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Model School Primary School, Northland Rd, County Londonderry

Welcome to the Languages Department

At St Mary’s High School we use the AQA Examination Board for GCSE French and Spanish

Why Study a Language?

  • Today there is a global market for jobs and employers value people with foreign language skills. It is not necessary to be completely fluent in a foreign language to be an asset to an employer – just having basic conversational ability is sufficient.  Learning languages gives you greater opportunities to live and work abroad therefore enhancing your experience of other cultures and societies and enriching your life both culturally and socially
  • Recent surveys indicate that people with languages skills are less likely to be unemployed
  • Develops your communication and interpersonal skills and promotes good memory skills
  • Opportunities in a wide range of industries such as: Marketing, Tourism, IT, Financial Services, Accountancy, Business Studies, Law, Teaching, Engineering and Journalism

 GCSE French and Spanish

Unit 1 Listening 20%
  • Foundation Tier – Written paper - 30 minutes + 5 minutes reading time
  • Higher Tier – Written paper - 40 minutes + 5 minutes reading time



Unit 2 Reading 20%
  • Foundation Tier – Written paper - 30 minutes
  • Higher Tier – Written paper - 50 minutes



Unit 3 Speaking 30%

Controlled Assessment

2 speaking tests of 4-6 minutes each worth 15%

Internally assessed


Unit 4 Writing 30%

Controlled Assessment

2 written tasks of 200-300 words each worth 15%

Externally assessed

In Listening and Reading there are two tiers of assessment:

Foundation Tier - Pupils can achieve Grades B to G

Higher Tier - Pupils can achieve Grades A* to D