The scale of Russia is difficult to imagine – being the world’s largest country by land mass, the world’s second-largest nation, it covers all of northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe and shares borders with more than a dozen countries. Russia as a nation dates back more than a millennium and authoritarian rule has marked much of its history.
As a country soaked in culture and heritage Russia has always been highly esteemed and the language has been one of the most coveted languages of the world. Without exaggeration learning Russian Language not only gives myriad opportunities but it will let you appreciate how Russians think and feel, and how their unique environment and history has affected them in the past and still permeates their lives. Russian classic literature is famous for its rich thinking, deeply expressed human nature and is so elaborate that it cannot be fully translated into other languages just because in Russian there are more “dimensions” that matter and that affect the emotional aspects. Stories of Chekov, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gogol deeply touch and fill people with a sense of awe. The legacy of Russian Astronauts have always been a source of inspiration for the world.
Key Stage 3.
You can start to study Russian in Year 8, where students are taught in a mixed ability class. Native speakers are supported through extra activities and, with the agreement of parents, on extension work of a more advanced nature.
The course we follow has been written by examiner and teachers and is called na start, vnimanie, marsh. This will be supplemented with additional material, including authentic resources which allow the teacher to differentiate target learning according to the needs of the class.
Topics covered include hobbies, holidays and health, plus many more.
Teachers provide regular written feedback on progress and more detailed feedback once every half term on achievement in relation to end of Key Stage target. Students are informed about what they need to do to move on in their learning and are expected to respond to marking.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 students of Russian follow the Edexcel GCSE syllabus which starts in Year 10 and is taught over a two-year period culminating in exams at the end of Year 11.
We continue to follow the na start, vnimanie, marsh course and supplement this with additional material, including authentic resources.
The syllabus comprises deeper study of topics covered at Key Stage 3 along with new topics including customs and traditions, Russian film and global citizenship.
Students receive regular oral and written feedback on their progress against their target grades and are given opportunities to undertake self and peer assessment.
The range of options for study of Russian in the sixth form is especially distinctive as students may opt for Russian A level, Russian IB Standard or a beginners’ course offered by the Welsh exam board, WJEC. Courses cover culture and history of the Russian speaking world, literature, political and social issues and current affairs. Fuller information concerning advanced study of Russian is given in the sixth form section of our website.
The Russian department runs support clinics for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 students during lunchtimes. We also offer specific sixth form clinics on the timetable, which sixth formers can attend as and when a need arises.
We support our sixth formers in preparation for their speaking exams through the help of native speaker parent volunteers. Each sixth former is given a slot on their timetable above the standard language lesson provision.
We also have a fantastic cinema room for sixth formers to watch a range of Russian language films, an enjoyable way of enhancing proficiency in Russian.
Overseas visits programme
The visits programme enhances the language learning process enormously and we encourage as many students as possible to grasp these opportunities. There is currently no visit to Russia, however, we have explored the possibility and hope to revisit this in the future.