French tripWhy are Languages Important?

Our aim is to share our own love of language and language learning, thus allowing our students to become not only proficient users of a modern foreign language, but also good, independent linguists.

Our motto is “a language is not just for GCSE, it’s for life”

The Department

The Languages Department at WHS has 5 members of staff. Classrooms are equipped with whiteboards, projectors and speakers. Two of the classrooms are also equipped with smart boards. We also have 16 laptops for student use.

Mrs Cockburn is the Curriculum Leader and teaches French across the age and ability ranges. She also has German and can teach KS3 Italian. Miss Cavelier teaches French in KS3, KS4 and KS5 and is a native speaker of French and German. Miss Leighton and Miss Hammond teach French in KS3 and KS4. Mrs Hamilton teaches French in KS3 and Italian in KS4.

Key Stage 3

Students learn French throughout Years 7, 8 and 9. In Years 7 and 8 students study the following topics:

  • The French language, France and French speaking countries.
  • Interests and Hobbies
  • School and school life in France
  • House and Home
  • Family
  • Food and ordering in a café
  • Places in town and directions
  • Celebrities and their achievements
  • Describing what they did at the weekend and where they went (Discover Paris)
  • Clothes and Fashion

In Year 9 students begin to study the Edexcel GCSE French course.

Students in Set 1 also study Italian in Years 8 and 9.

In Year 8, the topics are:

  • Self, Family, Friends and Pets
  • Classroom language
  • School subjects and opinions
  • The weather
  • Countries and Nationalities

Key Stage 4

We offer 2 KS4 courses:  Edexcel GCSE French & Edexcel GCSE Italian

Listening and Reading:

  • Personal information: General interests; Leisure activities; Family and friends; Lifestyle
  • Customer service and transactions: Cafés and restaurants; Shops; Dealing with problems
  • Out and about: Visitor information; Basic weather; Local amenities; Accommodation; Public transport; Directions
  • Future plans, education and work: Basic language of the internet; Simple job advertisements; Simple job applications and CV; School and college; Work and work experience

Speaking and Writing:

Media and culture; Sport and leisure; Travel and tourism; Business, work and employment; Centre-devised option.

Key Stage 5

We offer Edexcel AS and A2 French

AS students will explore the following General Topic Areas:

  • Youth culture and concerns
  • Lifestyle, health and fitness
  • The world around us: travel, tourism, environmental issues and the target-language speaking world
  • Education and employment

A2 students will explore the same General Topic Areas, plus the following:

  • Customs, traditions, beliefs and religions
  • National and international events: past, present and future
  • Literature and the arts

Learning Outside the Classroom

The Languages Department firmly believes that we should give children the opportunity to put into practice the French and Italian they have learned in school and the Year 7 French Visit to Paris and Disneyland and the Year 8 Italian Visit to Tuscany provide them with an excellent chance to do that.