Students have the opportunity to study French and Spanish to A Level, while those with a strong native background in the language can study German, Chinese or Russian. The strongest students in Year 8 are given the opportunity to follow an 'ab-initio' Spanish IGCSE course in Year 9 as a second modern language.
In Key Stage 3, students cover topics which include talking about family and friends, holidays, social media, shopping, hobbies, eating out and learning about cultural topics such as cinema, capital cities, Hispanic countries and Franco-African culture.
In Key Stage 4, Year 11 students are working towards the AQA GCSE course, deepening and extending vocabulary on the above topics as well as talking about more age-relevant issues such as teenage life, family relationships, online safety, work experience, school life and careers. The four skills are examined separately, with Speaking and Writing Controlled Assessment worth 30% each of the final grade. This year, Year 10 have embarked upon the Edexcel International GCSE course which examines all four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking at the end of the course. Each skill is worth 25% of the final grade.
In the Sixth Form, students study current affairs, literature, immigration, the environment, history, higher education, relationships and marriage, body image, health issues and politics. Two examinations are taken at the end of Year 12, and two more at the end of Year 13. These are Unit 1 (Listening, Reading and Writing) and Unit 2 (Speaking).
Grammar and linguistic skills are acquired progressively from Year 7 to Year 13, moving from the present tense, adjectives, reflexive verbs and pronouns, to the subjunctive and the past historic.
Every year there is a visit to Normandy for Year 8 students. Whilst staying in the picturesque surroundings of a French chateau, students sample the great gastronomic delights of France; it is a trip they never forget. For Years 9 to 13, we offer various trips to Paris and Andalucia, with the possibility of a new exchange programme starting up. Students get to see the Mona Lisa, experience the dizzying heights of the Eiffel Tower and join in with Flamenco dancing. In the Sixth form, cultural visits to London are offered to watch plays in French and Spanish, supporting post-16 teaching and learning.
Several co-curricular clubs are offered, such as the French Club, Spanish Club, German Club and Chinese Club.
In 2015, GCSE students achieved 100% A*-B grades in Chinese, 56% A*-B grades in French, 100% A*-B grades in German, 100% A*-B grades in Russian and 68% A*-B grades in Spanish.
In 2015, A Level students achieved 100% A*-B grades in Chinese, 67% A*-B grades in French, 100% A*-B grades in German, 100% A*-B grades in Russian and 89% A*-B grades in Spanish.
French and Spanish continue to be popular despite their challenging nature, as students embrace the myriad of broader benefits that language-learning offers. New Hall students have also achieved considerable success in the prestigious Russian Essay Competition and the UK National Chinese Writing Competition.
Head of Department
Mrs S Reid BA (Bristol) PGCE (Homerton) MFLE