Modern Languages Department


  • To develop pupils as individuals, as contributors to society and as contributors to the economy and the environment
  • To maintain and stimulate lasting pupil curiosity, enjoyment and interest in language learning.
  • To create and maintain a positive classroom atmosphere where pupils wish to learn and are encouraged to actively participate in lessons.
  • To enable each pupil to realise her full potential in a variety of situations, supported by appropriate resources, to ensure the highest level of achievement is attained.
  • To enable every pupil to develop her ability to use the target language in order to communicate effectively.
  • To encourage positive attitudes to language learning, to foreigners and foreign cultures.
  • To enable pupils to become familiar with a body of knowledge, principles, skills and vocabulary in the target language.
  • To encourage pupils to work independently and as part of a team in the target language, thus contributing to the development of key skills such as ICT, literacy and numeracy.
  • To enable pupils to develop a range of desirable personal qualities such as politeness, concern for others, mutual respect and initiative.


  • T McVey
  • K Callaghan
  • C Devlin


Pupils study one of the 3 languages the College has to offer, i.e. French, Spanish or Irish. All pupils will have 3 timetabled language lessons per week at Key Stage 3. The 4 language skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing are externally assessed at the end of year 10. This provides every pupil with the opportunity to gain an external qualification (OLA Certificate) in a Modern Language before GCSE.


There are now different GCSE language course options open to pupils at Key Stage 4.  CCEA Language courses assess Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing skills in external exams which are usually sat at the end of Year 12.  OCNNI Level 2 Language courses (Equivalent of a B at GCSE level) offer a more flexible approach to assessment, allowing students to be assessed internally at different times of the year. This means there is more choice and control over topics and delivery and pupils can focus on one topic at a time. Topics covered at Key Stage 4 in both courses include: The Individual:     Relationships: families & friends/ Local Environment: advantages & disadvantages/ Activities: daily routine & leisure activities / Health & Lifestyle: diet, exercise & illness. Citizenship:       Social Issues: problems in society & equality/ Travel & tourism: destinations & choices/ Environmental Issues: attitudes to and responsibilities for litter, transport, energy, conservations & recycling/ Media & communications/ Celebrations: festivals & customs. Employability:   School Life/ Part-time jobs: advantages & disadvantages/ Future Plans: choices & expectations Course Structure: All 4 skills are equally weighted - 25% each for Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.    

Post 16

Pupils can select any language to study at A'Level and depending on numbers,  courses will run in one of the schools affiliated to the Foyle Learning Community.

Examination Performance

Year No. of entries A* -C % *A-G 
2019 10 50% 100%
2018 38 82%% 100%
2017 33 94% 100%

Extra Curricular

Pupils who come to St. Mary's from the Bunscoil will have an opportunity to attend extra classes to prepare them for GCSE Irish which they will sit at the end of 2nd year. Pupils will also have opportunities to take part in quizzes and competitions, language breakfasts and trips to the Gaeltacht.