Modern Foreign Languages

Faculty Team

 Mrs Louise Tempest, Faculty Leader
Mr Daniel Cook, Second in Faculty
Mrs Lisa Maddison, MFL Inclusion Assistant
Mrs Louise Wilkinson, Teacher of MFL
Mrs Claire Wood, Teacher of MFL and Sharman Head of House


We believe that the study of Modern Foreign Languages plays an important part in preparing students for their future careers.  In today’s global economy it is vital that students are equipped with linguistic skills, cultural awareness and intercultural understanding and as teachers we are passionate about helping our students along this path.

We aim to create a lively and stimulating environment by providing appropriately challenging courses for students of all abilities.

Key Stage 3

The language(s) offered to students when they join us in Year 7 vary slightly from year to year.  However, a typical pattern is as follows:

Year 7, 8 and 9
Students study either French, German or Spanish.  Although in the past students with an aptitude for languages have been given the opportunity to study a second language (most recently Spanish), it now seems more appropriate to focus on learning the grammatical skills for one language thoroughly before embarking on the study of a second language – if desired – in Key Stage 4.

A small group of students in Year 9 follow an alternative course of Language and Literacy, which consists of key skills in French / German and reinforcement of English grammar through global themes.

Progress through the National Curriculum is emphasised at all times.  Course content is outlined below:

Year 7
Giving key information about yourself including physical descriptions, family and like sad dislikes. Preferences at school daily routine, houses and telling the time.  The MFL team are currently implementing different themes to teach grammatical skills in order to avoid overlap with primary work.

Year 8
Giving opinions about music, fashion and art. Describing food preferences and a recent visit to a place of interest.

Year 9
Developing a knowledge of grammar through teacher inspired themes including holidays, sport and leisure. Preparing knowledge and grammatical skills needed for study at GCSE.

Key Stage 4

From 2016 students may opt to continue studying French or German for GCSE. .  Alternative courses to GCSE, e.g. FCSE, are offered whenever possible.

French, German and Spanish GCSE (EDEXCEL)
The principal aim of these courses is to develop the ability to use the language for practical communication.

The four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing are given equal emphasis in teaching and learning, although speaking and writing carry slightly more weight in the examination.  Students will be assessed in all four skills:

  • Listening and reading will be assessed at either Foundation or Higher level at the end of the course.  Students will be entered for the test most appropriate to their ability in each skill area, decided in consultation with teachers approximately one month before the examination takes place.  Foundation Tier can produce grades G-C, and Higher Tier D-A*.  There is a degree of overlap between the two tiers, so that candidates in the C-D range will not be penalised.
  • Speaking and writing assessments (two of each) will be set by teachers across Years 10 and 11.  Speaking is marked by teachers, although writing is assessed by the exam board.  Students will have an opportunity to re-take speaking and writing assessments in order to gain their best possible score.  Students may also have input into choosing assessment tasks.
  • A new GCSE will be introduced for Y10 September 2016 in which all skills will be assessed through exams at the end of Y11. The Controlled Assessments elements above for speaking and writing will cease to exist. Listening and reading exams will remain mostly the same.

Students should provide their own pocket bilingual dictionary to use in lessons and writing assessments.
  They will also be given the opportunity to purchase GCSE Revision Guides at a discounted price.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Lunchtime Clubs
Our Foreign Language Assistants offer lunchtime clubs to Year 11 students for conversation practice.  Whenever Foreign Language Assistants have spare time, we also offer lunchtime clubs to younger students, who would otherwise have less contact with the assistants.

After-College Clubs
Year 11 students have access to after-college personal tuition for speaking test preparation.  We offer a weekly homework club..

Visits are an important part of students’ language-learning experience.  They are arranged and planned according to the college visits policy.  As they are not compulsory, costs must be met in full by students.  In addition to visits abroad, our students take part in a range of MFL workshops organised by the Local Authority each year, e.g. ‘Languages for Lads’ and visits to ‘Space to Learn’.  Recent visits include 2009 study visit to Rouen and Paris, 2013, 2016 and 2017 visit to Paris and Eurodisney (pictured) , in a visit to Cologne and in 2015 trips to Barcelona and Brussels. In 2016 we also ran a trip to Paris.


2013 group photo outside Paris hotel

2013 paris

2013 Year 11 students enjoy the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower

2013 eiffel Tower

 2014 Cologne

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2016/2017 Visit to Paris