German is the perfect opportunity to get an insight into the wonderful language and culture of Germany whilst working towards to gaining a GSCE qualification and acquiring a solid grounding in the use of this incredible language. The art of communicating in a foreign language is of a tremendous importance in the current job market and German is today the second most spoken language in the world.

In Year 9 MFL lessons students have the opportunity to develop communication skills for everyday-life situations in different topics. Whether focusing on school and education, holidays and free time activities, jobs, music or cinema, all students are preparing and developing their listening, reading, writing and speaking skills to complete exams in each skill area at the end of Year 11 (25% per skill).

The core contents are accompanied by group activities, games and audiovisual materials that also cover correlated cultural and historical issues of the Spanish speaking world. These include scheduled films and projects dealing with real life German issues, geographical settings of the German community and different customs and traditions. Besides, students work on a daily basis in small groups with the foreign language assistant to improve their speaking skills for the exam and take their learning experience to an authentic and enjoyable level.

In addition to this, the modern foreign languages department is constantly working to enhance the extracurricular activities for those who want to practice their skills outside of the classroom. Spanish students can join the afterschool clubs, visit Germany in one of our annual trips, get engaged with the inter-school activities from the European Day of Languages hosted in St. Johns and take part in the life-changing exchange with our partner school in Spain, France and Germany.


German KS4

Course Specification, (Exam Board, link to specification):

GCSE German:

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Students are assessed in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.


MFL News

On Thursday 23 January ten County Durham schools were set the challenging task of pitching an out-of-this-world business idea in a foreign language, as part of a special space themed learning day. Working alongside astrophysicists from Durham University, the Year 10 pupils learned about zero gravity orbits and were tasked with building a prototype of an international space hotel then presented their ideas in French or Spanish.

St John's are currently 10th in the world for our scores and progress on the global language learning website Language Nut.

Points only last for 30 days so students should keep accessing Language Nut to build up their points, earn rewards and practice for their upcoming assessments or exams.

Some year 9 students have been on a recent heritage project visit and are working with their class teachers to translate tourist information into French and Spanish for any foreign visitors to the local area. Examples of the leaflets will be ready very soon.    

Year 7 and 8 students were able to use their French skills recently to talk to a native French speaking visitor who came to do some work with them in school. They were able to ask and answer questions in French and worked very well.



On Monday 27 March, 15 students from Year 9 and 10 took the long journey from Bishop Auckland to Senlis, France to take part in the Le Fèvre project with our partner school Collège Anne-Marie Javouhey (AMJ).

Thursday September 24th saw St John's transformed into a sea of colour, excitement and flair as the MFL department hosted the European Day Of Languages on behalf of the Catholic Partnership.

Dear Mr. Robertson Thank you for submitting your Impact Evaluation of international learning activities.

Over 150 Year 8 students took part and viewed a live theatre production in French. It was a very rewarding experience to see students listening to the French they learn in class and understand it in a professional production. Many Thanks to Mrs Holloway, and the Performing Arts team who helped to organise this amazing event.

Mr Robertson along with the MFL team have successfully applied for St. John's to become an International school. The initial award we are delighted to say has been approved, below is the feedback from the assessors of our bid.


£10,000 grant well spent!


On Sunday 5th October, 15 students from Year 8 and 9 took the long journey to Megeve from Manchester to take part in an exchange with College Emile Allais.

On Sunday 21st May, 20 excited students from Year7 took the long journey to Zaragoza, Spain from Newcastle to take part in an exchange with our sister school Colegio, El Salvador

This was an invaluable exchange that allowed students to immerse themselves in a different culture, and put their knowledge of Spanish into practice within a meaningful context. In addition to this, St John’s students have made some lasting memories, and more importantly developed life-long friendships!