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Every student at Varndean has the opportunity to  benefit greatly from learning new languages. The transferable skills learned and honed during language lessons at Varndean will open doors to new experiences, cultures and have a positive impact on a student's career prospects.

This is what our Year 8 Language Leaders have to say.


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If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.


Languages Revision Materials

See the languages revision materials page for homework helpmats, revision tools and helpful websites and apps.


Japanese club (beginners)
Japanese club (continuing)
Latin and Classical Civilisation:  GCSE two-year course open to Years 7, 8 and 9. Find out more

Languages Club: food, culture, music, dancing, global issues and MORE!

Language Leaders: teaching languages to others (Year 8: limited places)

See calendar for details 


Why Study this Subject? 

Communication skills are vital and a skill students work on throughout their time studying with us and will be highly beneficial later on in  their education and career. Reading, listening, speaking and writing form the four major skills in language learning and these are all honed and assessed in every year group. Language students leave Varndean School equipped with a desire and ability to be creative with language, improved job prospects and a deep and rich understanding of other cultures and the wider world. They are truly open-minded world citizens.

Topics of Study and Assignments

Year 7:

  • three half-term taster modules in Spanish, French and German, drawing together prior learning and letting students experience all three languages on offer 
  • students choose to specialise in one of the languages offered 
  • during the main module, students cover topics such as family and friends, home and local area, school and education
  • assessments will include speaking assessments in the form of role-play, pair dialogue along with various writing, reading and listening assessments. 

 Year 8: 

  • students study either Spanish, French or German
  • some students may choose to study two languages (dual-linguists)  
  • at the end of the year students choose their GCSE language
  • some students may choose to study two at GCSE level.
Year 9:
  • GCSE course, covering the AQA new specification. 
  • focus on grammar, memory skills, authentic materials and experiences, including the opportunity to study foreign language films. 
Years 10 and 11:
  • 2015-2016: students will be continuing with the 'old' AQA GCSE specification
  • four pieces of controlled assessments (two writing and two speaking).
  • topics include a range from Home and Local Area, Travel and Tourism, School, Work and Future Plans to New Technologies and Global Issues.
  • Reading and listening exams are completed at the end of Year 11. 

The Team 

Lorraine Newman is the Head of Languages and has a PGCE in French and a BA Hons in Applied Language from the University of Brighton. She is passionate about languages and travelling to French and Spanish speaking countries and regions.

Stacey Corken is a Lead Professional and has a BA Hons in French and Social Anthropology, MA in International Cinema and a PGCE in French with German (11-18). Her professional interests include developing the use of authentic resources, providing cultural experiences and enrichment opportunities for motivating and engaging students, developing the use of film in language learning and promoting cooperative learning strategies

Barbara Howard is the lead German teacher and has a BA Honours in German Studies. Her professional interests include promoting languages and stretching gifted and talented students.

James Waite is qualified with a BA Joint honours in French, German and Spanish and he has a PGCE in Secondary Education. His professional interests include instilling confidence and key communication skills in our young people, removing the barriers found within a "mono-linguistic" society. His previous work experience includes being a long haul flight attendant at Virgin Atlantic.

Events and Activities 

Year 7 Languages Song competition
Year 8 and 9 French trip during Enrichment Week
Year 10 Spanish trip during Enrichment Week
Year 9 and 10 visit to Sussex University
Year 8 Language Leaders programme
Visit from French students to Varndean School
Film screenings
Language Club fundraisers and end of year trip

Extra-curricular Activities 

Japanese language and culture club for beginners.

Follow-on Japanese club for students who have already studied some Japanese.

Latin and Classical Civilisation - GCSE two-year course open to Years 7, 8 and 9. Find out more.

Languages Club - Food, culture, music, dancing, global issues and MORE!

Please see the calendar for details of when the activities take place.


Twitter: @VarndeanMFL