The MFL department is staffed by 5 enthusiastic, dedicated and well-qualified language teachers, who are passionate about the benefits that learning a foreign language can bring.

We regularly work with local universities to train future generations of language teachers and we are currently looking into appointing a language assistant to join us for the next academic year.

Language lessons are taught in a brand new, purpose built suite of classrooms. Each room is equipped with a state of the art interactive whiteboard and lessons are lively, creative and challenging. We make full use of modern technology, authentic materials and up to date resources.

Mrs K Baker – Head of Department

Mrs R Palmer – Second in Department

Mrs F Mescam- Head of Avon House

Mrs S Parkin

Mr S Corbishley

Miss S Foster – Department Support


Year Language How Often Group
7 French or German 5 lessons per fortnight tutor group
8 French & German

3 lessons per fortnight of French

4 lessons per fortnight of German
grouped according to ability and aptitude - usually in the same set for both languages but not always
9 Either French or German 5 lessons per fortnight of chosen MFL ability sets where possible or mixed if fewer numbers
10-11 Option Subject: French and/or German 5 lessons per fortnight ability sets where possible or mixed if fewer numbers



Pupils learn about language patterns and grammatical rules which give them an understanding of how languages work. They are also taught dictionary skills and pronunciation strategies and how to recognise cognates.

Years 7 and 8 topics include:

  • Salutations
  • Myself, my family, pets and friends
  • School life and future plans
  • My hobbies and free time
  • My house and home life
  • Eating out
  • Shopping
  • Needing medical help
  • Holidays and recent events
  • Traditions and Customs in Target Language Countries

Year 9 pupils start the GCSE course – new to us in 2017. Although not all pupils will go on to take a language for GCSE, we feel that starting in year 9 will give our students the confidence to want to continue with a language and also gives us more time to cover the GCSE topics in more depth.


All year groups will complete:

  1. Regular language skill practice and in-class / termly assessments of the 4 language skills:
  1. A summer exam

All assessments now mirror the tasks on the new GCSE papers so that pupils are fully prepared and familiar with how to best answer when it comes to final exam.


At KS4 pupils may opt to study one or 2 languages to GCSE level. It is not compulsory but many are advised to do so – especially if they wish to go on to study at university.



At GCSE level, pupils are taught to communicate effectively in a variety of situations and to develop and apply their grammatical understanding. Students study the following themes on which the assessments are based.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

*** Students must take all four question papers at the same tier.

Unit 1: LISTENING  25% of GCSE

Foundation - 35 minutes - 40 marks


Higher - 45 minutes - 50 marks

The listening exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.                                                               

Unit 2: READING 25% of GCSE

Foundation - 45 minutes - 60 marks


Higher - 1 hour - 60 marks

Unit 3: SPEAKING 25% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment

Foundation - 7-9 minutes (plus prep time) - 60 marks


Higher - 10-12 minutes (plus prep time) - 60 marks

Unit 4: WRITING 25% of GCSE

Foundation - 1 hour - 50 marks


Higher - 1 hour 15 minutes - 60 marks

* Revision Guides will be sourced and recommended annually as they are regularly updated.


For our wonderful GCSE linguists, we offer either one or two trips abroad annually. We have enjoyed 7 very successful trips to the continent and both staff and pupils have exceptionally fond memories of the trips that will last a life time. We try to ensure that all activities and tours have cultural significance, whilst utilising our budget and maximizing our time in Germany and France. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to be immersed in culture, which will enrich and develop skills for their GCSE subjects. All of our students will benefit from the vast amount of vocabulary practice in preparation for their listening and reading exams. What better practice shortly before your GCSE than being immersed in authentic language?

We have visited Cologne with its impressive cathedral, Paris with its vast amount of outstanding culture and history and Munich where we paid a special visit to the Allianz Arena – home of Bayern München and also a visit to BMW World and the world famous Hofbräuhaus.

Most recently we spent a sunny Easter week in both Germany and France. Staying in the Black Forest with its breathtaking scenery and hopping over the border into beautiful Strasbourg, really allowing us to make the most of speaking both languages in one trip.