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Modern Foreign Languages

Our MFL department share the vision of internationally renowned psycholinguist Frank Smith: ‘One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.’

Based in the school’s Newton block, the department consists of three full time members of staff. Year 7 and Year 8 are taught in mixed ability groups, setting is applied in Year 9, and students return to smaller mixed ability groups at KS4. The department utilise the ‘wave model’ for their curriculum; in 2018-19, all new Year 7 students are studying Spanish, and in 2019-20, all new Year 7s will study French. At KS4, students can choose to continue studying the language they learnt at KS3. At post 16, the department currently offers the opportunity to continue Spanish at A Level on an in-depth course that includes the study of film, literature and various aspects of the Hispanic World.

In order to develop enthusiastic and talented linguists, our MFL teachers aim to immerse students in a foreign language. Lessons are delivered as much as possible in the target language, and students undergo an interactive experience where they get the chance to develop their own understanding of either French or Spanish through speaking, listening, reading and writing the language. Teachers stress the development of thinking skills, resilience, accuracy, and the development of communication and inter-personal skills. Students also develop an increased awareness of the customs and traditions of their target language countries.

In our MFL department, teachers are passionate about their subject and never fail to enthuse new linguists. Using authentic resources, students work independently, in pairs and in groups, and teachers match activities to learning preferences. Work is regularly self-, peer- and teacher assessed to reflect on progress and devise next steps to enable further improvements. The importance of the target language is stressed at all times; students are given opportunities to use their target language with both their teacher and their peers to develop their linguistic competence and confidence.

Of course, visits to both France and Spain are important in allowing our students to experience their target language in action. Many students have benefited from overseas visits to see and hear French and Spanish being spoken by native speakers and to learn more about culture and tradition in these countries. Last year the Year 9 students enjoyed a trip to the Loire Valley in France to practise their French and explore the French culture further.


Year 7 Spanish Topics
- Greetings
- Numbers
- Days and months
- Opinions
- Family
- Pets
- Countries and nationalities
- Physical description
- School subjects
- Time
- School facilities
- Clothes/school uniform
- Weather
- Free time activities
- Daily routine
- Describing where I live/my region
- Describing my house/my bedroom
- Food and drink
- Meal times
- Ordering food in a restaurant/café
- Holidays
- Transport
- Reserving accommodation
- Describing a previous holiday

Year 8 French Topics
- Describing my town/city
- Activities in town
- Directions
- Inviting people out
- Prepositions
- Clothes
- Opinions
- Different looks and styles
- Weather
- Daily routine
- Holidays: dream holidays and previous holidays
- Festivals
- Sports
- Leisure activities
- The body/injuries
-  Sports stars

Year 9 Spanish Topics
- Pastimes
- Buying things in a shop
- Opinions in the past tense
- When I was younger… (Activities in the past imperfect tense)
- Tourist attractions
- Transport and buying travel tickets
- Describing days in the past
- Shopping
- Directions
- Healthy living
- Body parts and sports
- Illnesses and injuries
- Future plans (the future and the immediate future)
- Jobs
- Chores / pocket money
- Discussing options subjects
- Dream jobs
- The environment
- Plans for improving the environment

All assessments are set in line with the CF data drops.

Useful web links:

Quotations from our students:

I enjoy Spanish because it’s different to what I usually do in other lessons’

‘I enjoy learning languages as I get to learn new things every day’

‘ My favourite thing is that I like learning languages that could help me in the future’

Examples of student work:

Year 8 – The Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish         

Year 9 –French film review


AQA Specification

Year 10 French
Me, my family and friends
Technology in everyday life
Free time activities (music, film etc.)
Customs and festivals
Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Social issues (health problems, poverty, volunteering)

Year 11 Spanish
Global issues (environment, homelessness, helping others)
Travel and tourism (holidays, transport, weather, accommodation)
My studies: life at school and college
Education post-16
Jobs, career choices and ambitions

All assessments are set in line with the CF data drops.

Useful web links:


Year 12 Spanish

  • Traditional values
  • The role of technology in society
  • Women in the workplace
  • Hispanic food
  • Regional identities
  • The role of the Catholic Church
  • Marriage and divorce
  • Influence of celebrities
  • Study of a film (Volver)

 More details of our A Level Spanish course can be found in the Sixth Form section of this website.