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Modern Foreign Languages

Mrs Mitchell - Curriculum Leader

 Modern Foreign Languages

Hello and a warm welcome to the languages department at Colne Park High School.

At Park High School we place a very high value on language learning and developing cultural awareness. We are an incredibly dedicated department committed to ensuring every child achieves the best possible outcomes in language learning throughout their time here. We teach high quality lessons, that enable students to develop their understanding of phonics, vocabulary and grammar in French whilst also developing their listening, reading, writing, speaking and translation skills. On our new curriculum, all students study French for two hours per week in years 7 to 9 and many students continue their French studies at GCSE.  We are always here to help so just ask if you need anything.


Our vision is to inspire all students to see the value in learning a Modern Foreign Language; to develop students who have a love of language learning and to enable students to reach high levels of academic achievement. We aim to challenge students to use language creatively and spontaneously and to develop their cognitive and communication skills. We also endeavour to encourage students to explore the world and have an appetite to experience different cultures. Our vision is to provide a curriculum model that is deeply routed in the concept that curriculum is knowing more and remembering more.


For students to see the value in learning a Modern Foreign Language our vision is to:

  • foster students' curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world
  • encourage new ways of thinking
  • instil the ability to communicate information that goes beyond students' immediate needs and interests
  • enable students to communicate for practical purposes, initiate and develop conversations
  • equip students to study and work in other countries
  • provide sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and build on prior knowledge
  • educate students to know the academic and cultural purpose of the PoS
  • develop learners who want to learn


In order to foster a love of language learning we will:

  • enable students to recognise their own progress
  • ensure students feel rewarded for their effort and attainment
  • motivate students to do well through high quality teaching
  • inspire students to read great literature
  • engage with all stakeholders, including the wider community
  • support, nurture and reassure students to build confidence


For students to use language creatively and spontaneously and to achieve high levels of academic achievement we aim to:

  • give students the opportunity to make substantial progress in one language
  • enable students to speak with confidence, fluency and spontaneity
  • ensure students study the full curriculum for as long as possible
  • promote the use of target language as a normal means of communication
  • provide opportunities for students to write and speak in response to a variety of authentic resources
  • promote the continual improvement in accuracy of pronunciation
  • ensure students understand original and adapted materials
  • provide the same academic ambitions for all learners
  • create an ambitious PoS that meets the needs of all learners
  • create an ambitious PoS that builds on prior knowledge that integrates into larger concepts
  • identify students' misconceptions
  • have good subject and pedagogical knowledge
  • ensure all students complete their PoS
  • share good practise regularly to ensure consistency
  • reflect on and review the PoS and pedagogy in place
  • respond to student feedback
  • hold students to account and instil belief
  • be accountable and professional in our roles as teachers and leaders
  • allow for previous knowledge that students may have

For students to experience different cultures ‘cultural capital’ our curriculum design:

  • provides opportunities to read literary texts and write prose/poetry/story
  • offers students ways of communicating ‘spontaneously’ what they want to say
  • fosters positive and respectful relationships
  • ensures that learners do not experience bullying or discrimination
  • provides a curriculum that enables students to develop their interests and talents
  • develops resilience, confidence and independence and help students keep physically and mentally healthy
  • supports the development of fundamental British values
  • intends to give all learners ‘culture capital’


The overall aim of the curriculum is to ensure that students gain the essential knowledge for MFL (French) so that they can communicate effectively in the target language. Essential knowledge in MFL is vocabulary, phonics and grammar and our curriculum is carefully planned around the progression of these ‘3 pillars’ of knowledge. Students have the opportunity to go from novice to expert language learners over the five year course. As language becomes more automised students can produce more detailed and accurate responses manipulating language to narrate events and say something new.

Students will also develop ‘cultural capital’ by having an awareness of other cultures such as France and the French speaking world through exposure to authentic materials such as news articles, videos, and literary texts. Year 7 and 8 students who are identified as needing extra support by the SEND department still study French through the Nurture Group pathway. 

The 3 pillars; phonics, vocabulary and grammar are reinforced throughout the entire curriculum through extensive planned practise within the skill areas of listening, speaking (spontaneously), reading, writing and translation. Students build up the essential knowledge required to communicate about a range of age-appropriate topic areas. Students are encouraged to use target language as the main means of communication as frequently as is appropriate. Our intent is based on the core guiding principles as outlined in the National Curriculum Programme of Study for MFL.

Our MFL curriculum is designed in a way that allows pupils to reflect on their own progress overtime whilst reinforcing students’ awareness of SMSC, careers and academic language as per the school’s rich broadening horizons agenda. Whilst our curriculum reflects the presence of languages in the local area; we also place importance on opening students’ eyes to the wider world. Topics are studied within the context of the students’ home country and that of the countries and communities where French is spoken.


Year 7 Intent

During year 7 we acknowledge and build on the varying MFL subject knowledge content that students have gained (or not) at KS2. Students are introduced to vocabulary, phonics and grammar and learn how to describe details about themselves, using the present tense, their family and pets, school life, their likes, and dislikes, where they live and their daily routines, the sports and games they play and do and their future plans.  To ensure the year 7 curriculum is as ambitious as possible, some students may also secure knowledge in how to refer to past events, however, the key tense focus of the year 7 curriculum is to learn high frequency present tense verbs and language such as opinion phrases and connectives that will form the foundation on which to build greater complexity of language.

Year 8 Intent

During year 8 students build on the core language pillars (phonics, vocabulary, and grammar) that students learnt during KS2 and year 7. Students are taught how to form the past tense, use simple negatives and revisit and add to the high frequency infinitives, present tense verbs and near future tense introduced in year 7, enabling students to be able to begin to refer to three time frames.  Students learn high frequency imperfect verbs to enable them to describe past events in more detail. Students study a range of topics in year 8: holidays, festivals, leisure activities, life at home and in their region and health and sports and develop an appreciation for authentic texts through a spooky stories lesson and an original French song. Year 8 also gives students the opportunity to practise transactional conversations.

Year 9 Intent

During year 9 students become more secure and confident in their language learning. Foundation and Higher pathways are created in year 9 to cater for the varying academic needs of students, whilst still offering a challenging curriculum for all students. Foundation year 9 students are able to refer to three time frames successfully and give opinions and reasons across a range of topics.  They will use modal verbs with increasing success to describe a range of topics; friends and family, future plans, music preferences, life when you were little, the environment and the French speaking world.  Higher year 9 students will be explicitly taught the simple future tense alongside the near future. All year 9 students are encouraged to use uncommon language, unfamiliar structures and narrate events, students are supported in this through the student progress booklets.

Year 10 & 11 Intent

Students use the essential knowledge gained in KS3 to become more confident language learners. There are two pathways; foundation and higher but students can move from one pathway to another informed by their target grade and their performance. Students are able to access longer texts and listen to longer extracts with increasing success.  Pronunciation will be sound and students will become confident in manipulating language to narrate events and communicate effectively.  Students cover a wide range of grammar, vocabulary, and phonics to enable them to communicate about a wide range of topics and stimuli to enable GCSE success. Students use structures and phrases that enable them to sound more unique and authentic. Students will speak spontaneously about a range of topics.

French Curriculum Map 



Years 7-9

There are standardised, interleaved half termly assessments which build up over time to give students the opportunity to show off the listening, reading, writing and speaking skills that they have developed over time.  We aim to develop students to become spontaneous speakers and therefore try to create a culture whereby French is used as much as possible to communicate in the classroom.


GCSE French

 Exam board: Edexcel

The GCSE course is taught through 5 themes - these are:

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local area, holiday and travel
  3. School
  4. Future aspirations, study and work
  5. International and global dimension

All themes and topics are studied in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities where French is spoken.

GCSE French is assessed through four final exams which take place at the end of the course. 


25% listening

25% reading

25% writing

25% speaking


There are 2 tiers of entry – Foundation and Higher.  Foundation grades are 1-5 and Higher grades are 4-9.  We work hard to ensure that all students are entered for the correct tier and feel prepared.  Lots of support is provided to ensure students feel as confident as possible leading up to and during the exams.


The MFL department run a successful Year 8 French trip in the summer term every year.  This is a fabulous opportunity for students to practise their French skills and absorb a different culture. 

The school also run a long standing German Exchange and also a Chinese exchange.

Due to the pandemic trips have not run for 2 years however we are lucky to be offering year 8 students a French Immersion Trip to London in July 2022.