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St Peter's
Catholic School

MFL - Modern Foreign Lanuages


Mr J Hulland 

Head of Modern Foreign Languages

The Team
Mrs L Isaacs  Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Miss N Leon Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Mrs M Mortimer  Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Mrs L Power Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages
Introduction to the Department

As a department, we believe that learning another language is invaluable and that it can help individuals to broaden their horizons, understand more about the world they live in and appreciate the differences in our cultures. We aim to build on transferable language skills that students may have acquired at Key Stage 2 and develop them through Key Stages 3 and 4 so that they are confident expressing themselves in spoken and written work and are able to infer meaning from texts they have read, spoken or they have heard.

Key Stage 3 Information

In Year 7, all students will study French and Spanish.  Our students will learn to use and adapt key grammatical skills that will enable them to converse in the target language using different time frames and be able to express personal opinions with confidence. They will develop a wide range of vocabulary on topics such as health, education, free time and leisure activities. They will appreciate the cultural differences that exist in the world and have opportunities to experience first-hand what life is like in France and Spain, should they wish to participate in one of our educational trips. 

Topics studied in French: All about me, Family, My home, In town and School. Topics studied in Spanish: All about me, School, Family, My home and Free Time.

In Year 8, students will build on the skills acquired in year 7. They will revisit some topics (e.g. Family, Food & Drink) and further develop their range of vocabulary using an online vocabulary learning application. Students at the end of year 8, should be confident forming short paragraphs using two tenses that combine both regular and irregular verbs. They should also be able to extract key information from short passages of spoken and written French/Spanish. When writing and speaking in the target language, students will begin to include time expressions, sequencers, and intensifiers to further personalise their work. There are opportunities for students to enrich their cultural appreciation of target language countries through the use of news articles, films and music. Topics studied in French: Family, Free time, Excursions, Food and Drink and Holidays. Topics studied in Spanish: Town, Going out, Holidays, Food and Fashion.

In Year 9, students will add the final time frame tense(s) to their grammar portfolio, so that they are able to successfully converse in the language across a range of topics. Students by the end of the year should be able to follow grammatical patterns to form six different tenses (present, perfect/preterite, near future, simple future, imperfect and conditional). They will also feel more confident analysing and responding to longer passages of spoken and written French/Spanish. Complex structures, such as negative expressions, modal verbs and using comparatives and superlatives will enable students to develop their work further and prepare for the transition to Key Stage 4. Students will be exposed to selected French/Spanish films and music through the year to help them develop a taste for French/Spanish culture. Topics studied in French: Free time, Future Plans, Healthy Living, Once Upon a Time, Technology and Film & Culture.

Key Stage 4 Information

We follow the AQA GCSE specification for French and Spanish. Our aim is to help students reach a confident and conversational level of language proficiency by the end of the two year course. We hope they will feel inspired to continue their studies further and potentially one day spend a prolonged period living abroad in order to become fluent speakers. Students that continue with French and/or Spanish at GCSE level will develop their understanding of the key grammatical terms and structures and will broaden their vocabulary from Key Stage 3 with regular vocabulary tests and assessments targeting their listening, reading, and written skills, as well as their ability to translate from one language to another. When speaking, students will become more independent in their use of the language via the use of role plays and photo card descriptions, which form a large part of the oral examination.

In Years 10 and 11, students will cover three themes, each consisting of four modules.  Topics will include: Family & Friends, Technology, Festivals, Free Time, Home, Social issues, Environment, Healthy Living, Education and the World of Work.

Trips to France

There are opportunities for students to practice their French skills in authentic situations at all key stages. In Year 9, there is a four-night residential at an activity centre in Normandy, where students converse with animateurs (activity leaders) in the target language. In Year 10, our GCSE students have the opportunity to visit Paris for a four-night residential.  

In Year 12 and 13 there is the chance to do some work experience (independently/travelling alone or in small groups) or alternatively visit the French capital, Paris for three to four nights. Students use this time to find out more about an area of French culture that they are interested in and can use this to prepare for the end of year oral exam.

Trips to Spain

There are opportunities for students to practice their Spanish in authentic situations at all Key Stages. In Year 9, there is a three-night residential trip to Málaga, where students will take in sights such as Malaga Cathedral, The Museum Picasso, and the World-famous Alhambra Palace in Granada. Students will receive 10 hours tailored made tuition, will keep journal logs of their stay and will complete challenges where they will practice their spoken Spanish. In Year 12/Year 13, our A level students have the opportunity to stay with a Spanish family for five days as part of our exchange programme. We have an established link with a school in Granada where our students will be part of a programme of activities including sightseeing, The Famous Alhambra Palace, The Caves in Nerja, Granada Cathedral, among others, while experiencing living with a real Spanish family. Amazing experience!.