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Howden School

Howden School



Language study at Howden aims to build on the skills and knowledge developed in KS2 as well as providing new opportunities to improve listening, reading, writing and speaking as well as cultural knowledge.  Year 8 students, along with those doing GCSE French have the opportunity to visit Paris and Disneyland during the Easter holidays.  In Year 9 there is the opportunity for some pupils to study Spanish and at the start of Year 11 there is a four-day trip to Madrid.

Opportunities are also provided for some students to learn Japanese and Chinese. There are Japanese lunchtime clubs and learners work towards the OCR unit awards.  We have just started a linguistics club, which may offer the opportunity to participate in the UKLO competitions. The Chinese Whispers Choir, organised by the Confucius Institute at Hull University, practises weekly and participates in performances.

We are exploring the idea of a Confucius Classroom to bring Chinese teaching into the curriculum and some pupils have passed their HSK1 exam and are looking towards studying for HSK2.

'Studying a foreign language opens up new worlds and helps you to appreciate other languages, countries, cultures and communities.  Exposure to music, films, food, festivals and literature are all integral parts of language learning, as well as trips and visits.  We live in an increasingly global environment, which we need to be able to access through openness and understanding.'

Miss. V. Brownlee, Curriculum Area Leader of MFL

Key Stage 3 

Year 7

All learners begin their language studies with French focusing on the topics of opinions, hobbies and holidays.  They will develop their use and understanding of verbs.  They can join the Chinese Choir or learn to speak Japanese in lunchtime clubs and there is usually a Japanese themed Deep Learning Day. 

Year 8

Learners continue to develop their study of French looking at the topics of local environment, hobbies and health as well as an understanding of the wider French speaking world.

Key Stage 4 

Year 9

Learners begin their GCSE courses, where they develop their cultural knowledge and language skills. From 2019 we will offer French and in addition to those who shown the aptitude and attitude to learn French, there will be the opportunity to start an ab initio GCSE in Spanish.  We offer the CIOL Real Lives Qualification for the most able students in French at the end of year 9.  

Year 10

Learners continue with their GCSE courses, further developing their knowledge and understanding as well as beginning to formally prepare for the speaking element of the GCSE.  At the end of the year there will be a trip to France, which is only for GCSE students.

Year 11

Learners continue with their GCSE courses, preparing for their GCSE examinations with an initial focus on the speaking and writing elements of the exam. At the very start of the year there will be a trip to Madrid for those studying GCSE Spanish. 


Farewell video to Howden students from Debbie, the Chinese teacher, who has returned to China.


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Useful Links

• – Language learning games (ask your teacher for the password)
• – (GCSE languages)
• – Useful for translations or looking up words
• – Useful for GCSE revision
• – Language practise
• – Check pronunciation for GCSE speaking