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Course Information

Modern Foreign Languages are part of the National Curriculum range of subjects. 

There are four skill areas:

  • Listening and responding
  • Speaking 
  • Reading and responding
  • Writing

Students will study either French, German or Spanish during Key Stage 3. They will be allocated a language when they start in Year 7. If you have a particular preference of language, please write to the school, after you have received your offer of a place, expressing your preference. Every effort will be made to accommodate your request. However, this cannot be guaranteed.

What will my child study in Year 7?

 In Year 7, students will study either French, German or Spanish. They are taught in mixed ability groups and lessons cover these key topics: personal details, school, leisure, home, town, and food.

What will my child study in Year 8?

 In Year 8, students continue to study one language, the same as in Year 7. Lessons cover key topics such as: school, shopping, media, hobbies, holidays, health, descriptions, shopping and leisure activities.

 What will my child study in Year 9?

 In Year 9, students will continue to study the one language they studied in Year 7/8. The expectation is that the vast majority of students continue with this language to GCSE level. A range of topics and key grammar points are covered in preparation for starting the GCSE course.


 Homework is set regularly and it will generally be a continuation of, or preparation for, class work. The type of work set may comprise: learning vocabulary, the completion of a piece of written work, a reading exercise, some online activities or preparation for a speaking task in class.


The Modern Languages Curriculum Area uses a range of procedures for assessing student progress. Students are formally assessed at the end of each unit or topic in one or more of the skill  areas and there is also an end of year assessment covering everything taught during the year. However, in addition, we encourage students to use peer and self assessment as a regular part of lessons to assess their own progress and identify their own targets.


GCSE LANGUAGES French, German or Spanish

 Examination Board:  AQA

Course Specifications:  French 8658, German 8668 and Spanish 8698

What is the course about?

Languages are more important than ever! British companies are keen to employ people who have foreign language skills and many top universities recommend taking a GCSE in a foreign language as it is a useful skill and demonstrates academic ability. The GCSE course places emphasis on the practical and social use of language, so that by the end of the course, students will be equipped to cope with real situations, whether at work or on holiday.

What skills and ideas will I learn?

We follow the AQA specification for Modern Foreign Languages. 

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

Theme 1  Identity and culture- to include: 1) me, my family and friends 2) technology 3) free time activities 4) customs and festivals

Theme 2  Local, national, international and global areas of interest - to include: 1) home and town 2) social issues 3) global issues 4) travel and tourism

Theme 3  Current and future study and employment - to include: 1) my studies 2) life at school 3) post-16 education 4) jobs, career choices and ambitions

Students will study these themes through the four skills of learning a language:  Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.

How is the course assessed?
GCSE French and German has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9)

Each skill is worth 25% of the GCSE grade 

Listening exam:  Foundation Tier - 35 minutes, Higher Tier - 45 minutes

Speaking exam:  Foundation Tier is 7–9 minutes + preparation time

Higher Tier is 10–12 minutes + preparation time

Both of the above tiers consist of 3 tasks: a role play, a photo card and a general conversation

Reading exam: Foundation Tier - 45 minutes, Higher Tier - 1 hour

Writing exam: Foundation Tier - 1 hour, Higher Tier - 1 hour 15 minutes

The Foundation tier consists of 4 short tasks and the Higher tier consists of 3 tasks. Both of the tiers include a short translation task. 

What will the course allow me to progress to in the future?

The course will help students access better employment opportunities in a wide range of jobs and careers.   There is a real shortage of qualified people who have foreign language skills. For those who possess these skills, working in Europe becomes a real possibility.  Achieving a good GCSE grade will give a student the confidence to continue to A Level and the opportunity to take their foreign language skills to a much higher level and real fluency.

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