English and Modern Languages


English Higher

English National 5

English National 4

English National 3

French AH

French H

French N5

French N4

German AH

German H

German N5

German N4


English Faculty

The English Faculty plays a lead role in the development of language and communication skills that will play a vital part in all other areas of learning and the future life of all pupils. The personal and social development of all pupils is enhanced by confident use of language skills when reading, writing, talking and listening.


A good command of English is the key to success in many aspects of life and work. It is important to be able to communicate well with others and to express yourself clearly in writing and talking. Skills in English will help pupils in many other school subjects and in the world of work. Reading books, newspapers and magazines provides enjoyment and information throughout life.

Course Outline

There are three main elements in this course

Reading: studying poetry, drama, novels and short stories in detail and writing about them critically.

Writing: completing a variety of writing tasks ranging from pieces which give information, to creative work in which the imagination is used and ideas developed.

Talking and Listening: learning to play a useful part in discussion as well as giving individual presentations, and learning to respond appropriately to what they have heard in a range of contexts.

Additional skills which are developed in this course include:

working with others in groups

learning to review, improve and redraft work.

The Faculty also provides opportunities for field trips, events and visiting speakers. Trips include visits to the theatre in Aberdeen and the Edinburgh Festival in August. Performing Arts groups present productions tailored to the needs of school pupils. Professional writers visit and talk about their work and deliver workshops. The Veronica Thomson Public Speaking Competition is held annually and is a major event in the department’s calendar.


Faculty of Modern Languages


The Faculty of Modern Languages is responsible for the development of language and communication skills in modern foreign languages, namely in French, Spanish and German.
The faculty consists of Mr David West who teaches French and German and is currently undertaking training in Spanish in view of teaching it; Miss Rona Wilson who teaches French, German and Spanish; and finally Miss Déborah Grenet, a French native speaker who teaches French and German and who is the Head of the Faculty.

What’s the best subject about?

The aim of this faculty is to provide a worthwhile and enjoyable educational experience for the pupils and develop their knowledge about the foreign country and ways of life. The courses are geared to preparing candidates to cope with a variety of situations which could realistically arise while visiting or working abroad, or through meeting foreign tourists.

Why should pupils learn languages?

The study of Modern Languages opens up a world of possibilities whatever a student’s ambitions. In addition, the study of language itself increases the learner’s awareness of his own language, improving communication skills.

Learning a foreign language enables pupils to build up an insight into the life of another country and increase their opportunities and confidence to travel abroad.

It also has great value both practically and vocationally. Many university courses require students to have a qualification in a language as part of their general entrance requirements for admission. Pupils can also choose to continue their study of this language at university, either alone or as an additional subject in courses such as business, engineering, law, to name but a few. Those who decide to study for a degree in languages are recruited by many different kinds of companies and organisations where they can then undertake more specific professional training.

Also, in the current challenging market, knowledge of a foreign language is attractive to employers in the light of greater mobility within the European Community and beyond, and given the international nature of trade and industry. Furthermore, pupils need to remember that tourism is a big source of employment in Scotland and employers are seeking adaptable communicators. Nowadays, cultural empathy is important not just for the international manager but also the shop assistant.


What courses are offered?

S1> French until Christmas, followed by German in the 2nd half of the year.

S2/S3 > Continuation with either French or German for two years.

In S1 pupils will expand on their language experience in primary by continuing their French studies for half the year then they will have an introduction of German for the other half. Learners develop language skills and knowledge about language based in cultural contexts. S1 is regarded as an orientation year spent learning how to learn a language in a secondary school situation. Pupils will then choose which language to progress with in S2.

All pupils develop skills in Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Although still part of general education we will be laying the foundations for further progression to national qualifications in S4 and beyond. The levels for all the skills will be determined by work done in class and by class tests which will take place at regular intervals throughout.


National 4/ National 5/ Higher/ Advanced Higher > in French and German
National 4 > in Spanish

In the senior phase languages are not compulsory, although strongly recommended. Pupils may wish to move on to complete National qualifications and a continuation in this language to National 4 or National 5 will allow them to do this. In conjunction with the continuing course, they also have the opportunity to expand their language skills in the other language experienced in S1 (either French or German) and/or take up a beginners course in Spanish at National 4. This means that they can study one, two or even three languages together in the senior phase, thus broadening their range of language skills.

The purpose of these courses is to build on prior learning and continue to develop the three principal skills of language learning, enabling students to access the full range of Level 4 Experiences and Outcomes. Candidates must prove their competence in the four skills of TALKING, LISTENING, READING and WRITING.
Reading: developing the skill of reading texts in the target language to extract pertinent information
Listening and Talking: learning to listen to texts in German, French or Spanish and respond appropriately as well as learning to communicate in everyday situations.
Writing: Building on all the other skills to write about oneself and one’s experiences, in both narrative form and vocational situations.
At National 4 level assessment is carried out in these skills internally only; whereas at National 5 level the 4 skills will be externally assessed except for the Speaking, which will be internally assessed but externally moderated.

The variety of options available in Turriff Academy means that classes available at National 4, 5 and Higher may be delivered individually, bi-level or multi-level as appropriate and as resources allow. This means pupils are expected to do independent learning at times.

Home Learning

Home learning plays a crucial part in consolidating class work. Pupils are regularly asked to do specific tasks as homework. Also, even if this is not written in the planner, to reinforce classwork at home, it is essential that students learn the new vocabulary and idiomatic phrases given in class every day. They are also encouraged to go over the grammar lesson taught in class and learn it at home.

We strongly advise pupils to make use of the unlimited wealth of online resources which can be used to develop language learning at home when no specific homework has been set. There are interesting games, podcasts, grammar and vocabulary exercises, and articles which pupils can have a look at in view of revising or to further develop their learning.

Radio Lingua Network

This site offers free downloadable podcasts for iPods, iPhone, mp3 players or computers which allow pupils to take their lessons with them wherever they go..

Website created by the Australian Department of Education

A Website created by the Australian Department of Education offers engaging interactive tasks and printable worksheets that introduce, reinforce and recycle vocabulary. The activites are self-paced and self-correcting and include recordings by native speakers.

Education Website

Languages online

This website presents language activities for all language learners, in a lively and entertaining way and which pupils can use to reinforce and practise class work.


The Faculty has a subscription to this service which allow pupil access from home. They have to use the username: turriffml and the password: turra

Linguascope Website

Channel 4 learning zone

Channel 4 Learning delivers free learning resources that are curriculum focused including worksheets, lesson ideas, interactive games and programme support …

Channel 4 Learning Website

Channel 4 Learning Website – Interactive Resources

Play Chez Mimi game / Hennings Haus game

Pupils might want to join the residents of Chez Mimi/ Hennings Haus who have some great games to play. Even if they are a complete beginner there will be a game for them.
Channel 4 Learning – Modern Languages Website

For seniors


Senior pupils will have received a username and password for Scholar, a web programme of Heriott-Watt University, aimed at providing additional tasks and support for those studying Intermediate, Higher or Advanced Higher. We in the Modern Languages Department strongly recommend that senior pupils make full use of Scholar, throughout their French, German or Spanish course.

Additional Help

We are aware that some pupils can have barriers to learning languages. Pupils need to remember that their teacher is not expecting them to be fluent in the language learnt. Like any other subjects, we are here to assist them in making small steps in their learning. We believe that all pupils can do languages and develop communication skills which are transferable to other subjects. We feel this is our mission to ensure all pupils are challenged at their level.

We are therefore encouraging pupils to come and seek help with any aspect of their work, at lunch times. Seniors are also welcome to ask for individual support or extra practice in areas where they feel the need.

Back to Top