Modern Foreign Languages

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The Modern Languages department is housed in 5 well equipped classrooms within the Modern Languages suite which provide a comfortable and positive learning environment for our students.

Within the department we teach Spanish and French up to A Level but also have enrichments that provide guidance for native speakers of other languages who wish to take formal examinations in their native tongue. There is also a wide selection of self-taught language CD roms available for students to make use of in their own time, at school.

In addition, we strongly encourage students to attend enrichments or study sessions after school in order to deepen their understanding of the language they are studying or try new ones.

Name Position
Mrs U Storey Head of MFL
Mrs M H Watson Second in Department/Head of French
Mrs S Barrett Teacher of MFL / Head of Year
Miss A Tumelty Teacher of MFL / Head of Training School
Mrs M Boden Teacher of MFL
Miss Gilroy Teacher of MFL
Miss S Baker Teacher of MFL
Mrs S Devereux MFL Learning Mentor
Miss G de Medeiros French Language Assistant
Miss V Brack Spanish Language Assistant

Aims of the Department

  • To enable students to communicate effectively and to their full potential using the target language.

  • To give students an insight into and appreciation of the culture of the countries whose language they are studying and to have a better understanding and tolerance of people.

  • To equip our students with the skills they need to access opportunities in the world of travel and work in a modern, technological society.

  • To enjoy language learning.

The Key Stage 3 Curriculum

From 2015, all students at KS3 will be taught French (x band) or Spanish (y band) in tutor groups in year 7 and then set according to ability from year 8, with two set ones who then pick up a second language. The remaining classes will focus on their initial language for two periods a week.

Currently in Year 9, all students receive 2 hours of MFL per week which represents one hour of either French or Spanish. Students who need greater support in English will study one language only.

The KS3 French scheme of work is based around Métro 1 to 3 and the new GCSE Edexcel text with cultural reference points such as WW2, Haute Couture and French film being key themes in Year 8 -9 especially. Likewise, the KS3 Spanish scheme of work from year 7, is based on Listos 1 – 2 and the new GCSE Edexcel text with cultural reference points such as The Spanish Civil War, Immigration, Latin America and film being key themes.

The additional GCSE material is utilized in Year 9 in order to incorporate challenge and better prepare for KS4. Extra departmental resources are used to enhance teaching and the new KS3 SOWs especially are designed to fit in with the new MFL framework and programmes of study.

To further support learning, there is a wealth of ICT support available on the school network, including the new Kerboodle digital material, as well as on the two language blogs: MACLINKS BLOG and MFL BLOG which are both accessible via the main web page.

The Key Stage 4 Curriculum

At KS4 pupils opting for GCSE languages receive three lessons per week depending upon which option group they are in with the Spanish and French GCSE groups follow the new AQA GCSE course in Year 10 and the Edexcel course in Year 11.Both courses cover 2 academic years.

For Edexcel, both French and Spanish students complete controlled assessments in Speaking and Writing (30%+30% = 60%) which must be completed by March in 2017. The students also will have examinations in listening and reading in May of year 11 which are worth 40% of their overall grade.

For AQA, both French and Spanish students will complete a linear course with 4 examinations in listening, speaking, reading and writing in the summer of 2018 which are all worth 25%.

During these two years the students may also be given the opportunity to participate in a foreign visit to France or Spain as well as university visits in order to deepen their understanding of their language. They may also receive extra tuition, at least once a fortnight, with a foreign language assistant in order to boost their language skills.

The MFL department also encourages pupils to be entered for GCSE examinations in community languages or other languages that are spoken at home, whether they are learning the language formally or not. Support for these examinations is provided through our enrichment programme.

The Key Stage 5 Curriculum

At KS5 students opting for GCE languages receive 5 lessons per week and follow the Spanish and/ or French Edexcel course in Year 13 and the new AQA course in Year 12.

They are encouraged to participate in visits abroad to enhance their learning and also have the opportunity to participate in work experience during year 12 or year 13.

They also receive extra tuition, at least once a week, with a foreign language assistant in order to boost their language skills. For more information, please view the A-Level specifications for French or Spanish.

Teaching and Learning in MFL

All students are grouped according to their abilities from year 8. This is based on KS2 data, year 7 tests in the, MFL and teacher assessment and is under review due to the large number of students now studying a MFL in Primary.

Students in KS5 have 2 teachers who each deliver a part of the GCE course.

Priority is given to both KS4-5 students for lessons with the MFL assistant.

All students are encouraged to work independently in and out of the classroom and develop their L2L skills as well as make good use of the resources made available to them via the Academy website and FROG materials.


Assessment is in line with the whole school policy. Students are given comments and/or a grade/’step’ on their work where appropriate and are encouraged to apply strategies discussed in class to allow them to succeed.

Formative assessment is considered a priority within the department and all staff will use the TSR code in student books to encourage students to set targets, strategies to achieve them and review these on a regular basis. Time is also given to reflect upon learning in set lessons and all students are encouraged to aim for their PBs (personal best-progress bubble!)

In addition, in terms of summative assessment, all students are assessed in all the four attainment targets and receive reports according to the Academy assessment calendar.

Why Should You Study Language

  • You may require it for entry to some university courses- other than languages

  • You often get paid more as some jobs pay you up to 20% more for a good language qualification

  • You will be in demand as languages can improve your career prospects in business, fashion, media, football, engineering etc.

  • You will meet new people

  • You will help the UK companies are that are losing 20% of their business because they lack language skills

  • You may live longer and make your brain bigger as it has been scientifically proven that learning a language can be good for the old grey matter!

  • You will have the opportunity to visit and even work abroad

  • * You will become more confident as speaking in a different language to a French, Spanish or Italian speaker will make communication in your own language seem easy

Exam Specifications

Exam Specification
GCSE French AQA (Year 10) EdExcel (Year 11)
GCSE Spanish AQA (Year 10) EdExcel (Year 11)
A-Level French AQA (Year 12) EdExcel (Year 11)
A-Level Spanish AQA (Year 12) EdExcel (Year 11)

© Macmillan Academy 2016