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Theme of the week is: Family and friendships

MFL (Modern Foreign Languages)

MFL Curriculum Intent

Year 7 and 8 focuses on the basic learning blocks of a successful linguist. Key grammar and topic areas are introduced in Year 7 and 8 and later built on at GCSE; taught in Years 9-11. The teaching of grammar underpins everything that is taught to ensure that pupils have a solid understanding of the basics before they reach Year 10. The pupils are set by ability in Years 8 and 9 to allow teaching to better support and stretch learners. There is curriculum for French, Spanish and German dual linguists which allows pupils to acquire skills in fewer lessons.  The curriculum for the single linguists moves at a slower pace with more lessons.  For a small number of learners who have struggled to access the curriculum in years 7 and 8 for a variety of reasons, they are placed in a set with fewer lessons of MFL, enabling them to focus on progress in core English and maths skills.   They follow the same curriculum in Spanish or French as other students but the curriculum content has been further differentiated for their needs, allowing them to access key language and more cultural capital elements have been included in the topics themselves.


The material taught is designed to be accessible and challenging  to engage learners of all abilities. In Year 7 and 8 there is a focus on topics relating to pupils’ lives and experiences to allow them to communicate their interests and things that matter to them. Annual trips to Paris, Barcelona and the German Christmas markets aim to show learners language in action and instil them with a passion to communicate in the target language. The department brings in native/fluent conversation assistants who regularly support the teachers in and outside of the classroom to increase confidence in pupils’ speaking and listening.  A research project based on cultural enrichment of the TL country is set and completed at appropriate times of the calendar (eg Christmas, Easter, Eid, 1st May, 1st November).


The KS3 curriculum is intended to prepare pupils with the skills necessary to be confident at the start of KS4.  This includes grammar, vocabulary, exam technique and study skills. Learning how to memorise vocabulary and grammar is addressed, as well as how to improve listening and reading comprehension, setting personal targets that focus on trying and evaluating different learning strategies.

GCSE topics in French and Spanish are started in Year 9.  In German, GCSE starts in Year 10 because pupils are selected to start learning German as a second MFL in Year 8.


In Years 7 and 8 French and Spanish focus on developing the skills that underpin the language they are learning. They are taught through topics which are based on the GCSE programme so that vocabulary can be consistently revisited, recycled and increased.

In Year 9 French and Spanish we start to teach the GCSE content, focusing on the more accessible topics of the GCSE curriculum and reinforcing the key tenses studied in Year 7 and 8. In Term 6 of Year 9 the GCSE topic of customs and traditions is delivered as it is interesting and more engaging especially for those pupils who have not opted for GCSE languages.

German follows the same sequencing but start in Year 8.


The teaching of MFL actively supports the teaching of literacy across the entire curriculum. We specifically focus on vocabulary and use of grammar that have a bearing on all subjects. MFL exposes pupils to different ways of living and different cultures, encouraging them to examine their own experiences and traditions, be tolerant and curious of other cultures and acknowledge how they differ across the world.  Specific lessons focused on cultural capital are embedded in our SOW at KS3.  At KS4 and KS5, the curriculum content involves students questioning key issues in society that may be local, regional or global and evaluating them, developing both critical and analytical skills.


Assessments are designed to inform pupils and teachers of progress. They are intended to reflect the skills and knowledge needed at GCSE to ensure pupils have sufficient practice in the different assessments before KS4.


Pupils are regularly tested on vocabulary recall and recognition in KS3 and 4. They are encouraged to practise on their own using Quizlet. In French and Spanish four of the twelve GCSE topics are introduced in Year 7 and 8 (Years 8 and 9 in German). Pupils are reminded that they need to see learning languages as building blocks; without committing the basics to their long term memory, making real progress in MFL is challenging. These topics are reintroduced and explored in more detail in Years 9-11 and pupils are expected to be able to remember much of what was taught earlier on.


By the nature of the subject being taught, pupils are consistently exposed to new cultural experiences through the topics, foreign language films and songs. Trips are organised to the TL countries.  The GCSE topic of social and global issues encourages discussion of poverty and homelessness in the UK and abroad as well as environmental issues