an understanding and appreciation of the culture of the country where the language is mainly spoken. The GCSE course will give students a firm foundation for study at A level.


Revision Advice

A subject specific guide featuring key content, recommended resources and the specifications we cover in that particular subject can be downloaded below:



Teachers to contact for further information


Dr V Ohakwe


Mr A Cobbold
Dr M Dixon




Contact Us

Northgate High School
Sidegate Lane, Ipswich, IP4 3DL

Tel: 01473 210 123