French, German, Mandarin & Spanish – GCSE

The new GCSE is now linear so students will sit their exams at the end of the course.

Each paper is worth 25% of the final grade and there will be four papers to test Listening (comprehension), Speaking (role-play, photo card and discussion), Reading (comprehension and translation) and Writing (a range of written tasks and translation).

As part of the GCSE programme, French is taught building on the foundations laid in High School, whereas Spanish, German and Mandarin are taught from beginner level. Achieving proficiency in a Modern Foreign Language at GCSE requires independent study time and dedication with homework and revision, so we expect our students to commit themselves to regular hard work. It is important to emphasise that choosing Spanish, German or Mandarin will provide an extra challenge from studying French which most students have studied at High School.

We would therefore recommend that students who want to study Spanish, German or Mandarin have already demonstrated good linguistic ability in French and are committed to preparing their GCSE in two years.

Students also have the opportunity to study two languages should bear in mind the challenge that this provide.


Examination Board

AQA (French, German & Spanish)

Edexcel (Mandarin)



The GCSE examinations consist of 4 units:

  • Unit 1: Listening examination (20%)
  • Unit 2: Speaking Controlled Assessments (30%)
  • Unit 3: Reading examination (20%)
  • Unit 4: Writing Controlled Assessments (30%)


Unit Content

The Listening and Reading examinations will test understanding of the following topics: Out & About: Customer Service & Transactions, Personal Information, Future Plans, Education and work

The Speaking and Writing Controlled Assessments will test language manipulation in the following areas: Media & culture, Sport & leisure, Travel & tourism, Business, work & employment. Individual teachers may also devise tasks on different topics.

*Please note that the topics and exam timings for Mandarin vary slightly from the European Languages.


Extra Curricular Opportunities

We strive to enrich our students’ linguistic and cultural development by running trips to France, Germany and Spain every year.


Other Information

The language faculty is a creative and dynamic team of native and non-native teachers, who are dedicated to ensuring the progress and success of all its students and developing their cultural awareness for academic and career purposes.

We strive to enrich the linguistic and cultural development for our students by running trips to France, Germany and Spain every year. This year we are exploring the possibility of running a trip to China.




Languages Contact

Laura Masters
Head of Languages
Mand Aujla
Languages Administrator