Modern Languages

Department Aims

In Modern Languages we are proud of our continued positive trend of excellent results at both National 5 and Higher level.

Lessons are paced well and teachers use a variety of techniques and resources to ensure that language learning can be enjoyable and rewarding.


Modern Languages staff in the department this year are:

  • Mrs J Hamilton (Principal Teacher)
  • Miss C Playe
  • Mrs A Brownlie (DHT)
  • Miss F. Ferrier



The Modern Languages Department is situated in Block A of the school.

  • Room A20 - Mrs J Hamilton
  • Room A16 - Mrs A Brownlie
  • Room A15 - Miss C Playe
  • Room A22 - Miss F. Ferrier
  • Room A21 - Dept Computer base



The department offers the following courses:

S1 French  

S2/S3 French                           

S2/S3 Spanish 

National 4/5 French/Spanish            

Higher French/Spanish                         

Advanced Higher Spanish 


Web Links

For online homework we are using

All our pupils have a username and a password for their online homework which should only be used by themselves and not shared with other classmates or friends.

For vocabulary revision please use the following websites: 

For grammar practice please use the following links:

For cultural awareness please use:


Recent Events in the Modern Languages Department

Paris Trip

Pupils went to Paris in May.  They visited the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Eurodisney.



S1 Mardi gras.jpg


To celebrate Mardi Gras, S1 French classes designed masks and ate crêpes. They look fantastic and a good time was had by all!


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 S2 French classes had a French breakfast as they have been studying a module on food and drink. Pupils enjoyed a selection of croissants, pain au chocolat and crêpes. Bon appétit!


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 30 S3 French and Spanish pupils attended the East Ayrshire Business Breakfast at Kilmarnock Academy. Local Businesses talked about the importance of languages in the workplace and pupils even had a taster of the Welsh language. Da iawn!

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Our school offers two languages French and Spanish.



This year we are piloting new online homework which the pupils should complete on their laptop or tablet at home. If there is a problem with internet access or a hardware problem pupils should arrange with their teacher to complete the homework at lunchtime or interval.

In addition to online homework, pupils will also be asked to learn vocabulary from their vocabulary booklet and complete grammar activities. At assessment time pupils will be expected to learn their preparation for Talking and Writing assessments and revise for Reading and Listening assessments.  Pupils will be given at least a week’s notice of assessments.


S1 French

The Modern Languages Department teaches French to all S1 pupils in their mixed ability house groups. Pupils are taught the skills of Listening & Talking, Reading and Writing whilst working through the Modern Languages Level 3 Experiences and Outcomes. Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Well being are also firmly embedded into the course. Although we have always used a variety of resources, including Expo pour L’Ecosse, language websites, DVD clips, songs, poems and reading texts on current events, this year we are introducing a new interactive resource called Studio1.

Pupils are also introduced to different cultures through discussion of different ways of life in a variety of Francophone countries.

Every pupil is issued with a vocabulary/grammar booklet and a jotter at the beginning of the term which they should bring with them each day they have French on their timetable.

 At the end of S1 pupils are given the choice of adding on another language, Spanish, continuing with French only or changing to study Spanish only.


S2/S3 French

In S2 the Modern Languages Department teaches French to those pupils who have chosen French at the end of S1. This session, classes are mixed ability.  Pupils continue to be taught the skills of Listening & Talking, Reading and Writing whilst consolidating the Modern Languages Level 3 Experiences and Outcomes.  Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Well- being continue to be embedded into the course. A variety of resources are used including Expo pour L’Ecosse 2, language websites, DVD clips, songs, poems  and reading texts on current events. This session we will also be using our new online Studio 2 resource.

Pupils also learn more about the different cultures in a variety of Francophone countries by studying different topics from those studied in S1.  Pupils who have chosen to study French in S2 will continue this in S3. 

In S3 pupils follow the Studio 3 course, as well as the other resources previously mentioned. The Studio 3 course is a completely modern and innovative resource which uses an on-screen pupil book full of interactive activities.

It is ideal for whole class work and uses videos, electronic flashcards and grammar presentations and activities to make learning French fun and interactive.

Pupils can also work through a range of reading and listening exercises and games to consolidate vocabulary.

The topics studied in S3 through the Studio 3 course are up to date and interesting and cover issues that are important to young people such as social networking, music festivals, health and fitness and employment.

It is hoped that at the end of S3, the majority of pupils will continue studying French in S4 in order to improve their knowledge at a more advanced level and to gain a deeper understanding of the language.  The S3 course is an excellent foundation which prepares pupils well for  National 5.

All pupils in S2 & S3 are issued with vocabulary/grammar booklets throughout the session which can be used to learn new vocabulary at home, as reference when completing homework or as a revision tool prior to assessments.

S2/S3 Spanish

At the start of S2 Spanish all pupils are issued with a jotter, a vocabulary booklet and homework booklets which correspond to each module of their textbook.  Pupils are responsible for ensuring they always bring all 3 items to class in their bag, for every lesson.  It is also strongly advised that pupils invest in a good Spanish dictionary to use both at home and in class.

This session we are introducing more online homework which enables pupils to practise all skills at home.

This same process will continue in S3 but pupils may also be issued with more Reading texts and ICT/Internet activities as homework to further their skills.

It must be stressed that vocabulary learning and revision is a constant and this must be carried out at all times as vocabulary tests are a regular part of the pupils’ daily rigour in class.


 National 4/5 French/ Spanish

In S4 pupils will either follow the National 4 or the National 5 course. Pupils will be encouraged to progress to National 5 if they have shown success in their Added Value Unit completed at the end of S3.

Some pupils may find that National 4 is as far as they are able to progress. National 5 has a greater emphasis on talking and writing and pupils must be willing to learn prepared notes for both unit assessments and the final exam.

National 4 & 5 pupils work on the following units:

Modern Languages:    Understanding Language (reading and listening)

Modern Languages:    Using Language (talking and writing)

They practise all 4 skills within the following 4 contexts:



Pupils will be able to 

  • understand and use detailed spoken language in conversation  
  • understand and use detailed written language
  • apply knowledge and understanding in the modern language
  • apply grammatical knowledge and understanding

In the final exam all skills are assessed:

Reading           30%

Pupils will read three texts in the modern language and respond to questions in English by using English. Use of a dictionary will be allowed.

Writing            20%

Pupils will produce one written text in response to a stimulus supported by six bullet points. Use of a dictionary will be allowed.

Listening         20%

Pupils will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the spoken language by listening to one monologue and one short conversation. They will answer questions in English by using English.

Talking                        30%

Pupils will deliver a presentation in the modern language and take part in natural, spontaneous conversation with their teacher using one of the contexts studied throughout the session

Pupils are encouraged to make use of the scholar online website and of course our school online homework for extra revision in all skills. each pupil has a scholar password and username.

 Higher French/ Higher Spanish

The Higher Modern Languages courses have been developed as a natural progression from National 5 and as a result the language studied falls into the same 4 contexts:Society, Learning, Employability and Culture.

The final exam at the end of the course consists of 2 papers:

 Paper 1 – Reading and Directed Writing

In Reading, pupils read a text on one of the themes of the course and answer questions in English. This is worth 20 marks (20%). The final question involves translating a few lines of the text into good English and is worth 10 marks (10%)

In the writing element of this paper pupils have a choice of 2 themes (the themes not covered by Reading and Listening) and are expected to write 120 – 150 words on the topic chosen covering 4 specific bullet points. This is also worth 10 marks (10%).

Paper 2 – Listening and Writing

In Listening, pupils will listen to 2 different texts (one monologue, one dialogue) within the same theme. Listening is worth 20 marks (20%)

As a follow up to the listening, pupils write a personal response essay ( 120 -150 words) answering the questions given on the paper. This is worth 10 marks (10%).

Use of a dictionary is allowed throughout the exam.

  •  Talking                      

Pupils will deliver a presentation in the modern language and take part in natural, spontaneous conversation with their teacher using one of the contexts studied throughout the session. This part of the final exam takes place in class time in Feb/ March and is added to the score of the other 2 papers to complete the final mark.

Talking is worth 30 marks (30%).

All pupil in S5/S6 are encouraged to use the scholar website at home for extra revision of all skills. This is an online resource which corrects work as the pupil completes it. Each pupil has their personal username and password.

Advanced Higher Spanish

Advanced Higher Spanish is being delivered this year for the first time by Miss Mullin. Pupils are developing the themes covered in the Higher course, as well as studying a Spanish novel.

All pupils at this level are expected to work on extra material in their own time and in study time given in school. There are excellent resources available on the scholar website. Each pupil has their own username and password for this site.