Modern Foreign Languages

As an Upper School we recognise that students joining us in Year 9 will have had a range of language learning experiences and uneven amounts of exposure to different languages in Years 7 and 8. We strive to close those gaps as quickly as possible in Year 9 by ensuring we adapt our teaching to cater to the starting points of all our students.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department offers courses at KS3, KS4 and KS5 in French and Spanish. In Year 9, students will study either French or Spanish. In Year 10 and 11 students can opt to study a language to GCSE level.

An exciting element of the modern foreign languages’ curriculum is the opportunity for students to experience other cultures and to practise their skills abroad. We offer an opportunity for our Year 9 students to take a daytrip to France in November, and this has been a great success for a number of years now. Students taking a language at GCSE or A Level have the opportunity to visit Christmas markets and to travel to France or Spain for an extended trip in the summer term.

Year 9

Me, my family and friends: Discussing getting on with others, describing family and friends, talking about future relationships.

Technology in everyday life: Using social media, the pros and cons, discussing the uses of mobile technology – advantages and disadvantages.

Free-time activities: Talking about leisure activities, talking about different cuisines, discussing eating habits, talking about sports.

Customs and festivals: Talking about how we celebrate, discussing traditions and festivals, describing events.

Year 10 and 11
Course GCSE French
Exam Board/Syllabus AQA Syllabus 8658
Availability Students who studied French in Y9
Grade Equivalences 9 to 1
Assessment Route

Listening Final Exam (25%)

Reading Final Exam (25%)

Speaking Final Exam (25%)

Writing Final Exam (25%)


Course GCSE Spanish
Exam Board/Syllabus AQA Syllabus 8698
Availability Students who studied Spanish in Y9
Grade Equivalences 9 to 1
Assessment Route

Listening Final Exam (25%)

Reading Final Exam (25%)

Speaking Final Exam (25%)

Writing Final Exam (25%)


Our aims in Years 10 and 11 are:

  • To develop the ability to use languages effectively for purposes of practical communication;
  • To form a sound base for the skills, language and attitudes required for further study, work and leisure;
  • To offer insight into the cultures & civilisations of French and Spanish speaking countries;
  • To develop an awareness of the nature of language and language learning;
  • To provide enjoyment and intellectual stimulation.

A qualification in Languages is an asset for any student in the job market, opening up opportunities in business, travel, tourism, education and many other spheres. A Language GCSE is also particularly important for those thinking about A – Level examinations and is a facilitating subject at university.


The examinations taken will demand considerable speaking and listening skills, together with competence in reading and writing. Furthermore, particularly for those aiming for higher grades, (9-5), students need to understand the grammar of the language they are studying and then adapt what they know to new situations.


For the development of listening skills, audio material of native speakers is provided, with the speakers talking on topical subjects of relevant practical application.


There will be an increasing emphasis on developing students’ speaking skills in a wide variety of situations. Students will be expected to respond to and communicate in the foreign language as much as possible during lessons. They will have to present ideas as a presentation, as well as ask and answer questions in a range of different situations. They will also have to practise role-plays to be able to cope with real-life situations abroad. Students will complete a speaking exam at the end of the two year course.


Alongside the productive skill of speaking is the writing component of the course. Students will learn how to master the grammar of the language and have opportunities to write in the language in class and for homework. Assessment is an exam at the end of Year 11 where they are marked on the content of what they say as well as the quality of the language and range of structures that are used. There will also be a small translation element.


Throughout the course, there are many opportunities to use ICT and multimedia to develop language skills, to understand the culture and to bring the world of the foreign language into the classroom. There are opportunities to go on trips that will build confidence and give students the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge that they are learning. We also aim to use authentic material wherever possible.


To take either French or Spanish, it is necessary to have studied the relevant language in Year 9.


French and Spanish GCSE


The French and Spanish courses are based on the Oxford AQA GCSE course books, which give practice in the four skills of:
  1. Listening
  2. Speaking
  3. Reading
  4. Writing the language
The topics covered are as follows:
  • Family and friends
  • Technology
  • Free time
  • Customs and festivals
  • Local area
  • Social and global issues
  • Travel and tourism
  • School and college
  • Jobs and careers


Ethos & Aims

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