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Modern Languages

GCSE Modern languages: French or Spanish

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What will I learn on this course?

• You will develop your ability to use the language effectively in a variety of real life situations

• We will provide a suitable foundation for further study or practical use

• You will develop your knowledge and understanding of French and Spanish speaking countries

• We will provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.


How is the course structured?

For assessment until Summer 2025, the course will be assessed in the context of the following themes:

• Theme 1: Identity and culture

  1. Me, my family and friends
  2. Technology in everyday life
  3. Free-time activities
  4. Customs and festivals

• Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  1. Home, town, region
  2. Social issues
  3. Charity/voluntary work
  4. Healthy living
  5. Global issues
  6. Travel and tourism

• Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

  1. My studies
  2. Life at school/college
  3. Education post-16
  4. Jobs, career choices and ambitions

For assessment from Summer 2026 onwards, the course will be assessed in the context of the following themes:

• Theme 1: People and lifestyle

  1.  Identity and relationships with others
  2. Healthy living and lifestyle
  3. Education and work

• Theme 2: Popular culture

  1. Free-time activities
  2. Customs, festivals and celebrations
  3. Celebrity culture

• Theme 3: Communication and the world around us

  1. Travel and tourism, including places of interest
  2. Media and technology
  3. The environment and where people live

How will I study?

• The course is divided into the four key skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing – each skill area contributes 25%  to the final GCSE grade. All skills are examined at the end of the course, with no controlled assessment .

How will I be assessed?

  Paper 1 - Listening exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier). 40/50 marks

  Paper 2 - Speaking exam. 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier). 60 marks

  Paper 3 - Reading exam : 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier). 50/60 marks  

  Paper 4 - Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier). 50/60marks

Other information  

A GCSE grade 5 in any of the languages offered on the curriculum at Birmingham Ormiston Academy (French or Spanish) is one of the qualifications required for the English Baccalaureate.