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A Bit About Us
We are very proud of the range of languages on offer at IVC. All of our KS3 students study French and Spanish or German with the opportunity to choose from French, Spanish, German, Latin or Japanese at KS4. Our expertise in languages gives our students an advantage and leads to further study as part of the IB where it is possible to study French, Spanish, German and Japanese.
We believe that communication is key to language learning and offer many opportunities to enrich the learning experience through engaging activities in lessons, extra-curricular events, as well as a wide range of visits and exchanges. Students at IVC develop their transferrable life skills in lessons, building up their resilience to challenge and their self-confidence.
Monolingualism is no longer an option in the modern world as everyone at IVC knows.
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Japanese, English B
All students in Years 7 and 8 have 3 French lessons over two weeks. They are taught in sets using the Studio 1 followed by the Studio 2 textbooks (red book for higher sets, green book for lower sets). This is supplemented with many stretching and engaging ideas, in order to ensure that students consolidate the language they have learnt to say and understand in primary, whilst avoiding mere repetition of their learning in KS2. This ensures that all learners can be successful regardless of their previous experiences with French.
Students opt which language to continue studying during Year 8 so that in Year 9 learning can focus on ensuring a solid grammatical base, whilst constantly broadening the leaner's vocabulary. Students have six lessons over the fortnight in year 9 and 4 lessons in years 10 and 11. We use the Studio GCSE for Edexcel textbooks. In our teaching, we regularly refer to the wider world and learning language for real purposes. To this end, students are offered an exchange trip to France, as outlined below.
Year 8 and 9 Exchange to Tours France
This exciting exchange has been running successfully for over 20 years. Students from Years 8 and 9 can apply to take part and are matched with students from the College Jean Phillippe Rameau in Tours. The French group come to England for 10 days in March and we return to France in June. While in France we visit the chateau of the Loire valley as well as Paris and the Futuroscope Theme Park. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience life in a French family, improve your language skills and make new friends.
German is the second language alongside French for half of the year group in Year 7 and Year 8. Students are introduced to the language in three lessons over the fortnight, using the course books Stimmt 1 and 2 and quickly build up their basic knowledge and skills.
Students opt which language to continue studying during Year 8 so that in Year 9 learning can focus on ensuring a solid grammatical base, whilst constantly broadening the learner's vocabulary. Students have six lessons over the fortnight in year 9 and 4 lessons in years 10 and 11. We use the Stimmt GCSE for Edexcel textbooks. In our teaching, we regularly refer to the wider world and learning language for real purposes. To this end, students are offered two trips to Germany, as outlined below.
Trips and Exchanges
In Year 8, students have the opportunity to take part in an extended day trip to Aachen, Germany. They visit an authentic Christmas market and get a first-hand experience of German culture and language.
In Year 9, students can take part in the exchange programme with our partner school Gymnasium Gernsheim near Frankfurt. Gymnasium Gernsheim have been our partners for about fifteen years and we have done many successful exchanges and projects with them.
Spanish is the second language alongside French for half of the year group in Year 7 and students have three lessons over two weeks. The teaching aims to quickly build up the students' confidence with the language using a wide variety of teaching styles. The aim of the course is to provide all students with an enjoyable and sound introduction to the language and the country. In Year 7, students follow the course book Viva 1 and will move to Viva 2 during Year 8.
Students opt which language to continue studying during Year 8 so that in Year 9 learning can focus on ensuring a solid grammatical base, whilst constantly broadening the leaner's vocabulary. Students have six lessons over the fortnight in year 9 and 4 lessons in years 10 and 11. We follow the Viva GCSE for Edexcel textbooks. Students are motivated and encouraged to develop their language abroad and we offer an exchange opportunity, as outlined below:
Year 10 and 12 Exchange to Zaragoza (Spain)
This is a well-established exchange that has now been running for 12 years. Our partner school is the Instituto Santiago Hernandez in Zaragoza. It is a friendly and welcoming school on the outskirts of Zaragoza, whose staff work hard to spoil us with their hospitality and enthusiasm.
Zaragoza is an important, prosperous and expanding city with an attractive and historic city centre whose monuments range from Roman remains and a superb Moorish palace, to historic houses, art galleries, and a major pilgrimage centre. The modern city has plenty of entertainment and shopping opportunities, and the atmosphere is lively and dynamic, authentically Spanish in a way that is hard to find in the resorts of the Mediterranean coast.
During our stay in Zaragoza, we visit the school, sample some lessons, do language and project work, and visit the city. School finishes at 2 o’clock on most days, so there are opportunities for further visits and leisure in the afternoon and at the weekend. There is at least one full-day excursion, usually to the cosmopolitan city of Barcelona, of which one highlight is the extraordinary architecture of Gaudí.
The visit of the Spanish students to Impington is also a valuable cultural experience for our students. Impington organises a full programme of visits, project work and excursions for the Spanish guests during their stay.
The farewell meal on the last night, organised by the students themselves, is something of a tradition, with the two groups getting together to talk over their experiences and new friendships. When the time comes to leave, tears are not uncommon!
The unique language of Japanese is taught at IVC from scratch from Year 9 or Year 12. In these courses you will learn Japanese scripts, including Kanji (Chinese characters), and you will be brought to the level where you can communicate effectively in various situations. For those who have previous knowledge of Japanese (for example, post GCSE level) we offer Language B in Year 12. In this course you will attain higher levels of Japanese with topics which involve more cultural aspects. There is an annual Japan trip to Kyoto, considered the cultural capital of Japan. There you can experience traditional and modern Japanese culture.
Year 10 students enjoying calligraphy, making decorations and writing wishes for the Japanese Tanabata festival.
Modern Languages - KS4 Overview
Students have the opportunity to learn French, German, Spanish, Japanese or Latin at GCSE. French, German, Spanish and Japanese use the Edexcel exam board, Latin uses OCR and Japanese Edexcel.
Frequently asked questions about French, German, Spanish and Japanese GCSE courses are answered below:
1. How many lessons are there a fortnight?
Students choose their GCSE Language in year 9. They have six lessons over a fortnight on year 9 for French, German or Spanish and four for Japanese. They then have four lessons over the fortnight in Year 10 and Year 11 for all languages.
2. How is the language examined?
The four key skills are assessed individually. Students sit final exams in all four skills at the end of year 11 – these skills are reading, listening, speaking and writing and the exams are all worth 25% of the final grade. There is no coursework element to the GCSE course and all exams are assessed by external examiners from the exam board.
3. Which topics are studied?
Five themes are covered as below:
Theme 1 – Identity and Culture
Theme 2 – Local area, holiday and travel
Theme 3 – School
Theme 4 – Future aspirations, work and study
Theme 5 – International and global dimension.
Each of these builds on topics covered during Year 7 and 8.
4. What grammar is covered?
Study develops the solid foundation that students have built up during KS3 and include: past, present and future tenses, the use of adjectives and adverbs, pronouns, word order, comparatives and superlatives.
5. Which other skills are developed?
Language learning is an excellent way in which to develop other key skills and build up literacy in general. Students learn to effectively use dictionaries (books and online), access verb tables and improve their language stylistically, for example through the use of a range of connectives or intensifiers.
6. Which books are used?
French uses Studio GCSE.
German uses Stimmt GCSE.
Spanish uses Viva GCSE.
8. Is there any support outside of lessons?
Towards the end of year 10 and 11, intervention sessions are run one lunchtime each week to support students who are struggling to reach their desired grade. Teachers also track students’ progress throughout the course and will offer small group and 1 to 1 support where needed.
Please https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/french-2016.htmlto read the full French specification.
Please access https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/german-2016.html to read the full German specification.
Please access https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/spanish-2016.html to read the full Spanish specification.
Please access https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/japanese-2017.html to read the full Spanish specification.