Modern Foreign Languages


We are part of a multi-cultural society and a world where the ability to speak another language is a highly valued skill. Our department strives to give all students the opportunity to learn another language and, at the same time, gain a better understanding of the diversity in our world. All our students learn a language to GCSE and during those 5 years we believe they will improve not only their knowledge of a foreign language, but they will also have a better understanding of how their own language works. We teach students to use language in real–life situations and give opportunities to go on visits abroad. Confidence and enjoyment in using languages is our goal for every student.




Foreign Language assistants will meet KS5 students on a weekly basis and help them with the preparation for their oral examinations as well as developing their cultural awareness. At KS4, FLAs will work on a one to one basis and help students prepare their oral GCSE exams. At KS3, they will take small groups out of class and practise/reinforce their speaking skills.


Key Stage 3


All students study a language at KS3. During the first term in Year 7, all students study 10 lessons of Latin, which is the base for the curriculum taught languages. They are then taught a carousel of different languages, doing a taster in each. Before Christmas the students choose which language to continue with out of French, Spanish or Italian. This is an important decision for the girls as they will continue with that language until they have completed their GCSE.

KS3 language learning covers a range of topics such as personal information, school, free time activities, house and home, town and activities in town, pocket money and chores and clothes and food shopping for a party. These, along with the grammar taught, form a solid foundation for further language acquisition.

Assessment is carried out in all four skill areas (Listening, Reading, Speaking, Writing) and the students’ overall achievement is tested by two whole school examinations, focusing on all four skill areas.


Key Stage 4


Modern Foreign Language study is compulsory for all students in Key Stage 4. All students continue with the language they have studied since Year 7 and complete a full GCSE course. The examination board used for all languages is AQA.


Programme of GCSE topics

The GCSE covers three themes, divided into the following units:

Theme 1 – Identity and Culture

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time activities
  • Customs and festivals

Theme 2 – Local, international and global areas of interest

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3 – Current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school and college
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Students for whom English is an additional language are encouraged to sit an exam in their native language in Year 10.

Assessment is entirely by examination at the end of the course in Year 11, with each language skill (Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing) having a separate paper worth 25% of the final mark.

Papers for all examinations are tiered. GCSE entry at Higher Tier will give students the opportunity to gain 9-4 grades, while entry at Foundation Level will produce 5-1 grades.

In Years 9 and 10, students are assessed through a range of tasks that will prepare them for the final set of exams such as – role-plays, photo cards, writing tasks, reading and listening comprehension. End of year exams are tailored to GCSE style questions and are carried out in all four language skills.


Key Stage 5

A-Level students are taught for 6 periods a week. They also have 1 period a week with a foreign language assistant for intensive speaking practice with a native speaker. Students are also offered language/cultural classes as part of their enrichment activities in Year 12.

The Year 12 Course

Students study one Cultural Topic (e.g. one book or one film) from a Target Language country or community.

They also study the following two themes, each divided into three sub-themes.


Theme 1 Social issues and trends

·         Modern vs traditional values

·         Cyberspace

·         Equal gender rights


Theme 2 Artistic culture

·         Modern day idols

·         Regional identity

·         Cultural heritage



The Year 13 Course

Students study two Cultural Topics (e.g. one book or one film) from a target language country or community.

They also study the following two these, each divided into three sub-themes.

Theme 1 Aspects of society

·         Immigration

·         Racism

·         Integration


Theme 2 Aspects of political life

·         Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens

·         Monarchies and dictatorships

·         Politics and popular movements



Unit 1: Listening, reading and writing

Unit 2: Writing

Unit 3: Speaking – discussion of one of stimulus cards and presentation and discussion of an individual research topic