Modern Languages

Head of Department: Mrs R Clarke (BA Hons, PGCE)

Why learn a foreign language?
Modern language skills are becoming more and more important in today’s society.  Learning a language can be necessary for a number of reasons and purposes; work, adapting to our expanding global economy, relocation, family and friends, travel, studying abroad and expanding our horizons to new cultures.   Learning a foreign language encourages positive attitudes and behaviour towards other people and their cultures.  Whatever the reason, learning a language opens up doors to many opportunities and benefits.

Learning Modern Languages at Ballycastle High School
In Years 8, 9 and 10 all pupils study French and also have the opportunity to undertake a course in Spanish.  Pupils are then able to continue their study of French to both GCSE and A-level.

Key Stage 3 (Years 8-10)
Pupils will learn to talk about a variety of topics such as self, family, friends, school, home life, hobbies and what they do to keep fit as well as learning to describe their local area.  Pupils will learn through a wide range of classroom activities enabling them to develop the four key language skill areas of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.

Key Stage 4 (GCSE)
Pupils choosing French for GCSE follow the AQA specification.  This course will enable pupils to consolidate and develop their knowledge of French attained at Key Stage 3.  They will undertake the study of new topics as well as studying familiar topics in greater depth. 

During class time pupils will have the opportunity to develop Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing skills in the target language. 

The programme of study covers the four contexts of: Lifestyle, Leisure, Home & Environment and School & Future Plans.  Listening and Reading skills are assessed at either Foundation or Higher level and Writing and Speaking are assessed through Controlled Assessment units.

Key Stage 5 (A-level)
Pupils studying French at AS and A2 also follow the AQA specification.  These classes are taught collaboratively with Cross and Passion College our partner school in Ballycastle.  Pupils will also have the opportunity to undertake a component of on-line language learning.

AS-level pupils study the following topics: Media, Popular Culture, Healthy Living & Lifestyles and Family & Relationships.

Pupils complete a Unit 1 Listening, Reading and Writing exam and a Unit 2 Speaking exam.

At A2 pupils study the following topics: Environment, Multicultural Society, Contemporary Social Issues and two Cultural topics.

At the end of the A2 year pupils complete a Unit 3 Listening, Reading and Writing exam and a Unit 4 Speaking exam.

A variety of resources are used within the department.  Textbook course material is supplemented with other resources, including PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, audio recordings, DVD, Smart board resources and other I.T.-based materials.  Pupils studying French for GCSE and A-Level have the opportunity to spend time with the French Assistant on a weekly basis and to borrow additional reading and listening resources.  In the Modern Languages department we aim to provide a stimulating and enjoyable environment for language learning.



Ballycastle High School
33 Rathlin Rd
BT54 6LD


P: (028) 2076 2254


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