Modern Languages

Download Brochure

A different language is a different vision of life. Federico Fellini

Language learning is of high priority at Fernhill School with French, Italian and Spanish taught to certificate level.
Being able to communicate in a foreign language is vital in today’s society. Whether for travel, meeting new people or helping to find a job, statistics prove that in general, people with knowledge of a foreign language are more employable and often earn more than those who cannot. Additionally, studying a foreign language helps develop many highly valued skills such as problem solving, perseverance, time management and communication.

Language learning is engaging, fun and opens up a world of new opportunities!

At Fernhill School language learning is a skills based, ICT focused and contemporarily relevant subject area that aims to enhance our pupils’ learning in a fun and interactive way which will ultimately equip them with skills for learning, life and work as global citizens. Where appropriate, aspects of Literacy, Numeracy and Health & Wellbeing are fully embedded across our courses.

Curriculum Overview

Junior School
All pupils from Nursery to S6 are taught by Secondary language specialists. Italian is taught from Primary 1 with French introduced in Primary 4. In S1, Fernhill School pupils study 2 periods of
French and 1 period of Spanish per week with the opportunity of being presented for an SQA qualification at the appropriate level. In S2, all learners will gain the SQA Modern Language for Life and
Work Award and can be presented for the award in the range of languages best suited to the individual. As pupils move from Transitus to Secondary, they build on their knowledge of both languages from
Primary and further develop their Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing skills. Pupils are encouraged to find links between languages, applying knowledge and transferring skills learned from one
modern foreign language to another.

National 4 and 5

Pupils have the option to study their choice of French, Spanish and/or Italian. All courses develop candidates’ knowledge and understanding and cover the contexts of Society, Learning, Employability and Culture. Pupils have 3 periods per week of their chosen language and will be encouraged to develop as responsible, independent learners through a robust independent study programme. The format will vary however typically activities include vocabulary and grammar consolidation through The Language Gym, Español Extra, Sentence Builders or other online resources to which we subscribe as
well as individually assigned tasks to develop the skillset required at National 4/5 level and beyond.


As at National 5, the department offers a choice of French, Spanish and/or Italian. The Higher qualification in Modern Languages gives learners the opportunity of reaching a stage where the language is
used independently in increasingly confident and flexible ways. Pupils have 5 periods per week of their chosen language and again are encouraged to grow as inquisitive, confident language learners.
Additional activities introduced at Higher level include preparing language and vocabulary for more extensive oral discussion, essay writing and translation practice.

Advanced Higher

Advanced Highers are available according to pupil demand. The AH course bridges the gap between school- and university-level studies. A significant amount of learning is self-directed, and requires
students to demonstrate a more mature approach to learning and the ability to use their initiative. It is expected that pupils will work more independently, with less teacher input. Course components include the study of literature and/or media in the foreign language, discursive essay writing, inferential reading and the composition of a research-based Portfolio. Talking is assessed externally.