St Thomas More Catholic High School

Modern Languages

The aim of the Modern Languages department is not merely to teach pupils how to communicate in and understand either one or two foreign languages, but to develop an awareness and understanding of other cultures and ways of life.  This serves to broaden pupils’ minds and develop a true multi-cultural society.  Our foreign visits and exchange are therefore an integral part of the curriculum.

Standards and expectations are high, pupils engage with a range of media and teaching approaches to emerge themselves into their language learning with the emphasis being on enjoyable, challenging and effective lessons.

Examination success levels are high, with the majority of pupils going on to achieve a GCSE in at least one Language; this is well above the national average.
Pupils learn key skills to be able to tackle a variety of tasks in their language(s): speaking, listening, reading, writing and translating.


KS3 (Years 7-8)
In Year 7 all pupils study French and the top two sets also learn German.  The key aim at KS3 is to bring the language(s) to life- pupils engage with a range of authentic material and learn how to manipulate language authentically.
In Year 8, pupils who are studying both French and German choose either to study both languages or select one which they will continue with to GCSE.
Pupils who study only French will continue with this language into GCSE.
Pupils in Year 8 have the opportunity to spend a week in France in June and those studying German can apply to take part in the German Exchange to our partner school in Bavaria.
Pupils in Year 7 study the themes of self, family and friends, school, leisure and home life.
Pupils in Year 8 study the themes of media, character, relationships, home life and Paris.

Pupils in Year 7 study an introductory unit and then the themes of the world and I, family and pets, and leisure and travel.
Pupils in Year 8 study the themes holidays, media, health and travel and festivals.



KS4 (Years 9-11)
All pupils study at least one language at GCSE, they can opt to study two.  In addition, all Polish speakers take Polish GCSE in Year 10.
In Year 9, pupils are introduced to the key skills needed at GCSE and start to study the GCSE topics.
The ‘new’ GCSE is assessed on final examination of the key skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing under the three broad themes:

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Pupils follow the AQA examination board

We are delighted to be able to offer the more linguistically able pupils the opportunity to study Latin during after school, twilight masterclasses.


Top revision tips:
In order to revise for examination success, here are some top tips: 
  • Use your vocabulary books to learn all of the key vocabulary, learn words regularly and for a relatively short amount of time- it is better to spend just a few minutes each day. Make sure you cover up the words, write them, check you are right and keep doing this
  • Do as much listening and reading practice as possible- use past papers, exemplar material or indeed any authentic material which is at the correct level – ask your teacher for suitable material
  • Create spider diagrams / mindmaps to collate all of the key vocabulary, constructions and grammar which you have learnt for each topic
  • Try recording your spoken French,  you can then listen back at your leisure, alternatively ask your teacher to record some answers for you so you can practise your pronunciation


 Top Online revision resources: 


You can contact Mr K Lemon by e-mail here.