Modern Foreign Languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

Welcome & Ethos

In the Modern Foreign Languages department our aim is to promote cultural understanding and acceptance as well as the skills required to successfully communicate in another language. Through engaging and challenging MFL lessons students develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

As a department we are passionate about language learning, travel and understanding foreign cultures. Many of us have personal links to France, Spain and/or Germany and we endeavour to pass this love of languages and appreciation for other cultures on to all our students.

Context of the Subject

At Nunnery Wood, we are keen to promote the study of a foreign language because of its increasing importance in the modern world. The experience of learning and using a foreign language makes a unique contribution to the whole curriculum by taking students out of the familiar environment, which is pervaded by English, and allowing them to explore the lifestyle and culture of other countries through the medium of its language.

Language learning extends students’ horizons and provides them with the tools to communicate with people from different parts of the world. Students really enjoy being able to express themselves in another language and to understand that language in both its spoken and written forms. Language learning provides students with a sense of success and achievement, thus increasing their self-esteem.

Staffing Structure

Curriculum Leader
Mrs L Kendrick
Phone: 01905 363682

Team Structure
Curriculum Leader
Assistant Curriculum Leader
1 full-time member of staff
5 part-time members of staff
1 full time teaching assistant

Curriculum Facilities

The MFL department is comprised of our own suite of five well-equipped classrooms with a central departmental office and a break out room which is used for small group work and conversation practice. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard in order to support interactive learning and teaching. We are also supported by up-to-date resources for KS3 and GCSE courses. Both staff and students have ready access to online language learning websites that are used to enhance the teaching and learning of MFL in school and at home. Finally, we are very lucky to have a dedicated teaching assistant who is fluent in all 3 languages who completes small group activities both in and out of the classroom.


KS4 Overview -repeated for each GCSE in the department and each year
From September 2017

KS3 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

Throughout Key Stage Three, our objective is for students to develop their proficiency in the four main skill areas of language learning – listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students have the opportunity to use and practice these skills across a variety of contexts using an increasing range of vocabulary and grammar. Students are also exposed to and encouraged to find out about cultures in a range of French-, German- and Spanish-speaking countries, how they differ to our own cultures and which characteristics are shared. They will acquire new knowledge about language and how it works, using appropriate grammatical terminology.

Organisation of the KS3 curriculum and how students are assessed (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings.

Students join Nunnery Wood in either X or Y band, this dictates which languages they will study throughout their time here.

X band study German for 2 hours a week throughout year 7, 8 and 9. They also pick up French as a second language for 1 hour a week in year 8 and 9.

Y band study French for 2 hours a week throughout year 7, 8 and 9. They also pick up Spanish as a second language for 1 hour a week in year 8 and 9.

Throughout the three-year Key Stage, students will cover topics which allow them to talk about themselves and others in a range of tenses.

For their first language, Year 7 starts by introducing key vocabulary and grammatical structures on the topic of school, we move on to talking about home and local area, then how to describe people.
Year 8 build on their basic knowledge by discussing food, drink and sport, a range of media topics (music, film, television and technology) and holidays.
Year 9 give and understand descriptions about towns (both at home and in French-, German- and Spanish-speaking countries), we develop speaking skills through the topics of lost property and at the doctors then finishing the Key Stage with giving opinions about school, options choices and future plans for education and work.

For their second language, students follow the scheme of learning for the year below. For example, year 8 second language will study the topics of school, home and local area then how to describe people.

Assessments are completed termly from either reading & listening, writing or speaking.

Sources of information that may be useful – Beginners


KS4 Overview -repeated for each GCSE in the department and each year
From September 2017
Please be clear if there is a different course for year 10 and year 11

Subject title, board and syllabus code

GCSE French, AQA – 8658
GCSE German, AQA – 8668
GCSE Spanish, AQA – 8698

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS4 teaching in the subject area

Throughout the course, students will develop communication and language skills which are vital in the world of work. The course aims to help students develop their foreign language skills in a variety of contexts and acquire a broad understanding of the culture of countries and communities where the languages are spoken. It encourages enjoyment of language learning and the recognition that language skills enable students to take their place in a multi-lingual global society. The course requires students to develop their ability to write and speak in the foreign language and to understand it when it is written down or spoken.

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings)

The themes and topics below are studied in a cyclical manner so as to revise key vocabulary and structures in a range of contexts across the course.

Theme 1: Identity and culture
Topic 1: Me, my family and friends (Relationships with family and friends, Marriage/partnership)
Topic 2: Technology in everyday life (Social media, Mobile technology)
Topic 3: Free-time activities (Music, Cinema and TV, Food and eating out, Sport)
Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French, German or Spanish-speaking countries/communities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Topic 2: Social issues (Charity/voluntary work, Healthy/unhealthy living)
Topic 3: Global issues (The environment, Poverty/homelessness)
Topic 4: Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
Topic 1: My studies
Topic 2: Life at school/college
Topic 3: Education post-16
Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions


Students are entered for foundation or higher tier for all 4 skills. All exams are taken at the end of Year 11.
Listening 25% – 35 minutes (F) or 45 minutes (H).
Speaking 25% – 5-week window April-May in year 11, conducted by teachers. In 3 parts: role-play, photo card, general conversation.
Reading 25% – 45 minutes (F) or 60 minutes (H).
Writing 25% – 1 hour (F) or 1 hour 15 minutes (H).


Sources of information that may be useful – Intermediate