Languages open doors!

To learn a language is a life skill that plays an essential part in becoming a true global citizen. The internet and travel make the world seem a smaller place but it is our communication with other countries that gives us a wider understanding of the world we live in. We aim to inspire pupils to use the languages we teach with confidence and be open to learning new languages.  The skills gained by learning a language complement other curriculum areas and are viewed favourably by employers and universities.


Key Stage 3

The KS3 curriculum is structured to enable pupils to develop skills and linguistic competence within a range of topic areas.



Year 7:  All pupils study French and German in mixed ability classes for 4 x 50 minute lessons per week.  There is provision after consultation with the Special Needs Department for a small number to receive curriculum support in place of the second foreign language.


Year 8:  Pupils study French and German for 4 x 50 minute lessons per week.  There is continued provision for a small number to receive curriculum support in place of the second foreign language.  The year group is split into X and Y Band.  In each band, there is a top set, and sometimes a second set, selected on Year 7 performance, the other classes are in mixed ability groups with the exception of a support group in each band. Groupings are reviewed throughout the year.



KS3 pupils will be assessed during the course of, and sometimes at the end of, each unit of work. We will assess different skill areas at different times (listening, speaking, reading and writing). Pupils’ performance in these assessments combined with their work in class and homework will be used to assess progress.


Units of work: Year 7

• Self and Family

• School

• Hobbies


Units of work: Year 8

• Leisure Time

•Town and Local Area

• Travel and Tourism

• Healthy Lifestyles

• Media


Key Stage 4

The majority of pupils study a language, most continue with French and/or German. In addition, pupils may choose to study Spanish GCSE. Italian GCSE is available as a second language course.  Pupils can study a combination of the languages on offer. Certification is through EDEXCEL GCSE. In French and German, pupils are set by ability. In Spanish and Italian, class sizes are usually smaller and pupils are taught in mixed ability groups.


GCSE Languages

Units of work

Pupils will cover a range of vocabulary and structures in the following topic areas:

Identity and Culture

Local Area, Holiday and Travel

Future School Aspirations, Study and Work


International and Global Dimension


Assessment Information

GCSE Languages

Pupils will continue to develop the four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.  Pupils will take terminal exams in all four skill areas and can be entered at either Foundation or Higher Level.  The level at which pupils are entered is based on progress during the course.

Speaking  (25%)

Pupils will be assessed by the following tasks: a role play, a discussion based on a picture and an open conversation on two topics, one of which can be chosen by the pupil.

Writing  (25%)

The written tasks will cover a variety of topic areas. Pupils will be expected to complete two or three short writing tasks moving from sentences to a longer description of 90-150 words. There will also be a translation task of 35 – 50 words from English into the foreign language.


Reading (25%) and Listening (25%)

Most tasks are of the multiple-choice, matching and sequencing type.  There are only a few questions in the target language, mainly at Higher level. In the reading paper, there will also be a translation task of 35 – 50 words from the foreign language into English.


Home Learning Opportunities


In MFL it is important to set homework:

• To give pupils the opportunity to consolidate/improve/extend their classroom learning

• To enable pupils to carry out more independent tasks

• To help pupils develop independent learning skills

• To allow pupils to use their preferred way of working/learning to complete tasks


Homework is set according to the school guidelines and appropriate to the ability of the group. 
Types of task may include:

• vocabulary learning/online websites

• completing worksheets

• grammar exercises

• revising for assessments

• research

• written work/creative writing

• reading


Homework builds progressively from Year 7 to Year 11:

• Year 7 and 8, approximately 30 minutes per week

• Years 9, 10 and 11, approximately 45 minutes per week but this would increase during assessment points


Gifted and Talented Provision in MFL


Gifted linguists are identified using the following criteria:

• ease in memorising and recalling large quantities of material using previously learnt strategies

• ability to work independently and to take own learning forward

• proactive in asking relevant questions and following up leads

• ability to spot patterns and make connections resulting in spontaneous language

• understanding of, and ability to use, concepts such as verb tenses and case endings consistently


KS3 and KS4

The following activities are taking place at present or have been offered through our extension and enrichment programme:

• Language clubs in German, Mandarin, Arabic and Greek

• Supervised use of IT facilities at lunch time to broaden range of languages experienced and to allow pupils to manage their own learning.  At present we offer the following languages:  French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Arabic, and Chinese

• Year 8 Latin taster sessions over ten weeks with the opportunity to continue

• Mandarin in MFL curriculum time in KS3

• Inter School MFL Speaking Competition

• Pop Video Competition

• MFL based visits to Combe Martin Wildlife Park

• Joint activities with able pupils from other schools.

• Programme of visiting speakers from Higher Education and Industry.

• University visits to attend MFL Taster Days.


The following curriculum options are available:

• Twilight GCSE courses are offered in French, German and Spanish.

Spanish: Higher level GCSE building on skills already developed in French and German.

• Second or third language leading to GCSE Higher level.

• Pupils who have taken the opportunity to study Latin GCSE in extra curricular time, may be given the opportunity to take a GCSE in Year 10.

• Pupils who show a flair for Mandarin, Arabic or Greek in extra curricular time may be given the opportunity to take a GCSE inKS4.


We provide support for our most able linguists during curriculum time in the following ways:

• All MFL groups are allocated time in L2, our dedicated MFL computer suite, throughout the year.  Differentiated materials are available and able linguists are able to work on grammar and vocabulary tasks outside the normal KS3 and KS4 curriculum.

• Contact time with our MFL Teaching Assistants at KS4 allows able linguists to develop extended responses and widen vocabulary areas.

• A structured programme of revision sessions for Year 10 and Year 11 examination candidates is designed to highlight the skills necessary for the highest grades.


Respect  * Responsibility *  Resilience * Trust *  Kindness *  Courage

A specialist language college

Pilton Community College, Chaddiford Lane, Barnstaple, Devon  EX31 1RB.  01271 374381  email: