Modern foreign languages

Aims of the curriculum

The department aims to provide students with the opportunity to become familiar with both the spoken and written language, as well as broadening their understanding of the culture of French and German and speaking countries. Pupils have the opportunity to study French, German and Spanish in Key Stage 4 and study for the Edexcel GCSE qualification. Over the course of three years pupils will cover a range of vocabulary and structures in the following contexts:

  • Lifestyle and social issues
  • Leisure and holidays
  • Home and environment
  • Work and education


Curriculum overview

Year 9
  • Students will recap all of the Key Stage 3 topics to ensure success at GCSE. There is an emphasis on grammar in Year 9.
Year 10
  • Topics covered change according to the controlled assessments to be completed and can include self and family, free time and leisure, home town. Lessons include regular vocabulary tests and listening exercises to ensure progression across the four skills.
Year 11
  • School life and work experience, holidays, healthy lifestyle environmental issues.

Teaching methods and student organisation

Students receive two to three hours teaching a week depending on the year of study. All four skills will be evaluated. The reading and listening paper will be completed at the end of Year 11 and make up 40% of the total marks, the speaking and writing will be completed as controlled assessments in Year 10 and 11 and make up 60% of the total marks. Pupils will be entered at either foundation or higher level in the reading and listening exam. Tasks in speaking and writing are not split into foundation and higher level and are conducted by the class teacher in exam conditions.

Progression after Key Stage 4

If you do well at your GCSE studies you should consider taking a language at Key Stage 5. We follow the AQA specification for AS and A level. AS Topics - all focussed on the country whose language is being studied- France or Germany:

  • Media (television – advertising-communication technology)
  • Popular culture (Cinema- music- fashion/trends)
  • Healthy lifestyle (sport/exercise – health and well-being- holidays
  • Family and relationships (relationships within the family – friendships – marriage/partnerships)

A2 topics include:

  • Environment (pollution – energy-protecting the planet)
  • Multicultural society (immigration-integration-racism)
  • Contemporary social issues (wealth and poverty-law and order-impact of scientific and technological progress)
  • The study of two films or two books or two regions of the country whose language is being studied.

Additional classes and extra curricular activities

Revision classes after school and during holidays. Visits to Berlin (with the history department), Paris and a German market.


How can you help your child?

Encourage your child to use the websites we have suggested for extra practice. It is a fun way to practise what we have been learning in class. Students will receive a sticker with details of all of the websites that we subscribe to. Also encourage your child to learn vocabulary regularly and test them on it. You will improve your own language skills too! Again the websites that we subscribe to will help with this. Encourage an interest in the country whose language they are studying. Point them in the direction of TV programmes and newspaper articles on events happening in France or Germany. Foreign television programmes and radio stations can be accessed on line.

Useful MFL websites