Department Background

"I'm forever grateful to Latymer's Russian department for providing an excellent framework to develop a love for language learning. Studying Russian has opened up a world of opportunities to me, both academically and personally." (ex-Latymerian)

Russian is part of a large and thriving Modern Languages department. It is highly successful in terms of pupil/student enjoyment and is proud of its fine record of examinations at AS and A2 levels and university success. The curriculum is designed to cater for students of high ability and is one which puts considerable intellectual demands on students. Our examination results have been consistently excellent: 2018 results – 100%A*-A with several students continuing their Russian studies at Oxbridge and Russel Group universities. We have won various awards in the National Russian Competitions (Essay and Poetry Competitions run by Rossotrudnichestvo) for top performances at GCE levels. There is a good continuation of the KS4 to KS5 uptake.

We base our GCE Russian on Navigator, supplemented by various interactive software.

Year 7 - 9

Russian is taught from Year 8, as a second foreign language, right through to GCSE or A-level. In Years 8 – 9 we use Novaya Iskra (parts 1 and 2) course as a basis for our teaching, various interactive software (e.g. Na Start) and online programmes (e.g. tracks4learning and Linguascope).

Russian language classes are kept small (typically 20-25 students) in order to ensure plenty of opportunity for interaction in the target language, leading to the development of listening and speaking skills, as well as an understanding of grammar.

Year 8 have nine lessons and Year 9 have eight lessons each in a 2 week cycle.

Year 10 - 11

In Key Stage 4 students undertake four assessments in speaking, reading, listening and writing at the end of each term starting in the Autumn Term of Year 10. Students sit all four GCSE papers at the end of Year 11. The speaking and writing account for 27% and the reading and listening for 23%.

The New GCSE Russian papers for listening and reading skills refer to the generic content and feature scenarios set in a country where Russian is spoken:

  • Out and about
  • Customer service and transactions
  • Personal information
  • Future plans, education and work

Speaking and Writing Themes:

  • Media, Travel and Culture
  • Sport, Leisure and Work

Students receive regular oral and written feedback on their progress against their target grades and are given opportunities to undertake self and peer assessment.

In Year 11, we aim to take pupils well beyond the limited GCSE course, preparing them for further Sixth Form study.

Examination board:

GCSE (new syllabus first examination June 2012) Edexcel

To see the full specification, go to:

Year 12 - 13

The content of the final Examination at the end of a two-year study is linked to the following general topic areas:

AS: Тема 1: Развитие российского общества:

  • Жизнь российской молодёжи.
  • Здоровье; отдых; новые технологии.
  • Образование. Система образования; жизнь российских школьников
  • Мир труда. Отношение к труду; возможности для молодых россиян; равноправие.
  • Book study "The Queen of Spades" by A. Pushkin

Тема 2: Политическая и художественная культура в русскоязычном мире

  • Средства массовой информации. Свобода выражения; печатная и онлайн пресса; влияние на общество и политику.
  • Массовая культура. Музыка; цирк; танец.
  • Праздники, фестивали и традиции. Фестивали; праздники; обычаи; традиции

A2: Тема 3: Москва или Санкт-Петербург - Изменения в жизни большого российского города

  • Изменение населения. Жизнь в городе; жизнь в пригородах.
  • Общественные проблемы. Бездомность; преступность.
  • Окружающая среда. Реконструкция и благоустройства города; загрязнение.

Тема 4: Последние годы СССР – М.С. Горбачёв (1985-1991)

  • Перестройка. Что вызвало перестройку; экономические изменения; исходы.
  • Гласность. Что вызвало гласность; общественные изменения; исходы.
  • 1991 год. Проблемы для СССР к началу 1991 г.; путч в августе; распад СССР.
  • National and international events: past, present and future
  • Literature and the arts: we study many world-famous literary masterpieces that were created by Russian writers and poets (Griboyedov, Pushkin, Lermontov, Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Yesenin, Akhmatova and others).
  • Film study: "Burnt by the Sun" by N. Mikhalkov

Examination board: GCE Edexcel Russian (New specification from September 2017)

Russian Assistant: Each year, we employ a native speaker to lead conversation lessons with Years 11-13.

  • For Sixth Form students there is one 20-30 minute conversation lesson each week in small groups and 1-1.

We offer:

  • Russian Exchange: to Saint Petersburg (February 2019-20)and Moscow (February 2021)
  • Russian debating society
  • Oxbridge interview preparation sessions

Activities and Recent Highlights

Beyond the curriculum

We aim to support our students’ enthusiasm and passion for the Russian language, culture, history and literature. Activities include clubs and visits to target language countries and cultural events in London.

We offer a range of extra-curricular activities:

Key Stage 3:

  • Russian Language Revision Club
  • KS3 Gifted and Talented Club and events
  • Pen-pal programme with a partner school in Moscow

Key Stage 4:

  • Lunchtime Russian Film Club
  • Lunch time GCSE Revision Club

Key Stage 5:

  • Oxbridge classes
  • Lunchtime Russian Cinema Study Club
  • Russian Literature Club
  • Russian debating society
  • Year 12 mentoring programme
  • Teaching Assistant Work experience opportunities in Saint Petersburg

We organise an annual exchange with schools in either St. Petersburg or Moscow.