Russian is a very popular subject at Ipswich School and pupils achieve excellent results, both at GCSE and A Level. It is an unusual and impressive subject to have on students’ university application forms and CVs. Learning a modern foreign language is a key skill and Russian stimulates and challenges pupils in a unique way initially due to its alphabet – it’s like learning a secret code! Russian presents pupils with an enjoyable challenge in terms of its grammar and vocabulary, but is also offers an opportunity to learn about Russia's history and cultural heritage. Russian is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world and Russia is the largest country on the planet. It has undeniable importance both politically and economically and pupils are given an insight into a very different yet fascinating country. They develop confidence in being able to communicate in social situations and express opinions on a wide variety of topics. Russian is a challenge and great fun.
During the first month of Year 9 pupils learn to read and write the Cyrillic script. They are excited by the fascinating alphabet and find a great sense of achievement in how quickly they master it. Once learnt Russian can be read quite easily because it is a phonetic language and is therefore more straightforward than it appears and by the end of the first term pupils are writing in Russian without difficulty. By the end of Year 9 pupils can write complex descriptions on a variety of topics. Their sentences show confident use of connectives and interesting structures as well as lively content. When they opt for GCSE, they begin writing detailed essays in all tenses and spend time developing their oral skills through regular conversation practice. GCSE Russianists also have the opportunity to take part in the biennial trip to Moscow and St Petersburg, which is a fantastic linguistic and cultural experience and one that remains with them long afterwards.
“GCSE Russian shall always be one of the highlights of my school career.” Middle School student
AS Level students take familiar topics from GCSE and build on them during
Year 12. They widen their range of abstract vocabulary and begin to encounter
authentic Russian texts in order to develop the ability to read for meaning in a
foreign language. Students are able to practise their oral skills in pairs in their
weekly lesson with the Russian conversationalist.
At A2 students tackle topics such as Russian history, politics and culture,
examining the country’s turbulent past as well as its intriguing present. For
the first time they begin to write carefully structured discursive essays, which
require a high level of grammatical understanding. Students also research a topic of their choice independently;
recent topics have included the Russian Revolution, the Lake Baikal area and
the collapse of the Soviet Union. We also study Chekhov’s play ‘Uncle Vanya’
In Year 13 students can take part in the annual exchange with our partner
school in Russia, the Novgorod Lycee; this is a unique opportunity for
students to experience real Russian life and also improve their spoken Russian
before their A2 exams.
“Thank you so much for introducing me to the magnificent language of Russian. Russian lessons have been continuously the most fun for the last five years.” Sixth Former
We start to teach the new A Level course in September 2017
Follow us on twitter @IpswichRussian.