Modern Languages

The Modern Languages department offers courses in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Enhancement courses in Mandarin, Japanese and Russian for beginners are available to pupils in S6 subject to demand.

Our aims are:

  • To develop Talking, Listening, Writing and Reading skills in Modern Foreign Languages using a variety of different media.

  • To develop knowledge of the grammatical systems of these languages.

  • To provide pupils with knowledge of life and customs in countries in which each of these modern languages is spoken.

  • To prepare pupils for the NQ examinations set by SQA.

The Modern Languages Department consists of ten teachers in total, including native speakers of French, German and Spanish. All members of staff teach two languages.

In addition, we have 4 Modern Language Assistants [native speakers] for French, German, Spanish and Italian. They collaborate with class teachers and work intensively with groups and individual pupils to help them to improve their oral competence. Advanced Higher pupils have a weekly oral period with the MLAs to help with their preparation for the external oral examinations.

Languages and Stages

All pupils study French in S1. In S2 all pupils continue with French and study Spanish and German on a rotational basis. In S3, pupils continue with at least one language working towards exam presentation. In S4, pupils studying languages are presented for National 5 and a large number continue with their studies to sit Higher in S5. Pupils who have dropped their language at the end of S4 may return to it to sit Higher in S6. Advanced Higher courses are delivered in all languages in S6. In S6, “crash” courses leading to Higher are offered in Italian and Spanish; these are particularly suited to those pupils who have a proven track record in language learning and who wish to extend their range.

A large number of pupils continue with their studies to university level, either undertaking a modern language as their degree or in conjunction with their chosen option.

School Trips and exchanges

We have developed links and implemented exchange programmes with schools in Paris, Pau and Berlin. There is also a trip to Spain every two years for pupils from S3 to S6.