Modern Languages

Head of Department: Mrs C Lowery


The aims of the Modern Foreign Languages Department are:

  • To increase language awareness and promote positive attitudes to language learning.
  • To cultivate a healthy interest in and respect for other cultures.
  • To provide a respectful environment where students work collaboratively.
  • To help all students to develop the necessary skills and confidence to communicate in French.
  • To give students access to a structured framework so they are supported to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
  • To assist students to become increasingly responsible for their own learning.
  • To enable all students to reach their full academic potential.
In practice, our teachers are responsible for:
  • Planning and teaching good lessons.
  • Assessing student work and exercise books effectively.
  • Recognising the individual needs of all students to ensure that they thrive and make maximum progress.
From Year 7 onwards, in line with the new specification, the following skills will be covered and assessed in all topic areas:
  • Developing a comprehensive knowledge of French grammar and vocabulary.
  • Developing the ability to express and explain opinions in French.
  • Responding, both verbally and in writing, to a picture stimulus.
  • Participating in a French role play.
  • Accessing and responding to authentic source materials presented both orally and in the written form.
  • Translating phrases and passages from French into English and from English into French.
  • Understanding rubrics and instructions in French.

Year 7

The topics covered in Year 7:

Term 1:

  • Language Awareness.
  • Introducing yourself.
  • Dates and birthdays.

Term 2:

  • Family – brothers & sisters/ pets.
  • Physical description.
  • Numbers and time.

Term 3:

  • School life – school subjects and opinions/ describing a day at school.

Year 8

The topics covered in Year 8:

Term 1:

  • Town and directions.
  • Transport and opinions.

Term 2:

  • Food and drink.
  • Health and lifestyle.

Term 3:

  • Clothes - my school uniform/ leisure clothes/ fashion.

GCSE French course

Year 9

In Year 9, students begin the GCSE course.

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment


GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series. Four skills are assessed – listening, speaking, reading and writing.


What's assessed.

Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language.


What's assessed

Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes

How it's assessed

  • Non-exam assessment
  • 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time
  • 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

25% of GCSE


What's assessed

Understanding and responding to different types of written language.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

25% of GCSE


What's assessed

Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • 50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier

25% of GCSE

Where might it lead?

Gaining a good grade in French is well regarded for Sixth Form and College courses as well as for particular university courses, apprenticeships and careers. Languages form part of the English baccalauréat qualification which is a respected qualification both in this country and abroad and can open the door to many opportunities.

Language skills such as literacy skills, understanding of language and improved memory can enhance other subjects and broaden the lives and minds of young people.