Learning a foreign language is vital in helping to shape the individual. The subject sits comfortably beside RE and PSHE in that it encourages pupils to appreciate the diversity of people in the world and develop a tolerant outlook to anything perceived as different to pupils’ usual ways of communicating and thinking. In this sense the curriculum is outward-looking and enriching and truly seeks to broaden pupils’ horizons. It also aligns with our Catholic ethos and values which seek to provide pupils with the moral and spiritual capital to succeed in life.
Learning another language is also a skill which pupils can utilise to be successful in a global world. It opens up opportunities for living in, working in or traveling to other countries. In order for pupils to develop proficiency in a language, we have designed a cumulative curriculum which allows pupils to develop linguistic knowledge and skills in the four areas of listening, reading, speaking and writing; we encourage pupils to express their thoughts and ideas in a foreign language as well as understand and respond to speakers, both in speech and writing. In order to increase pupils’ cultural capital, they will be exposed to practical language as well as to extracts of great literature.
We are passionate about promoting a love of, and curiosity for, languages as well as helping pupils see the relevance of learning languages through a range of enrichment opportunities. These feature through career links as well as via stand- alone opportunities such as writing to and visiting our partner school in France.
We believe that it is not the chosen MFL that is most important, but the skill derived from learning a second language. French is a language which is closely related to English; this means that pupils will see links between the two languages which will in turn make it easier for pupils to make progress.
It is well documented that the learning of a foreign language helps a person better understand their own language. Therefore, one of our intentions is that the MFL curriculum will support the English department’s goal of creating excellent communicators, readers, writers and thinkers. By working alongside the English department, the MFL department will mirror the terminology needed to analyse language. This will not only help sharpen pupils’ understanding of English but also provide them with crucial skills which will in turn help them to learn further languages in the future.
We want our pupils to
- Think like a linguist:
- To appreciate that leaning another language celebrates difference and creates opportunities.
- To appreciate that different languages have different systems e.g. word order, sound-spelling correspondences.
- To understand how vocabulary, grammar and phonics combine together to create language.
- Know like a linguist:
- To understand the lexical system of another language in order to understand and produce meaning in written and oral modalities.
- To understand the grammar system of another language in order to understand and produce meaning in written and oral modalities.
- To understand the sound-spelling system of another language in order to understand and produce meaning in written and oral modalities.
- To develop cultural capital by gaining knowledge about the places other languages are spoken and the people that speak them.
- Speak like a linguist
- To speak with fluency and spontaneity in order to communicate with others in another language.
- Listen like a linguist
- To listen actively and attentively in order to understand speakers of another language.
- Write like a linguist.
- To write creatively in a lexically and grammatically accurate way.
- To translate short texts rendering the meaning of the original language.
- Read like a linguist.
- Read with fluency in another language.
- Infer plausible meanings from unfamiliar words embedded in familiar contexts.
- Be able to discuss language using specialist language vocabulary (Disciplinary Reading).
|[email protected]||TERM 1||TERM 2||TERM 3||TERM 4||TERM 5||TERM 6|
|Identity and Culture|
|Teaching Focus||Self and family||School||Free time|
|Rationale||The aim of this first unit is to build on KS2 foundations and instil a love of language and in particular, the French language, by talking about topics that are familiar to pupils (self and family). Pupils start with knowledge of the key verb avoir in the present tense whilst looking at and creating language relating to descriptions of themselves and their family.
Subtopics are: Introductions, ordinal cardinal numbers, ages, birthdays, family, pets and descriptions of self and others (hair/eyes/sizes/personality).
|This term looks at pupils’ wider surroundings of school and seeks to broaden pupils’ awareness of the differences between the English and French school systems. This term the linguistic focus is on further developing understanding of French sentence structure and word order with reference to the school day as well as expressing opinions. Pupils are introduced to present tense regular -er verbs.
Subtopics are: Intro to French school system, classroom equipment, colours, subjects, clothes, school day, school food and description of school.
|pupils now extend their ability to communicate in French by discussing their personal interests and passions and finding out about those of others. In this unit they will continue to express opinions using the present tense. In addition, they will expand their grammatical knowledge through the study of irregular verbs and by constructing the near future tense.
Subtopics are: weather and seasons, sports you play and do and hobbies (likes/dislikes).
|Local, national and international identity|
|Teaching Focus||Town||Celebrations||Holidays||Free time (Technology)|
|Rationale||Having spent Y7 considering their local context, this unit on town encourages pupils to look beyond their immediate surroundings to their wider environment. The unit builds on pupils’ understanding and use of the present and near future tenses
Subtopics are: places in town
Invitations to go out and
future trips and plans
|This unit seeks to enhance pupils’ cultural knowledge and encourage an appreciation of cultural, religious and linguistic differences. There is a particular focus on French food and understanding the importance of French ‘gastronomie’ in the world. The unit continues to build on pupils’ understanding and use of the present and near future tenses and further develops their range of opinions.
Subtopics are: festivals and celebrations, foods for special occasions, a future trip and New Year celebrations.
|pupils will be encouraged to maintain a love of learning through this topic which raises awareness of French-speaking countries and holiday destinations. The linguistic focus this term will be on introducing the perfect (past) tense of regular and irregular verbs with avoir.
Subtopics are: present and past holidays.
|This unit builds on the Y7 unit on free time in that in enables pupils to talk about their interests with reference to films and other hobbies. The emphasis in this unit is on the role that technology plays in a person’s life and how technology opens up communication with other countries. The main linguistic focus this half term is on recapping all three tenses met so far and distinguishing between them. Opinions continue to be developed.
Subtopics are: TV, online activities, cinema and shopping.
|Reflections on past life and thoughts about future life|
|Teaching Focus||Life when you were younger||Future work||Environment|
|Rationale||As pupils mature, they are encouraged to make comparisons between their current lifestyle and their younger selves. pupils will look at their primary school experiences, their life as a secondary school student and the lives of others less fortunate in the world. The linguistic focus will be on the imperfect (past) tense, comparatives and extended opinions.
Subtopics are: life when younger (physical descriptions and personality), primary school experiences, the lives of refugees.
|Building on from pupils’ reflections on the past, pupils will now be encouraged to look towards the future and consider their future study/career plans. This allows pupils to reflect on their possible future life in preparation for their pathway choices. The focus will be on modal verbs in the present tense and the proper future tense. Opinions will continue to be developed and pupils will be encouraged to justify their opinions more frequently.
Subtopics are: earning money, future plans and life in the future.
|pupils begin their study of the environment by recalling their prior knowledge of animals as pets from Y7 and widening their vocabulary to extend to endangered animals. In this unit pupils are given the opportunity to evaluate global issues and possible solutions, allowing them to make informed decisions. The linguistic focus will be on the present and perfect (past) tenses.
Subtopics are: eating habits, animals, recycling and plans to help the environment.
|Teaching Focus||Self and others||Free time||Festivals and celebrations||Town and area||Holidays||Tourism
|Rationale||This first unit seeks to hook pupils into the GCSE course by talking about familiar topics from KS3 (family, self). The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect) and near future tenses which pupils met in KS3.
Covers GCSE Theme 1 Identity and culture, Topic 1: Youth Culture, Self and relationships
Subtopics are: self and relationships, activities with friends/family and role models.
|Mirroring the sequence in Y7 and Y8, pupils move onto their interests and hobbies next as they remain with familiar topics from KS3 and seek to extend their knowledge. The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect) and near future tenses which pupils met in KS3.
Covers GCSE Theme 1 Identity and Culture, Topic 1: Youth Culture, Technology and social media and Topic 2: Lifestyle, Entertainment and Leisure
Subtopics are: sport, reading, music, technology, TV and films.
|Mirroring the sequence in Y8, pupils will study cultural, religious and linguistic differences, including the importance of French ‘gastronomie’ in the world. The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect) and near future tenses.
Covers GCSE Theme 1 Identity and Culture, Topic 3: Customs and Traditions, Food and drink, Festivals and celebrations
Subtopics are: food, meals and traditions, shopping for clothes.
|Building on the topic of ‘town’ from Y8, pupils will learn to evaluate the pros and cons of a local area, developing their opinions to consider both positives and negatives. The linguistic focus is on the proper future tense.
Covers GCSE Theme 2 Local, National and global areas of interest, Topic 1: Home and locality, Topic 2: France and French-speaking countries, Local and regional features and characteristics
Subtopics are: descriptions of local area, weather.
● Local areaSubtopics are:
|Building on the topic of ‘holidays’ from Y8, pupils will learn to describe their holidays in more detail now. This unit aims to raise pupils’ awareness of French-speaking countries and holiday destinations. The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect) and future tenses and introducing the conditional tense.
Covers GCSE Theme 2 Local, National and global areas of interest, Topic 1: Home and locality, Topic 2: Topic 2: France and French-speaking countries
Subtopics are: descriptions of normal, past and future/ideal holidays.
|This unit builds on pupils’ prior knowledge from Y8 and extends it to equip pupils with practical language skills that would be useful on a trip abroad. The focus here is on more transactional language.
Covers GCSE Theme 2 Local, National and global areas of interest, Topic 1: Home and locality, Topic 2: Topic 2: France and French-speaking countries
Subtopics are: directions, making bookings (train/hotel etc) and asking questions (role play language).
|Teaching Focus||School Life
|The environment and social issues||Speaking exam and revision|
|Rationale||Mirroring the sequence in Y8, pupils begin Y11 with the topic of school as they remain with familiar topics from KS3 and seek to extend their knowledge. The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect) future tenses.
Covers GCSE Theme 3 Current and future study and employment, Topic 1 Current study.
Subtopics are: school subjects/day/rules/facilities, healthy living and school trips and visits.
|Following logically on from the topic of school, pupils then move onto the world of work. The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect), future and conditional tenses.
Covers GCSE Theme 3 Current and future study and employment, Topic 2 and 3 World of work and jobs and future plans.
Subtopics are: part-time jobs, future study or work, careers and work experience.
|Mirroring the sequence in Y9, pupils will study environmental issues and how we can protect the environment. In addition, they will study social issues. The linguistic focus is on revisiting the present, past (perfect and imperfect), future and conditional tenses.
Covers GCSE Theme 2 Local, National and global areas of interest, Topic 3 Global sustainability.
Subtopics are: environmental problems, protection of the environment and social issues.
|Pupils will be focused on preparing for their speaking exam and practising exam style questions in preparation for the listening, reading and writing exams.||Exams.|
Pupils are assessed continuously through low-stakes strategies like recall tasks, question and answer sessions, one to one teacher-pupil discussions, informal quizzes and maintenance marking. The valuable data which teachers receive from these sources are used to inform intervention; such as adapting lessons, revisiting key material, setting homeworks and utilising recall tasks.
Pupils will receive written teacher feedback on one piece of work per half term, whether that be a formal AP (Assessment Point) or a Deep Mark. Pupil performance in these assessments will also be used to inform in-class intervention. Time has been built into the curriculum for pupils to respond to teacher feedback, redrafting their work. Impact will be seen in the outcomes of these half term Deep Marks and termly APs.
Key Assessment Objectives (Current Y8-11)
AO1 Listening: understand and respond to different types of spoken language (25%)
AO2 Speaking: communicate and interact effectively in speech (25%)
AO3 Reading: understand and respond to different types of written language (25%)
AO4 Writing: communicate in writing (25%)
Key Assessment Objectives (Current Y7) – New subject weightings for examination in 2026
AO1 Understand and respond to spoken language in speaking and writing (35%)
AO2 Understand and respond to written language in speaking and writing (45%)
AO3 Demonstrate knowledge and accurate application of the grammar and vocabulary prescribed in the specification (20%)