Modern Languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” — Nelson Mandela


Modern Foreign Languages are a vital component of our school curriculum and we believe that we offer our pupils valuable experiences which cover vital areas of learning. It is fundamental to our approach that we have a positive attitude towards countries and cultures where languages other than English are spoken, and we seek to foster these attitudes in all our pupils. Through the study of a modern language the student will develop awareness and a tolerance of others, working in close proximity with his or her contemporaries, either as an individual or in a group, thereby learning to feel closer to and work with fellow human beings in general.

Key Stage Three Curriculum

Most pupils in Year 7 study two foreign languages, French and German. There is also a Functional Skills class that has been put in place for pupils who have been identified as not being able to easily access a second foreign language (German) successfully. French has been taught in our Prep School from Year 1 onwards and almost all children from other schools who join us in Year 7 have had some experience with learning French, thus making it desirable for all pupils, if at all possible, to continue benefitting from studying a foreign language. German is new to all but a very small minority of our children.

Year 8 and Year 9 continue with their study of French and German or Functional Skills, and Year 9 pupils will opt for one or indeed both modern languages as a GCSE course in Year 10, or continue with Functional Skills.

Occasionally we accept students at KS3 who have previous knowledge of Spanish. Provided the students have already a reasonable grounding it might be possible for them to continue with their Spanish studies, normally in the lunch hour, with a Spanish specialist.

At Key Stage 3 pupils study topics such as yourself, your family and friends, school, free time and hobbies, home, food and drink, the local area, fashion and shopping, holidays, daily routine and health and fitness.

Key Stage Four Curriculum

Year 11


  • AQA French (iGCSE) 8655
  • AQA German (iGCSE) 8665

There are no controlled assessments in this specification and therefore all of the assessment will take place at the end of the two year course


PAPER 1:(25% of the marks) LISTENING – 2 tiers of assessment:Foundation and Higher
PAPER 2:(25 % of the marks) READING – 2 tiers of assessment:Foundation and Higher
PAPER 3:(25% of the marks) SPEAKING – untiered
PAPER 4:(25% of the marks) WRITING – 2 tiers of assessment:Foundation and Higher

Subject Content:


Year 10


  • AQA French    8658
  • AQA German  8668

GCSE French and German has a Foundation Tier (grades 1-5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4-9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier.

PAPER 1:(25% of the marks) LISTENING
PAPER 2:(25 % of the marks) SPEAKING
PAPER 3:(25% of the marks) READING
PAPER 4:(25% of the marks) WRITING

The specification covers three distinct themes. The themes apply to all four question papers.

Theme 1:                     Identity and culture

Theme 2:                    Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3:                    Current and future study and employment


A Level Curriculum

A Level French or German helps students develop confident, effective communication skills in the target language and a thorough understanding of the culture of countries and communities where either French or German are spoken.

An A Level in a foreign language will help students gaining an interest in and enthusiasm for language learning and encourages students to consider their study of the foreign language in a broader context.

Year 12

AS GERMAN (7661)

Subject content:

Core content:

  1. Social issues and trends
  2. Artistic culture
  3. Grammar


  1. Literary texts and films


Paper 1:          Listening, Reading and Writing (45% of AS)

Paper 2:          Writing (25% of AS)

Paper 3:          Speaking (30% of AS)

Year 13




  • UNIT 3: LISTENING, READING AND WRITING (35% of total a level marks)

Subject Content:






Activities vary, depending on the interest of pupils. Last year,for example, Year 8 French students have embarked on exchanging letters with pen pals in a school in Tours, France, and we also offered a European Club and a European Film Club.

GCSE French and German clinics are always available, often to assist students with preparation for Speaking tests and general help with acquisition of vocabulary and understanding of grammar. There is usually a slot available for KS3 students who have joint the school mid-year or mid-term and need help with catching up, mainly on German, to integrate them into the German language class.

In addition, the MFL department organises regular trips abroad to mainland Europe and also takes the opportunity to have a linguistic input into the ski trips to Austria.

Digital Learning

The department recognises that ICT and iPads in particular represent an exciting medium for language learners.  Clips on ‘You Tube’ for example open a window to the target language country, its people, language and culture. The iPads can be used to record students so they can playback and improve their listening skills, students have produced iMovies and they can of course research background material for their topic work. We use ‘word reference’ to supplement our dictionaries, pupils produce posters etc .  on Piccolage and we use Edmodo and Socrative to test our students’ learning. Students also use apps such as Memrise and Crammit to help them with learning vocabulary.

Where might the subject lead?

Modern languages develop skills which could prove useful to an employer at a later date. Obviously foreign language skills are vital for those wishing to pursue a career in a language orientated area, whilst the ability to communicate freely and understand others is also a vital tool for those entering management, or careers which require the ability to relate to others. Modern languages also offer the possibility of seeking employment where the demand lies, i.e. the freedom of movement within and between nations within the European Union and further afield.  British business has the poorest language skills in Europe; it loses billions of pounds every year simply because British people cannot speak their customers’ language – surely this is enough of an incentive for anyone to find this skill more than useful in the employment market.