Modern Foreign Languages

Mr R Shepherd

Subject Leader French

Mr J Piqueras

Subject Leader Spanish

Mr J Piqueras
Mr R Shepherd
Mrs C Rule
Mrs J Price 
Mrs S Frorath

Department Vision

Our department is committed to raising standards within our subject area through high-quality teaching, which employs a variety of teaching methods. Our aim is to engender a passion for language learning within the young people that we teach and to provide them with the skills to be ‘life-long’ language learners. We provide them with opportunities to learn about and experience other cultures (primarily French and Spanish) through lessons, email projects and visits; this is supported by links we have developed with French and Spanish schools. We believe in making the use of MFL relevant to the pupils by integrating technology and authentic materials into lessons whenever possible.

Lower School

All pupils in KS3 study either French or Spanish for the first 2 years. Over the course of the two years, students in both subjects will cover units of work built around the following topics:

  • Self, family and friends
  • School life and daily routine
  • Free-time activities, hobbies and interests
  • Shopping and getting around
  • Making arrangements to go out
  • Home and local area
  • Describing past events

In addition to these areas, the students will explore cultural topics and events on key dates. These include key cultural celebrations such as Christmas and Easter as well as Bastille Day and The European Day of Languages.

Assessments are divided into the 4 key skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and are carried out at the end of each module. Each skill carries a weighting of 25% which reflects the new MFL GCSEs.

Upper School

In Year 10 and 11, our students are currently following the Edexcel GCSE 2009 (course codes 5FR02 and 5SP02). These courses are comprised of 4 units of assessment:

  • Terminal listening papers (tiered) contributing 20% to final grades.
  • Speaking Controlled Assessment contributing 30% to final grades.
  • Terminal reading papers (tiered) contributing 20% to final grades.
  • Writing Controlled Assessment contributing 30% to final grades.

The terminal listening and reading papers are sat in the June exam session of Year 11. All controlled assessment tasks are undertaken throughout the GCSE course and are teacher conducted. Although 2 tasks per skill (speaking and writing) must be submitted by the end of Year 11, students can sit a variety of tasks across the course. The grades awarded for this course will be A*-G.

In Year 9, our current cohort and all subsequent GCSE students will be following the new GCSE course for French or Spanish. We are currently waiting for the Edexcel specification to be accredited, but are following the draft specification and materials in the interim period. The new GCSE will be comprised of the following assessments:

  • Paper 1: Listening and understanding (tiered) 25%
  • Paper 2: Speaking (tiered) 25%
  • Paper 3: Reading and understanding (tiered). 25%
  • Paper 4: Writing (tiered) 25%

The grades awarded for this course will be from 9-1.

Both GCSE courses re-visit the content from KS3 and develop themes such as healthy lifestyle, work and future plans and the environment.

Sixth Form

We currently offer AQA French (2650) in the sixth form. At AS level the students study a range of topic areas:

  • Communication technologies, Internet and advertising.
  • Youth culture
  • Sport and health
  • Family life and marriage

Four main units are covered, each containing 3 subtopics. Assessment for AS comprises 2 terminal papers, one speaking (30% of AS and 15% of A-Level) and one for listening, reading and writing (70% of AS and 35% of A-Level).

At A-Level students study social and environmental issues including recycling, racism and immigration. They must also study a theme of their choice in the context of a French speaking country, as well as a film, book or artistic work from a French speaker. Assessment for A2 comprises 2 terminal papers, one speaking (15%) and one for listening, reading and writing (35%).

From September 2016 we will be offering the new AQA A-Level in French. Please follow the link below to see details of the new course.

pdficon smallAQA AS Level (7651) French Specification

pdficon smallAQA A-Level (7652) French Specification

Other Information

As a department, we run an annual cultural trip to Lille's Christmas market as well as holding activity days to celebrate The European Day of Languages and Bastille Day, which are cross-curricular events. We have also developed links with a language school and a French school, who visit with their students.


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