Community Languages at Park View

At Park View School, 75% of our students speak English as an additional language and there are over 50 different community languages spoken. Students who can read, write, speak and understand community languages are encouraged to take GCSEs in them.

The exams are organised by the Ethnic Minority Achievement (EMA) team and are free of charge.

The community languages in which students can complete a GCSE at Park View are:

  • Arabic
  • Bengali
  • Chinese (Mandarin & Cantonese)
  • French
  • German 
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Italian
  • Panjabi
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Turkish
  • Urdu

The exams are made up of 4 separate components (examinations):

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Speaking
  4. Listening

The candidates will be assessed on each of these, on different days. Therefore, it is paramount that the candidates attend all 4 examinations in order to secure a good grade – any component that they might fail to attend, will result either in a fail (U grade) or  a significantly lower grade than predicted.

The deadline for the exam entries is January. The speaking component is scheduled to take place first, between the end of March and the beginning of April. The dates for the other 3 components are published by the various exam boards a few weeks before the examinations – the candidates will be made aware of these dates as soon as they are published.

Last year, the GCSE community languages cohort was made up of 56 (mainly KS4) students, who took the exam in 10 different languages: 93% achieved 5 or C and above, of which 23% achieved top grades (A or 9).

Outline of how we identify potential candidates and organise the examination process

  • Use first/home language data to identify potential candidates (prioritise Year 10 pupils; however, students from all other year groups can be considered provided they demonstrate a competent level (read, write, speak and understand)in their initial assessment)
  • Deliver assemblies to promote the GCSEs and clarify their syllabi
  • Use past papers to assess the candidates’ ability to read and write
  • Hold weekly lunchtime revision sessions
  • Pre-exam preparatory sessions
  • Provide past papers/resources and encourage parents/grandparents/carers to practise at home with the students

Over the last few years, we have trained EMA, subject staff members, ex-students and parents as examiners for the speaking component of the exam, in order to create a familiar, relaxed and nurturing exam environment for our candidates.

Finishing Year 11 with an additional GCSE in a language is extremely advantageous. It may help students secure a place in a college/6th form of their choice, as well as generate more job opportunities in the future.

For further information on the GCSE Community Languages, please contact: