Dartford Grammar School

Dartford Grammar School Dartford Grammar School Dartford Grammar School

Modern Foreign Languages

At Dartford Grammar School, we take language learning seriously, and believe we fully reflect our mission statement: ‘a learning community developing international citizens’. As a Language College since 1995, an IB World School, holder of the full International Schools Award, and a Confucius Classroom, we place internationalism at the core of what we do.  We regularly welcome visitors to the department to see what we do and share our experience. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many visits and exchanges on offer.  There are cultural visits for all students in Year 8 and exchanges with Belgium, Germany, Spain, China and Japan for older students.

Courses in KS3 and KS4

All students study an Oriental language in Year 7 (Japanese or Mandarin Chinese), and choose a European language as a second language in Year 8 (French, German, Spanish; or Latin). All students continue both their Year 7 and Year 8 languages to Year 11, where they take an Edexcel www.edexcel.com GCSE (Oriental languages and European Languages from Year 9 onwards) or a Cambridge Board www.cie.org.uk iGCSE (European languages for Years 10 and 11).

Courses in KS5

In the sixth form, all students study a language as part of the International Baccalaureate www.ibo.org Diploma course, selecting from French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian; or Latin.  Sixth Form study opportunities include beginner (Ab initio), Standard or Higher courses in most languages.

Staff

The Modern Languages team is made up of 13 full-time and 8 part-time members of staff, 7 of whom are native speakers. Foreign Language assistants are also employed for Chinese and Japanese.  We also regularly welcome trainee teachers to the department.

Modern Languages within the Community

Many modern languages staff currently teach languages in local primary schools (French, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese).  We also welcome primary school teachers to the school for an annual CPD afternoon.  The Mick Jagger Centre is also home to a number of Community Language classes.

More Information

French

Why study French?

The ability to speak French is highly sought after among UK employers, with 49% rating it useful for their organisation. With France currently the world’s top tourist destination, and French an official language in 29 countries, spoken on every continent, studying French offers students many future leisure and business opportunities. French shares many of the same Latin roots as English, so studying it helps with English literacy. There is also an annual exchange to Liege in Belgium.  Year 8 students will visit Paris in the June Creativity Week.

Course text books

  • Students in Key Stages 3 and 4 will use the Tricolore Total series of books
  • In KS5, Standard and Higher level students use the Oxford French B Course Book.

Syllabus

Students currently in Year 9 are working towards an EdExcel GCSE in French (2018 specification) comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – speaking exam
  • writing – end of year exam

Students currently in Year 11 are working towards a CIE iGCSE (2015 specification) comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – speaking exam
  • writing – end of year exam

In KS5, students study French at one of three levels as part of the IB Diploma: beginner (Ab initio), Standard or Higher.

German

Why study German?

The German language is highly sought after and relevant in areas as diverse as business, tourism, culture, scientific research and innovation. International and UK companies see German-speaking employees as a great asset – in a recent CBI survey published in The Telegraph, UK business managers rated German the most useful foreign language in a future job. The native language of cultural giants such as Beethoven, Mozart and Goethe, German also helps with English literacy, as the two languages share many common roots. There is an annual exchange to Hanau in Germany, as well as an annual music exchange to Germany.  Year 8 students will also visit Cologne in the June Creativity Week.

Course text books

In KS3 and KS4, currently we use the Stimmt series of text books. In KS5, students use a combination of Zeitgeist and Deutsch im Einsatz.

Syllabus

Students currently in Year 9 are working towards an Edexcel German GCSE (2018 specification) comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – speaking exam
  • writing –  end of year exams

Students currently in Year 11 are working towards a CiE German iGCSE (2015 syllabus) comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – speaking exam
  • writing – end of year exam

In KS5, students study German at one of three levels as part of the IB Diploma: beginner (Ab initio), Standard or Higher. 

Japanese

Why study Japanese?

Japanese is a language that is still in its infancy in schools in Great Britain, so those who study it will gain excellent opportunities in business as they have a foreign language that few have the chance to learn. Students study a full course in which they learn to read and write the script, study the spoken language and obtain an insight into a fascinating culture and way of life. We currently have an exchange to Wakayama, near Osaka and also welcome a student for a one month exchange each year.  The departments works closely with the Japan Foundation to promote and develop the teaching of Japanese in the UK.

Course text books

In KS3, currently we use the Obento Deluxe and Obento Supreme series of text books. In KS4, a variety of resources are used, many of them developed by our own teachers. In KS5, students again use a variety of resources, as well as the Basic Kanji series of text books (level 1 and 2).

Syllabus

Students currently in Years 9 to 11 are working towards an Edexcel Japanese GCSE comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – speaking exam
  • writing – end of year exam

The specifications for 2019 onwards are currently being reviewed.
In KS5, students study Japanese at one of two levels as part of the IB Diploma: beginner (Ab initio) or Standard.

Mandarin - Chinese

Why study Mandarin Chinese?

An exciting and fairly recent addition to our language options, the course in Mandarin Chinese offers students an opportunity to learn what is rapidly becoming one of the most prominent business languages in the world. The course will develop in students a broad range of skills including reading and writing the Chinese script, and learning to recognise and produce different tones when speaking this musical language. The Shanghai exchange trip gives an invaluable opportunity to experience this rich and diverse culture.  As a Confucius Classroom, there are many opportunities for cultural experiences throughout the academic year and we also benefit from the assistance of two Hanban teachers.

Course text books

In KS3, currently we use the Jin Bu series of text books. In KS4, the Edexcel GCSE Chinese text book is used. In KS5, Ab Initio students use Chinese in Steps 1; Standard level students use a variety of different books.  

Syllabus

Students currently in Years 9 to 11 are working towards an Edexcel Mandarin Chinese GCSE comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – controlled assessment
  • writing – controlled assessment

The specifications for 2019 onwards are currently being reviewed.

In KS5, students study Mandarin Chinese at one of two levels as part of the IB Diploma: beginner (Ab initio) or Standard.

Russian

Why study Russian?

UK companies see Russian-speaking employees as a great asset – Russia is one of the UK's fastest-growing major export markets, and in a recent CBI survey published in The Telegraph, UK business managers rated Russian in their top 10 most useful foreign language in a future job. With roughly 300 million Russian speakers in the world, it’s also the most widely spoken among Slavic languages. One of the 6 official languages of the United Nations, Russian is also the native language of cultural giants such as Tchaikovsky, Chekhov, Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky. The school has recently organized trips to Moscow and St Petersburg, focusing on both the language and on history.

Course text books

Students use of a variety of resources to support their studies, including the text book series Ruslan, Tranzit and Kompas.

Syllabus

In KS5, students study Russian at one of three levels as part of the IB Diploma: beginner (Ab initio), Standard or Higher.

Spanish

Why study Spanish?

As a major European language valued highly by UK employers, spoken in the majority of South American countries, and increasingly prominent in the United States, Spanish opens up a wide variety of future business and leisure opportunities. Since it shares its Latin roots with many other European languages, studying Spanish helps with literacy and understanding of English and French, as well as other Romance languages such as Portuguese and Italian. Students have the opportunity to take part in an exchange to Madrid in Spain.  Year 8 will visit Barcelona in the June Creativity Week.

Course text books

In KS3 and KS4, currently we use Viva and Listos text books. In KS5, Standard and Higher level students use the Oxford Spanish B Course Book. Ab Initio students use the Ab Initio text book published by Teaching Point.

Syllabus

Students currently in Year 11 are working towards a CiE Spanish iGCSE (2015 syllabus) comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – speaking exam
  • writing – end of year exam

Students currently in Year 9 are working towards an Edexcel Spanish GCSE (2018 specification) comprising:

  • listening – end of year exam
  • reading – end of year exam
  • speaking – controlled assessment
  • writing – controlled assessment

In KS5, students study Spanish at one of three levels as part of the IB Diploma: beginner (Ab initio), Standard or Higher.