St Columbanus' College

Life at St Columbanus' College Life at St Columbanus' College Life at St Columbanus' College Life at St Columbanus' College Life at St Columbanus' College

Modern Languages


At St Columbanus’ College we offer French and Spanish as part of the entitlement framework at Key Stage Three and Key Stage Four.


Mrs McCullough (HOD- French & Spanish)

Mrs McQuillan (French)

Mrs Downey (French & Spanish)

Dr Doherty (French)

Mrs Gethin (Spanish)

Miss McQuaid (Spanish)

Key Stage Three

There are two periods of French and two periods of Spanish per week in years 8 and 9. At the end of year 9 pupils choose their preferred language to continue studying in Year 10. Year 10 students get four periods of language per week. Our classrooms are vibrant positive learning environments equipped with Interactive Whiteboards and the most up-to-date foreign language resources. We also subscribe to Linguascope, an interactive language learning website which our students can avail of both in school and at home.

Language Events

For our year 8 students we run a language club once a week. This is an excellent opportunity for year 8 students to make new friends and develop an interest in language learning.

Each year in the last week of September we run a European Quiz and Continental Breakfast for our Year 9 language students to celebrate the European Day of Languages.

Year 8

Our students are introduced to both French and Spanish. Throughout their first year in our college each child develops their oral, listening, reading and writing skills in each language.

  • Greetings and numbers
  • All about me
  • My Family
  • Animals
  • Countries and Nationalities

Year 9

Building upon the knowledge and skills acquired in year 8, our year 9 students further their language studies in the following contexts of learning:

  • Daily routine and time
  • School
  • Hobbies and leisure activities
  • Town and directions
  • Food and Drink

Year 10

In Year 10 students have four periods of their chosen modern language each week. This extra time allows subject teachers to further develop the language skills of each individual.

Throughout the school year students study the following contexts of learning:

  • House and home
  • Daily routine
  • Holidays
  • Clothes and Shopping
  • Health

At the end of Year 10, students have the option to choose to study either French or Spanish in depth at GCSE level.


We offer both French and Spanish at GCSE level. Both courses build upon the content covered in Key Stage Three. Our students currently follow the AQA GCSE Specifications in French and Spanish. Students are assessed in four skills: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing. The GCSE is composed of 60 % Controlled Assessment and 40% Final Examination.

European Day of Languages 29th September 2016

To celebrate the European Day of Languages this year the Modern Languages Department organised a European Quiz and continental breakfast for our Year 9 pupils.

We were able to celebrate the 6,000+ languages spoken around the world and to recognise the different nationalities that exist in our own College.

Contexts for Learning

The two year course covers four contexts:

  • Education and Work
  • Self, Family and friends
  • Home and local environment
  • Leisure

Foreign Language Assistants

Our foreign language assistants are an extremely invaluable resource and work closely with our GCSE and A Level  students to improve their fluency and intonation in preparation for GCSE and A Level  speaking assessments.