Modern Foreign Languages

Welcome to the MFL department! French and German are studied from Years 7-11 and a language is compulsory at KS3. 

At Key Stage 4 languages are offered as an option and with the introduction of the Ebacc certificate is now a popular choice. A high number of students are actively encouraged to study the subject with the courses in Year 9 designed to reflect the language needs of students in terms of the demands of the new GCSE.

In Years 7-9 we follow the Activeteach course. Students will also have access to the Activelearn programme in order to consolidate and revise work done in class.

Year 7

In Year 7 students begin to learn the skills necessary to communicate in French/German. They are encouraged to speak, read, write and listen in the target language. Early on they will learn how to pronounce the letter sounds to enable good pronunciation and reading skills from the start. It is a topic based course which covers ‘My life,’ ‘My free time,’ ‘My school,’ ‘My family and friends’ and ‘My town/city’, and is underpinned by a clear, grammatical progression. There is a strong focus on understanding key grammatical concepts and developing skills such as memory skills and problem solving.

There is ongoing assessment and students are encouraged to check their own progress regularly.

Year 8

During Year 8, students cover the topics of ‘My holidays,’ ‘All about my life,’ ‘Food and drink’, ‘Making arrangements to go out’ and ‘Summer Plans’, and they build on their skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to write and speak using more complex vocabulary and to employ a wider range of vocabulary. To build confidence, they are encouraged to work in groups and participate in activities interactively.

Students are regularly assessed to monitor progress and are encouraged to work on any areas for development.


Year 9

This year students will be consolidating prior learning with a focus on building more complex sentences, understanding a greater range of vocabulary and developing spoken skills. There will be a focus on a deeper understanding of grammar in order to give them a strong start to the GCSE course. They are also encouraged to be more creative and imaginative in their use of language.  Students are encouraged to employ a range of tenses, opinions and connectives in written and spoken tasks with a significant focus on accuracy.  Topics include, ‘Leisure,’ ‘Jobs and Employment,’ and ‘Healthy Lifestyles.’


Students are regularly assessed to monitor progress and are encouraged to work on any areas for development.

Students in KS4 will now be studying for the new GCSE. You can find the syllabus for this here:


Here you will find a list of GCSE vocabulary as well as the content and expectations of the course. There are also practice papers for students to gain exam practice. It is vital that students are regularly revising grammar and topics throughout the course and completing additional work on key areas such as verb formation.

Our exam board is Edexcel and there are some useful resources and information on their website. The course we use is the Stimmt (German) and Studio (French) GCSE courses, which give students access to online practice and homework through the Activelearn service. All students will have their own login details for this site. There will often be tasks set for them to complete but they can access all tasks at any time in order to go over something again, practise some grammar or vocabulary, or even to learn vocabulary and grammar in advance of studying the topic in class.

It would be useful if your child had a dictionary and grammar guide at home and students should be learning/memorising vocabulary weekly. A key area in order to achieve higher grades at GCSE is knowledge of verbs in the different tenses. One of the best ways to ensure that you know something is to teach it to someone else so you could get them to try to explain to you what they have been working on. When they have vocabulary to learn you could test them on it – you do not have to be able to speak any French or German to be able to help with this as, on the whole, it is easy to link the  words in writing to what you hear.

The first part of your child’s homework – or home learning – should be to ensure that they have learnt the vocabulary we have covered in class, including accurate spellings and accents, and that they understand any language ‘rules’ (grammar) that we have covered.

You can help them to do this by:

  • Getting them to speak a bit of French/German with you at home regularly (greetings, simple conversation etc)
  • Testing them – have a list of words/phrases in French/German and ask them to tell you the English
  • Have a list of the words/phrases in English and ask them to tell you the French/German (harder)
  • Ask them to write down the French/German words for you from memory and check them from your list
  • Encourage them to use to practise the vocabulary through games and other activities
  • Get them to teach you French/German – the best way for students to learn new vocabulary and grammar is by teaching someone else!

Sometimes teachers may set a specific task if there is something in particular that they need your child to practise at home but most of the home learning your child should do outside the classroom should be enrichment. We encourage students to use their own initiative to find things of interest to themselves and to look for information about the countries. They may, for example, try watching some children’s cartoons in French/German or listen to some music, sports commentaries or interviews in French/German. They will not understand a lot of the language at first but the more they do this the more their language skills will develop.

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