MFL – French

Our Intent

“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

The MFL curriculum is designed to empower students to draw maximum cultural, personal and economic benefit from the role of global citizenship. Through the promotion of oracy and the expansion of vocabulary and literacy we seek to enable students to communicate confidently and without barriers in a wide range of social settings and media.

In order to do this the MFL curriculum is sequenced to allow knowledge and skills to develop simultaneously and progressively. By revisiting and enhancing key language skills in different settings students develop their ability to recall, analyse and evaluate usage and at the same time build independence and resilience.

Our Curriculum enhances our students’ cultural literacy and experience by deepening exposure to non-Anglophone ideas, texts and customs in a variety of topics, settings and locations.

How we intend to remove barriers

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.”  – Ludwig Wittgenstein

Our curriculum is designed to remove barriers through the promotion of literacy and oracy. We reinforce listening and reading skills through the embedding of skills and techniques such as the Prise method for reading comprehension. Through this students not only learn how to decipher key points and facts in texts from all backgrounds, but eventually how to interpret feelings, emotions and points of view. In addition, students learn how to express themselves and their opinions effectively and appropriately in a range of social contexts, empowering their social mobility.

How we develop skills for learning

We develop learning skills, teaching techniques for the acquisition of vocabulary and the application of grammar. Students learn skills for memorisation, recall and fluency through our layered approach to revisiting topics. Vocabulary is acquired and enhanced through exposure to a range of texts, oral and written in a variety of divergent topics, settings and genre. Students analyse texts to discern emotion and feeling as well as evaluating their own learning skills, such as revision and rote learning techniques.

How we foster personal attributes

We encourage the development of personal attributes such as effective listening and self-expression. Through the learning of other languages, students develop personal and cultural empathy. In doing so they become socially confident and economically mobile.

How we intend to enrich student experiences and broaden the horizons of students

Our department has a key role to play in broadening student horizons by exposing them to the lifestyles, literature and culture of speakers of French, German and Spanish, not just in Europe, but across the globe. We reflect the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural diversity of world languages. We enrich student experience through the exploration of foreign media both in the classroom and as part of our enrichment activities. We organise cinema and restaurant visits, visits from external speakers and links with university departments. Wherever possible we encourage visits abroad, for example to Amiens for the Christmas Market, the Opal Coast, the Rhineland and Berlin.

Our Curriculum in French

Year 7

In Year 7 we set the foundations for successful language learning. We concentrate on our first visit to the important GCSE Theme of Identity and Culture. Students start by learning how to give personal details about themselves for example age, birthday, nationality, likes and dislikes. Afterwards they go on to develop basic descriptive skills to talk about their pets, families and hobbies. By Term 4 students start to talk about future events and finish the year by visiting the second GCSE theme of Local Area and Travel through learning how to find their way around a French speaking town. Throughout the year students are expected to learn core vocabulary, which is tested regularly. At the end of each half term they are assessed in two of the four language skills. 

Students learn about French culture and traditions at key times such as Christmas, Epiphany and Easter.

By the end of the year a student will typically be able to express opinions and give justifications, talk about the present, including about other people, using a variety of connectives and time phrases to link different clauses and also respond in conversation with short phrases using the present and future tenses, though not necessarily together. They will also be able to pick out the main points and details from texts in the present and near future tenses as well as translating short paragraphs accurately from French.

Year 8

In Year 8 we concentrate on re-visiting GCSE Theme 1: Identity and Culture and Theme 2: Local Area, Travel and Holidays, only this time with emphasis on different aspects and topics. In the first term we explore French-speaking culture through learning how to discuss music, television, film and reading. We explore the reasons for learning a foreign language and encourage students to talk about their future plans and ambitions. In Term 4 we learn how to talk about holiday plans and experiences, introducing formally the perfect and imperfect tenses as well as revisiting and reinforcing the near future tense. Finally we look at a range of practical, transaction situations, for example in a hotel, restaurant or train station and develop student understating of register and formality as well as further enhancing communicative oral techniques. 

Students learn about French culture and traditions such as eating habits and La Chandaleur. They learn about tourism in French and French regions as well as social norms used in formal settings.

By the end of year 8 a student will typically be able to build g more complex phrases expressing opinions spontaneously and debating preferences. They will be confident in the use of major verbs, modal verbs and –er verbs in the singular form. Students will be combining at present, near future and perfect tenses in the first and third person singular form as well as being able to use set phases in the imperfect tense. They will be able to form questions and answer in both formal and informal register.

Year 9

In Year 9 we further re-visit GCSE Theme 1: Identity and Culture, but through a broader and deeper range of topics and with a wider range of structures and more challenging language. For example, at the start of the year we return to the topic of the family, but with a greater emphasis on describing relationships and friendship. We look at French culture through music, TV and film, but involve a range of tenses, a variety of points of view and develop the skills of producing a presentation in French and how to present arguments and reasons. We learn how to use the imperfect tense to describe how things used to be.

In terms of culture, we examine French festivals and traditions as well as food specialities.

By the end of year 9 a student will typically be able to combine four tenses (present, imperfect, perfect & future tenses as appropriate to the task) to give opinions and produce descriptions. They will be able to listen to and understand spoken passages using familiar vocabulary but in a range of unfamiliar contexts, picking out main points and detail. They should take part in spontaneous talk and respond to unpredictable parts with more complex sentences and ask questions where appropriate in conversations.

Year 10

In Year 10 we revisit Theme 2; Local Area Travel and Holidays and extend it to make descriptive comparisons between towns and regions here and in a French speaking country. We look at weather too in a variety of tenses. We build on work done in Year 8 around holidays by extending the deepening the topic in order to be able to describe ideal holidays (using the conditional tense) and also holiday disasters. We also re-examine Theme 4: World of Work to include job applications, job descriptions and case studies. Students learn to describe their future aspirations and use the subjunctive mood. Term 3 and 4 concentrate on Theme 3 School, with students learning to convey their preferences and problems in school, evaluating school rules and describing their every activities and successes.

In cultural terms, students look more deeply into tourism in the different regions of France as well as comparing British and French school systems.

By the end of Year 10 a student should typically be able to demonstrate recognition of themes and ideas in longer passages and texts (including authentic sources) including some covering contemporary and cultural issues. They should be able to use combinations of up to five different tenses (present, perfect, future, imperfect and conditional). In speaking they should be able to be spontaneous and Interact naturally using pronunciation and intonation which would be understood by a native speaker.

Year 11

The first term of Y11 is given over to the study of GCSE Theme 5: International and Global Dimension. Here students learn to discuss and convey opinions on some of the big questions of the day in French. These include primarily talking about the environment and what can be done by individuals and schools to protect it. We also learn to talk about ethical shopping and volunteering for good causes. Later we discuss major events, sporting and cultural, and discuss their effects both positive and negative. 

In cultural terms we re-visit in depth some of the major events of the French calendar.

By the end of the course it is hoped that a successful student will be able to draw conclusions and interpret meaning in a range of longer passages on contemporary and cultural themes. They will be able to initiate and develop conversations and discussions independently, using language creatively to exchange a wide range of thoughts and opinions. They will recognise implicit meaning in a wide range of longer texts, including extracts from literature. Students will demonstrate ability in using a wide variety of tenses (including less common tenses such as the conditional and pluperfect) and complex grammatical structures with secure control.

Recent Faculty News

French Staff

Mrs K Dodds
Head of MFL


Mr A Elsom

BTEC Co-ordinator: MFL

Mr J Bartle
Teacher of Subjects: MFL

Exam Board

Please click the image below for exam board information.

Revision Sites

Y9 Options Pathway

Please click the links below to view the options pathways and options form.

Reminder: Y6 Transition Evening - Wednesday 11th March - 5pm