Overview of course

We aim to work on four main skills in the Target Language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. We do this through a variety of interactive activities, pair and group work, and using a range of familiar contexts. We also look at appreciation of cultural differences between us and other countries.

Students joining the school in Year 7 will be offered French or Spanish. They will learn this language through Years 7, 8 and 9, and continuation to GCSE is expected for most students. The topics studied build towards the GCSE course themes and provide foundation knowledge of grammatical structures and some of the key exam skills.

Programme of study

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

  • Introducing and describing yourself and family
  • Describing your likes and dislikes
  • Giving opinions on school subjects
  • Talking about your school day
  • Discussing food and drink
  • Talking about the weather
  • Describing where you live Describing your town
  • Describing friends and free time activities
  • Describing your daily routine
  • Making plans to go out
  • Describing clothes
  • Describing a past visit
  • Talking about future plans
  • Cultural projects


Skills / Knowledge / understanding

Listening – short passages to understand key information and some details

Speaking – spoken communication giving short pieces of information

Reading – short to medium-length texts to get key information and some details. Also translating from French into English.

Writing – producing short paragraphs covering 4 bullet points to communication key information and further details. Also translation from English into French.

Activities in lessons often cover several skills at once. We use a range of games and confidence-building tasks to help students get used to communicating in the language in all four skills. We also cover key aspects of grammar and sentence structure.

Topics usually focus on key cultural aspects of France and French-speaking countries.

Methods of assessments / accreditation structure

  • Formal assessments – Cumulative Knowledge Tests – three times a year (terms 2, 4 and 6).
  • Informal assessments e.g. vocab tests and class quizzes.
  • Regular written tasks throughout each topic help to consolidate vocabulary and grammar taught in lessons.
  • Use of homework tasks and online activities using the Pearson ActiveLearn and Seneca Learning platforms to build on knowledge and practise key skills.
  • Use of written teacher feedback on extended writing, with follow-up lessons to allow students to act on this feedback.
  • Verbal feedback throughout lessons, peer- and self-assessment of class activities..

How Parents and Carers can help

  • Encourage your son/daughter to develop an interest in the French language and in French culture.
  • Make sure that homework activities are completed, including online activities.
  • Please look at your child’s French exercise book from time to time.
  • Ensure your child brings the necessary equipment to each lesson (exercise book, pens, ruler, pencil).
  • Purchase a small French dictionary to support students in school and at home.
  • Help your child with regular revision and vocabulary learning to build up fluency and confidence.
  • Test your child on key vocabulary using the word lists and resources provided.



Exam Board: AQA

Overview of course

Students undertake a three-year course in the language studied in Year 7, 8 and 9. They cover the following three themes:

1. Identity and Culture

2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest

3. Current and future study and employment

Themes cover a range of topics studied in Years 7, 8 and 9, developing them and building on vocabulary and grammar learned at Key Stage 3.


Year 10 Programme of study

Term 1: Module 1 – “Qui suis-je?”

Describing myself, family & friends, marriage and partnerships, arranging to go out, role models

Term 2: Module 2 – “Le temps de loisirs”

Free time, technology, TV, films, reading, music, sports and leisure

Term 3: Module 3 – “Jours ordinaires, jours de fête”

Celebrations, festivals and traditions, food and mealtimes, clothing, daily routine

Term 4: Module 4 – “De la ville à la campagne”

Town, house and home, weather, describing your region, tourist information

Term 5: Module 5 – “Le grand large”

Holiday preferences, plans, accommodation, restaurants, describing a past holiday, dream holidays

Term 6: Module 6 – “Au collège”

School subjects and opinions, facilities, successes, visits, healthy living

Year 11 Programme of study

Term 1: Module 7 – “Au travail!”

Jobs, earning money, future plans, work experience, speaking languages, making job applications

Term 2: Module 8 – “Un œil sur le monde”

Global issues, charity and voluntary work, pressures and problems, lifestyle choices

Terms 3, 4 and 5: Revision of all topics and key exam skills. This will involve a range of past paper materials, revision and skills booklets.



Exam Board: AQA


Skills / Knowledge / Understanding

Students are assessed continuously across the four key skills:

Listening: 25% of the total GCSE. Students will be assessed on a variety of different spoken passages. Most questions require a short written or non-verbal response. Section B involves questions and answers in French.

Exam time: 40 minutes (foundation tier), 50 minutes (higher tier), both including 5 minutes’ reading time.

Speaking: 25% of the total GCSE. The speaking exam comprises 3 tasks: the first is a role-play based on a scenario provided in the preparation time, followed by a picture-based discussion of 5 questions. The third section is a conversation covering 2 of the themes, one of which is picked in advance by the candidate.

Exam time: 7-9 minutes (foundation tier), 9-12 minutes (higher tier).

Reading: 25% of the total GCSE. Students will be assessed on their ability to understand a range of written texts, some based on authentic materials. Most questions are multiple choice, open response, some target language questions in Section B and a short translation.

Exam time: 50 minutes (foundation tier), 1 hour (higher tier).

Writing: 25% of the total GCSE. Students will be assessed on their written response to a variety of prompts. Testing is through a variety of tasks. At foundation tier students write four sentences in French to describe a photo, then a 40-word response to 4 short bullet points, a short translation of 5 sentences into French and then a 90-word response to 4 longer bullet points. At higher tier students write a 90-word response, a longer paragraph to translate into French, and an extended 150-word response to two bullet points.

Exam time: 1 hour (foundation tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (higher tier).

Methods of assessment / accreditation structure

The skills are assessed in final examinations at the end of Year 11. The listening, reading and writing are formal exams marked by AQA. The speaking exam takes place between April and May and is conducted in school and marked by AQA.

In Year 10, regular Cumulative Knowledge Tests take pace three times a year (terms 2, 4 and 6) to cover listening, reading and writing, and are marked internally. More informal speaking assessments take place in class throughout the course. In Year 11, full mock exams in all skills take place throughout the year.

Papers are tiered – foundation tier (grades 1 to 5) and higher tier (grades 4 to 9). Students must complete all 4 skills in the same tier.

In School Contacts

Mr A Fishman –

Lead Teacher of MFL

How Parents and Carers can help

  • Monitoring and supporting homework set and make sure adequate revision is done before tests and examinations, including vocabulary tests.
  • Make sure that homework activities are completed, including activities on Pearson ActiveLearn, Seneca Learning and Quizlet.
  • Please look at your child’s French exercise book from time to time.
  • Ensure your child brings the necessary equipment to each lesson (exercise book, pens, ruler, pencil).
  • Help your child with regular revision and vocabulary learning to build up fluency and confidence.
  • Encouraging positive attitudes towards the French language, culture and speakers. Encourage an interest in French magazines, newspapers, radio/TV programmes and music.
  • Purchase a GCSE 9-1 revision guide and workbook for AQA – available from school for a reduced cost. Also purchase a small dictionary to support students in school and at home.
  • Encourage your child to attend intervention sessions organised by the department.

Software and Websites used – online homework platform including vocabulary, listening and grammar tasks. – online dictionary – a more reliable alternative to online translators.

Other online vocabulary sites and apps are available e.g., Duolingo, Seneca Learning.


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