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 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 3

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 4


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

There are no controlled assessments in this specification and therefore all of the assessments 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:

SOCIALISINGMeeting people Personal interestsFriendships and relationships
TRAVELING ABROADGoing on trip Holiday preferences and experiences being a guest and a host
BEING PART OF A COMMUNITYHome and local issues School and college Helping others
MAKING CHOICESLifestyle choices and impact Material choicesFuture plans and ambitions


  • AQA A-level French (2650)
  • AQA A-level German (2660)

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


UNIT 1:Written Paper70% of total AS marks,35% of total A level marksLISTENING, READING AND WRITING(2 hours)
Unit 2:30% of total AS marks,15% of total A level marksSPEAKING TEST(35 minutes, incl. 20 minutes preparation time)

Subject Content:

MEDIATelevisionAdvertisingCommunication technology
POPULAR CULTURECinemaMusicFashion/trends
HEALTHY LIVING/LIFESTYLESport/exerciseHealth and well-being Holidays
FAMILY/RELATIONSHIPSRelationships within the familyFriendshipsMarriage/partnerships

Year 13


UNIT 3:Written Paper35% of total A level marksLISTENING, READING, AND WRITING(2 hours 30 minutes)
Unit 4:15% of total A level marksSPEAKING TEST(35 minutes, incl. 20 minutes preparation time)

Subject Content:

ENVIRONMENTPollutionEnergyProtecting the planet
THE MULTI-CULTURAL SOCIETYImmigrationIntegrationRacism
CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUESWealth and poverty Law and order The impact of scientific and technological progress
CULTURAL TOPICChoice of 2, studying from:A target language-speaking region/communityA period of 20th-century history from a target language-speaking country/communityThe work of an author from a target language-speaking country/communityThe work of a dramatist/poet from a target language-speaking country/communityThe work of a director/architect/musician/painter from a target language-speaking country/community

Enrichment activities

Activities vary, depending on the interest of pupils. This year, 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, mainly to assist students with preparation for controlled assessments and general help with the acquisition of vocabulary and understanding of grammar. There is always 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 organizes regular trips abroad to mainland Europe and also takes the opportunity to have a linguistic input into the ski trips to Austria.

Digital Learning Strategy

The department recognizes that ICT and iPads, in particular, represent an exciting medium for language learners.  Clips on ‘YouTube’ 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 which have been sent to our pen-pal school in France 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 do MFLs lead?

Modern languages develop skills that 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 that 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.


Mrs. Gabriele Waddoup – Head of MFL

Miss Nicola Hill – Teacher of French and German

Miss Kate Endersby – Teacher of French and German