Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Key Stage 3

In Year 7, students have three lessons a fortnight of French and three lessons of Spanish. In Year 8, students choose to study French or Spanish and have five lessons a fortnight. From September 2018, the department will also introduce Spanish to the Year 9 cohort.

At KS3, students focus on developing a wide range of vocabulary to discuss their life and interests. They also develop grammatical understanding, reading, listening, speaking and writing skills through the following topics:

Year 7 French:

  • Phonetics
  • Family
  • Personal and physical description
  • Music
  • Clothes
  • Weather
  • Sport
  • Hobbies

Year 7 Spanish:

  • Introduction
  • School
  • Where you live
  • Your town
  • Activities in town
  • Time
  • What you like to do

Year 8 French:

  • Food and drinks
  • Celebration in France
  • Arranging to go out
  • Health
  • Travelling
  • Holiday plans
  • A film study “Kirikou”

Year 8 Spanish:

  • Physical and personal description
  • Family
  • Daily routine
  • Arranging to go out
  • Food and drinks
  • Shopping
  • Holiday plans

Year 9 French:

  • School life
  • Daily routine
  • A film study “Les Choristes”
  • Why learning languages
  • Future aspirations
  • Town
  • Fashion
  • La Francophonie

As well as building on previously taught topics and language, students also study cultural elements of French speaking and Spanish speaking countries through songs, films and independent research.
Key Stage 3 students are also able to participate in trips abroad. Students have visited Boulogne and Paris in the past and the department is looking into offering a trip to Spain.

Key Stage 4

Currently, GCSE students can opt to take French as an option and study the language six hours a fortnight. They build on their prior knowledge and continue to develop their linguistic skills through familiar topics seen at KS3. The exam board studied at KS4 is Pearson Edexcel.

The course is divided into the following themes:

Theme 1: Identity and culture (Who am I?, Daily life, Cultural life)
Theme 2: Local area, holiday and travel (Holidays, travel and tourist attractions, town, region an country)
Theme 3: School (what school is like, school activities)
Theme 4: Future aspirations, study and work (using languages beyond the classroom, ambitions, work)
Theme 5: international and global dimension (bringing the world together, environmental issues)

The four skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) are assessed equally externally in June in Year 11. The speaking examination is conducted with the teacher at the beginning of May in Year 11.
Key Stage 4 students are also able to participate in trips abroad. Recently, students have visited the region of Normandy in a cross-curricular trip with History.

Key Stage 5

Students who choose to study A level French will develop skills in extended writing, literature and film study, independent research and critical thinking. At KS5 the exam board studied is AQA.

AS topics:

  • Family evolution
  • Cybersociety
  • Charity work
  • National heritage
  • Music in French speaking countries
  • French cinema
  • + study of a film

A2 topics:

  • Diverse society
  • Poverty
  • Crime
  • Immigration
  • Politics
  • + study of a book and independent research project

Students are assessed on their understanding of the language through reading, listening and translation into English. They are also assessed on their ability to write essays about the film and book studied throughout the two years. Their speaking examination is based mainly on the presentation and on a discussion of their independent research project. 

Students are encouraged to spend a week in France for work experience during February half-term of Easter holidays.