MFL: Modern Foreign Languages

Miss L Thomson  – Director of Area & Subject Lead MFL

Compelling Learning in MFL

We believe passionately that people who speak more than one language have an asset for life. The ability to speak languages is a lifelong skill which enhances working life and cultural awareness. Learning a language offers tangible benefits in the world of work, travel or living abroad. Everything we do has, at its core, the aim to support pupils to achieve their personal best and to ensure success in language learning. Our lessons are underpinned by risk taking, challenge and rigour, in addition to being inclusive, enjoyable and compelling. We also place a great emphasis on rewarding our learners for their resilience, ability to work as part of a team, solving problems creatively and their effort and commitment to language learning.


At Key Stage 4, pupils may opt to study their foreign language for GCSE. Through studying a GCSE in a modern foreign language, pupils further develop their ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. The study of a modern foreign language at GCSE also includes the study of target language countries and cultures, which broadens pupils’ horizons and encourages them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world. Pupils follow the Full Course GCSE (Edexcel for French and Spanish, AQA for Urdu) which comprises 25% speaking exam, 25% writing exam, 25% listening exam and 25% reading exam.

Cultural Experiences

All members of the MFL faculty deliver lunchtime sessions where pupils can opt to learn a range of different languages (Swedish, Italian, Mirpuri, Bengali, Spanish, French, Urdu, Portuguese, Punjabi, Arabic and German). These clubs provide young people with opportunities to enrich their understanding of the language and culture by exploring the geographical and popular culture details but also in the phonics, vocabulary and grammar of the language itself.

We recognise the importance of language learning and regularly seek opportunities to provide our learners with opportunities to develop their language skills. This year we are working closely with the University of Manchester to deliver a Translation Project to our Year 9 pupils that seeks to improve their understanding of French, Spanish or Urdu. Additionally, we participate in National Competitions such as the Spelling and Translation Bee.

We believe our pupils, regardless of whether or not they choose to study a language at GCSE, should experience the value of learning a foreign language through experiencing life, culture and traditions in a different country. This ensures our pupils are confident learners who have an awareness of global and cultural issues and a love of language learning. Regular visits to France or Spain are facilitated by the faculty and these trips are open to all pupils in school, not just those who study GCSE.

Curriculum Map French

Curriculum Map Spanish

Curriculum Map Urdu

Expert Assessments in MFL

Assessment in Modern Foreign Languages takes place within the framework of the National Curriculum and the school policy. Pupils are assessed in the four skills of Listening (AO1), Speaking (AO2), Reading (AO3) and Writing (AO4). During KS4 progress is measured against the GCSE criteria. Final assessment is through the GCSE examinations. At KS3, our termly Expert Assessments are designed using the four pillars of assessment (purpose, validity, reliability and value), ensuring these align with the key concepts of our curriculum and provide opportunities for pupils to demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary and grammar through each of the skills.