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Modern Foreign Languages

We are a successful department specialist language teachers, currently supported by 2 Foreign Language Assistants, with whom many pupils have regular contact in order to enhance their spoken language.

Why study a Modern Language?

  • it’s fun, and challenging;
  • it is an important life skill which improves your working memory and develops fast-thinking;
  • it enhances your listening skills and concentration capacity;
  • you study words which raises your literacy level and reading speed;
  • knowledge of one or more foreign languages can be useful in a wide range of careers; and
  • you gain insight into the culture and attitudes of other nations and learn about their and our own place in Europe.
  • You can combine languages with a range of degree subjects e.g. Maths, Chemistry, Economics, Accountancy, Law, Business, Physics, Finance, History, Politics etc.

Since 2013, three of our pupils have progressed to read Modern and Medieval Languages at Cambridge University.

CCEA Top Northern Ireland Examination Candidate 2015 GCSE French Joint 2nd was awarded to Grace Carson.

All KS3 pupils learn French and Spanish from Year 8. At the end of year 10, pupils are encouraged to choose both for GCSE study. In the sixth form we currently offer CCEA Advanced level courses in French and Spanish. We hope you enjoy your visit to our web pages. Please feel free to email us at: if you have any questions.



Departmental Activities

MFL Trips:
Each year we offer a language trip to either France or Spain. Recent MFL trip itineraries:


Paris 2016/2020

  • Return flights from Belfast Intl to Paris (CDG)
  • Four nights bed & breakfast in a Parisian Hotel / Coaching for the duration of your stay/ Fully comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Return coach between school and Belfast International Airport / One day entrance to Disneyland Paris ( Park or Studio) Seine River Cruise / Entrance to Montparnasse Tower / Entrance to the Louvre / Guided tour of Paris Entrance and self-guided tour of Versailles / Three evening meals in a local restaurant One evening meal at Planet Hollywood in Disney


Barcelona 2017/2019

  • Return flights from Dublin to Barcelona
  • Coach at disposal throughout stay in Spain / Full day guided tour of BarcelonaFour nights half board (breakfast & evening meal) in a 3 star hotel in Salou / Fully comprehensive travel insurance
  • Two day combined ticket for entrance on two consecutive days for two parks (PortAventura & Costa Caribe Water Park)
  • Entrance to the Nou Camp stadium & self-guided tour / Golondrinas Boat Trip / All transfers included


European Day of Languages:

  • Senior MFL pupils spend the morning of European Day of Languages in DH Christie Memorial Primary School / Irish Society’s Primary School engaging classes from P1-P7 in language learning activities. This is an excellent opportunity for A Level pupils to try out their classroom management skills while promoting language learning in their local community. Junior pupils take part in a range of EDL focused activities and competitions.


Drama Productions from Onatti Ltd in Target Language:

  • KS3 pupils enjoyed the Spanish play, El Viejo Saloon and the French play, La Salle des Énigmes.


Guest Speakers:

  • Professor J. Carruthers from Queen’s University, Belfast, delivered an Employability presentation to KS3/KS4/KS5 pupils on the career advantages of studying languages at university and employer demand for language skills.


Languages Club:

  • Pupils learn about celebrations and cultural events across Europe. Activities also include information on Careers using languages and watching foreign films.



  • Hosted by Queen’s University, Belfast, this is an opportunity for year 10 pupils to apply their language skills in a mock trade-fair setting.Last year, our pupils enjoyed running a Tourist Office in Lyon.


AS/A2 Film Days:

  • Pupils travel to Magee University or Queen’s Film Theatreto enjoy a screening of a set A level text.


NICILT Debate (A2):

  • CGS French A Level pupils demonstrated their fluency when they won their debate round during Queen’s University NICILT A-level Debating competition. Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching & Research)



Modern Foreign Languages Staff

  • Mme D. Ranchoux BA. CertTESOL MA PGCE (Curriculum Leader)
  • Mrs L. Kelly BA PGCE
  • Mr G.B.E. Knox BA PGCE
  • Mrs A. McConaghie BA PGCE
  • Mr K.A. Peden BA PGCE
  • Ms. G Watters BA PGCE

Key Stage 3

The transfer of knowledge and skills across two languages ensures that pupils gain not only a firm foundation in each respective language but also a valuable insight into the process of language learning itself. We use ‘Studio’ for French, and ‘Viva’ for Spanish as our core text books, but these are supplemented with a variety of other resources; teacher-made & published worksheets, ICT software (such as ActiveTeach), websites to which we subscribe and other published materials. Every pupil has a Workbook for each language with extension activities and useful vocabulary arranged in topics. We are constantly striving to improve the achievements of pupils in our curriculum area.


Key Stage 4

As an Academic School, there is a strong focus on language learning. Pupils are encouraged to take two languages at GCSE level. GCSE Skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, are assessed at the end of Y12 with each skill accounting for 25%.

Pupils are examined on 3 Contexts for Learning:

1. Identity, Lifestyle and Culture

2. Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest

3. School Life, Studies and the World of Work

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form

What courses are offered? AS and A2 French and Spanish

A Level Themes

AS Relationships: different family structures; roles, responsibilities and relationships within families; challenges for families; intergenerational issues; and influences on young people, e.g. peers, family and friends.

AS Culture and Lifestyle: physical well-being, for example diet or exercise; risk-taking behaviour, for example smoking, alcohol and drugs or extreme sports; dealing with stress and challenges, for example school or examinations; hobbies and interests, for example sport or music; the arts, film, fashion and design; social media and new technology; and holidays, festivals and tourism.

A2 Young People in Society: part-time jobs; education and employment; career planning – aspirations and/or intentions; young people and democracy; European citizenship – advantages, disadvantages and opportunities; and societal attitudes and young people.

A2 Our Place in a Changing World: equality/inequality and discrimination/prejudice; poverty at home and abroad – causes, consequences and measures to combat it; immigration and emigration – causes, benefits and related issues; multicultural society and cultural identity – benefits and challenges; causes, consequences and resolution of conflict; and sustainable living and environmental issues.

Pupils are examined on the above themes as follows:

AS 1 30% SPEAKING (12% A Level) 11 mins 75 marks

Q1: Presentation 3 mins, 30 marks

Q2: Conversation 8 mins, 45 marks

AS 2 40% (16% A Level)

A LISTENING 40 mins 25 marks

Q1: Answer in TL, 10 marks

Q2: Answer in English, 15 marks

B READING 50 mins 40 marks

Q1: Reading Comprehension, answer in TL, 20 marks

Q2: Translation of passage TL -> English, 20 marks

C USE OF LANGUAGE 30 mins 35 marks

Q1-4: Grammar Exercises

Q5: Translation of 5 phrases English -> TL

AS 3 30% EXTENDED WRITING (12% A Level) 1 hour 75 marks

One essay written in Target Language on a set text.

A2 1 18% SPEAKING 15 mins 75 marks

Q1: Introduction and Discussion 6 mins, 40 marks

Q2: Conversation 9 mins, 35 marks

A2 2 24%

A LISTENING 45 mins 25 marks

Q1: Answer in TL, 10 marks

Q2: Answer in English, 15 marks

B READING 2 hours 75 marks

Q1: Gap-filling exercise in TL, 10 marks

Q2: Reading Comprehension QA in TL, 15 marks

Q3: Summary in English, 15 marks

Q4: Translation from English -> TL, 35 marks

A2 3 18% EXTENDED WRITING 1 hour 75 marks

One essay written in Target Language on a set text.