Department Information



Pupils in the Languages department are taught in a supportive and stimulating environment, where positive relationships flourish and pupils feel valued, stretched and challenged.

Our aim is to expand pupils’ horizons by providing them with an awareness and appreciation of our own culture and language and allowing them to gain an understanding of other languages and cultures of the world. Pupils develop skills in listening comprehension, speaking, reading and writing a second language, skills which help them communicate effectively and take their place in a multilingual global society.

We endeavour to instil an enjoyment and love for languages and enable pupils to become more independent learners; develop personal qualities such as self-confidence and develop more spontaneity and fluency in speaking the target language.


Mrs M Campbell (HOD)
Mrs N Magee
Mrs S McGinley
Mrs S McCollam
Mr C Herron
Mrs S McQuilkin               

Key Stage 3

All pupils in Cross and Passion College study one or two languages throughout KS3. Pupils choose between Irish, French and Spanish.

Pupils in KS3 study topics such as:

  • Greetings
  • Numbers and Time
  • Myself
  • My Family
  • Other People
  • The Classroom
  • Days of the Week
  • Months of the Year
  • The Weather
  • Daily Routine
  • School
  • Food
  • Hobbies
  • Holidays

Pupils who have previously attended Gaelscoil an Chaistil follow a separate programme of study entitled ‘Gaeilge’, which will allow them to bridge the gap between GCSE and A Level Irish.


In KS4, pupils can study at least one GCSE modern language and we offer the opportunity to study Irish, French or Spanish at this level.

Pupils study three units covering twelve topics in GCSE and develop expertise in the four skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. We follow the CCEA specification for all languages and the topics covered are:

  • Context 1: Identity, Lifestyle and Culture
  • Context 2: Local, National, International and Global Areas of Interest
  • Context 3: School Life, Studies and the World of Work

Pupils sit three exam papers (Listening, Reading and Writing) and complete one speaking test which is carried out by their language teacher in exam conditions. The assessment of each skill area is worth 25% of the overall GCSE.

From this year we will also be offering GCSE Gaeilge for past pupils of Gaelscoil an Chaistil.   The aim of this GCSE is for pupils to enhance the wide range of Irish language skills they have acquired in Irish-medium education and throughout KS3; develop a positive attitude towards the Irish language, culture and literature, whilst becoming effective and accurate users of Irish.



Pupils can opt to study French, Irish or Spanish at Post 16, following the CCEA Specification.

Pupils study two main themes at AS:

Relationships (Different family structures; roles, responsibilities and relationships within families; challenges; intergenerational issues and influences on young people)

Culture and Lifestyle (Physical well-being, diet and exercise; risk taking behaviour; dealing with stress and challenges; hobbies and interests; the arts, fashion, film & design; social media; new technology and holidays, festivals and tourism.)

Pupils are required to explore a topic of interest for the oral exam and either films through the target language or a literary text for Unit 3.

Pupils explore two main themes at A2:

  • Young People in Society (Part-time jobs; education and employment; career aspirations; young people and democracy; European citizenship and societal attitudes and young people.)
  • Our place in a Changing World (Equality & inequality; discrimination & prejudice; poverty at home and abroad; immigration; multicultural society and cultural identity – benefits and challenges; causes, consequences and resolution of conflict and environmental issues)

Pupils also study one literary text for Unit 3.


Members of the Languages department are committed to the ‘Languages Alive’ programme in the school. We firmly believe that pupils must have the opportunity to relate their language learning to the country concerned. 

Educational trips are organised to France or Spain every year to give pupils the opportunity to become immersed in the culture of the country whose language they are studying.

There are opportunities for KS4 and KS5 students to participate in foreign exchanges with Causeway Coast and Glen’s twinned town Pourrières in the south of France.

Pupils from all Key stages attend the Gaeltacht every Summer in Machaire Rabhartaigh or Bun an Inbhir to enable them to perfect their language skills and fluency.

It is also important that pupils have opportunities in school throughout the year to practise their spoken language in a more spontaneous and informal environment at all key stages, as follows:

  • European Day of Languages
  • Gaeilge 24 ‘Speak Irish for a day’
  • Spanish & French Breakfasts
  • Seachtain na Gaeilge
  • AS & A2 Language Ambassadors in the Primary School/ Gaelscoil
  • Workshops
  • Guest speakers
  • Lunch time activities
  • Excursions