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Modern Foreign Languages Department

Subject Outline / Aim

"No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive."

- Ghandi

Learning a foreign language helps to embed key literacy, communicative, auditory and aural skills as well as promoting tolerance and providing an opening to other cultures. 

High quality teaching enables students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It also provides opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and read great in French. In addition, it provides the foundation for learning further languages, equipping students to study and work in other countries. MFL serves a cultural and linguistic purpose in that it exposes students to foreign language and culture, therefore promoting global citizenship.


The KS3 curriculum at Holy Family builds on prior learning at KS2 by reinforcing vocabulary, basic grammar and transactional language. It allows students to explore diverse topics and more complex grammar, allowing them to express themselves in a foreign language.

Click on this link for learning schemes overview

What homework will I get?

You will be expected to complete a 30/40 minute homework on a weekly basis. This will include learning vocabulary (using Active learn online) and verb formations, practice in the use of grammatical structures, reading exercises, speaking presentations, extended pieces of writing and online learning. There will be an expectancy of self-driven revision after each lesson at home to consolidate in school learning, using active learn on line as well as your exercise book.

Learning Journey

From knowing no French at all or very little French at the beginning of year 7, you will have learnt all the basics to make you KS4 ready by the end of year 8. Although year 9 is a GCSE year, it is a year where you consolidate your French and feel confident to access the exam requirements for year 10 and 11.


What is GCSE French?

Knowledge of French is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life skill, like being able to drive a car or touch-type, and it is a skill highly-valued by employers. French is spoken on five continents, in over 40 countries, including two G8 countries, it’s one of the six official languages of the UN, and it’s one of the most common languages found on the Internet. Studying French will not only develop your language skills, it will improve your social skills, expand your cultural knowledge, and allow you to experience a sense of achievement.

What skills will I develop?

GCSE French teaches you communication skills, adaptability and cultural awareness. Learning how to interact with speakers of another language means you are less likely to be stuck in one mode of thinking. It can help you see things from a range of perspectives, develop your problem-solving skills, and make you more adaptable, resourceful and creative. Learning French, you will develop language-learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare you for further language study and use in school, higher education or employment.

What syllabus will I follow?

You will follow the AQA GCSE French syllabus (8668). AQA’s objective is to enable pupils of all abilities to develop their confidence in a variety of contexts with confidence.

What will the course look like?

Topics covered during the three-year course are divided into three themes and each theme covers four topics. Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free-time activities
  • Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries

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

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school/college
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions

Pupils thinking about taking GCSE French are strongly advised in year 8 to take part in the French trip to the Opal Coast. This is an excellent way to improve language skills, develop cultural understanding and independence.

How will I be assessed?

The course is 100% final exam and each skill area (listening, speaking, reading and writing) will be worth 25%. Skills are assessed at Foundation (grades 1-5) or Higher Tier (grades 4-9). The use of dictionaries is not permitted in any exam.

What jobs or further courses of study might this lead to?

There are many opportunities to travel or work with organisations abroad where some knowledge of French is a clear advantage: interpreter, teacher, translator, journalist, sales executive, marketing executive, tour manager, editor to name but a few!

The range of combined degrees and further education courses involving French is limitless – from accountancy to theatre studies with French. Many universities even offer funding for students to continue or extend their French knowledge by travelling or working abroad during the long vacations

Are there any entry requirements for this course?

Yes, you must be KS4 ready to follow this course.

If I need additional support, what can I access?

It is extremely important for pupils to have access to a bilingual dictionary and/or reference material on the internet to assist them with language homework. Revision guides and knowledge organisers are also available to purchase and class teachers will inform you about support sessions.

Subject Support Materials / Equipment

This one is not free but you get a 14 days free trial. It is excellent

Lots of brilliant tasks which are free. Year 7, 8 and 9, use Debutant A1 and year 10 and 11 use intermediaire A2.

Years 9, 10 and 11 

Years 7 and 8

All years, this is the online version of our textbook which I expect all students to use every week of the year to learn vocabulary and practise what I teach them in class

Download the Duolinguo app on your phone and practise your French on the move!


Trips will resume as soon as possible. It would normally be for year 8s only but I am looking at offering it to mixed year group in 2022 if allowed to go ahead as we are 2 years behind!

We normally take part in EUROFEST as an MFL completion but again, we will have to wait and see when this starts again.

In the meantime, I will do other competitions such as the spelling bee.