Modern Foreign Languages

Staffing of the department

  • Mrs Watkins – Teacher of French and Spanish, Joint Head of Department
  • Mrs Jacob – Teacher of French and Spanish, Joint Head of Department
  • Ms Ghelma – Teacher of French and Spanish, MFL Coordinator
  • Ms Painvin – Teacher of French and Spanish

Educational philosophy/Aims of the curriculum

Languages broaden horizons, increase multi-cultural understanding and many linguists go on to study and work abroad. Learning languages helps to develop skills such as the ability to work in a team and effective communication, problem-solving skills, increasing confidence, open mindedness and flexibility. In lessons, pupils are taught to communicate solely in the target language whilst developing their independent learning skills in speaking, writing, reading and listening through a range of authentic cultural resources.  

French and Spanish are two of the most desired languages by international businesses and are both truly global languages which open doors to the Francophone and Hispanic worlds of Europe, Africa, America and South-East Asia.

In order to gain the new English Baccalaureate qualification a student needs to have a GCSE qualification in a modern foreign language. Some universities are now asking that students have at least one language before they can take up a place on a course and during a university course you will get the opportunity to work and live abroad.

KS4 Curriculum

Through our curriculum children will be able to:

  • Cope with a greater degree of unpredictability
  • Deal with a widening range of potential problems
  • Understand and use more accurately a widening range of vocabulary and structures, including some unfamiliar language
  • Understand issues and opinions
  • Discuss issues and give opinions
  • Give full descriptions and accounts.

KS4 Programme of study

The course aims to increase students’ ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing and broaden their horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world. By the end of the GCSE, they will develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently, express and develop thoughts and ideas spontaneously and fluently, listen to and understand clearly articulated, standard speech, deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary in order for them to increase their independent use and understanding of extended language in a wide range of contexts, acquire new knowledge, skills and ways of thinking through understanding and responding to a rich range of authentic spoken and written material, developing awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where the language is spoken, be encouraged to make appropriate links to other areas of the curriculum to enable bilingual and deeper learning, develop language learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare them for further language study and develop language strategies, including repair strategies. Students study the themes of Identity and culture, Local, national, international and global areas of interest and Current and future study and employment.

Exam overview

Pupils will be assessed at the end of the course in listening, speaking, reading and writing, all of which will be worth an equal 25% of the final grade. Listening and reading exams will be mainly comprehension with questions in English and the target language. There will also be some translation into English with translation into French on the writing paper. Writing will also be examined through a series of short tasks and speaking will consist of a final oral exam with a description of a picture, role play and general conversation.

Special requirements

A small pocket sized French and Spanish dictionary should be purchased (from Amazon or any good bookstore)

Links to useful sites for KS4 students, parents and members of the public (exam information and past papers) (vocabulary learning) (learning vocabulary) (grammar and topic vocabulary learning) (grammar learning and practise) (listening practise) (French listening practise) (vocabulary learning) / (online dictionaries)