Modern Foreign Languages

Mrs Gaughan — Head of Department

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”. Frank Smith (Contemporary psycholinguist)

Modern Foreign Languages Department

The MFL department at Holy Cross aims to deliver rich and diverse learning opportunities which inspire students to embrace the challenge of learning a foreign language and discover the academic advantage it brings in this increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace.

Students are encouraged to be independent and creative in their learning, questioning and exploring their own language whilst learning to cope in a variety of contexts in another. Students are given opportunities to express their ideas, opinions and thoughts as well as responding to others, which is underpinned by the development of solid communication, linguistic and grammatical skills.

Language learning allows students to open their minds to other cultures, promoting tolerance and understanding, ready for them to take up their place in our multi-lingual, multi-cultural global society.

In Year 7 pupils study four lessons per fortnight of French.

In Year 8 A Band pupils study three lessons of French per fortnight and two lessons of a second foreign language (German or Spanish). B Band pupils deepen their understanding of French with five lessons per fortnight.

In Year 9 A Band pupils continue with their studies of French (three lessons per fortnight) and the same second foreign language they studied in Year 8 (increased to three lessons per fortnight). B Band pupils continue with five French lessons per fortnight which culminates in the awarding of the AQA FCSE qualification at the end of Year 9.

All students are offered the opportunity to study French up to GCSE level. Those students who studied two languages at Key Stage 3 are offered the choice of the two languages at Key Stage 4, but are encouraged to continue the learning of both languages up to GCSE level. Each language has five lessons per fortnight timetabled teaching time during Key Stage 4.

The Modern Languages Department is housed in three modern, comfortable, specialist classrooms, each equipped with Surface Pro technology, facilities for aural work and a conventional dry wipe board.

Curriculum Plan





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Curriculum: French Key Stage 3

Year 7

Pupils build on KS2 knowledge following the Dynamo 1 course which fully covers the Framework for Modern Languages.

Year 7 Topics

  • Greetings and classroom language
  • Describing self and others
  • Family, friends and pets
  • Where people live
  • House and home
  • Ordering food

Year 8

Pupils follow the Dynamo 2 course

Year 8 Topics

  • Holidays
  • Customs and Festivals
  • Free time activities
  • Digital Technology
  • Home and local area
  • Injury and illness

Year 9

Year 9 follow a tailored programme of study based on the Dynamo 3 course.

Year 9 Topics (A Band)

  • School and education
  • Future plans and earning money
  • Environmental problems and solutions
  • Pros and cons of new technologies
  • Healthy living and lifestyle

Year 9 Topics (B Band –leading to FCSE qualification)

  • School and education
  • Future plans and earning money
  • Environmental problems and solutions
  • Describing where you live
  • Healthy living and lifestyle
Curriculum: Spanish Key Stage 3

Pupils follow the Mira Express course which fully covers the Framework for Modern Languages.

Year 8 Topics

  • Basic greetings
  • School
  • Free time activities
  • Spanish speaking countries

Year 9 Topics

  • Family and descriptions
  • Where people live
  • House and home
  • Opinions
Curriculum: German Key Stage 3

Students follow the Stimmt! course which fully covers the Framework for MFL.

Year 8 Topics

  • Introducing self and family
  • Free time activities
  • School
  • Holidays

Year 9 Topics

  • Where people live
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • German Speaking Countries
Curriculum: MFL Key Stage 4

MFL Key Stage 4 Curriculum

All language courses follow the AQA syllabi leading to a full GCSE qualification at the end of Year 11. Course content includes:

  • Theme 1: Identity and Culture
  • Theme 2: Local, National, International and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment


At Key Stage 3, pupils are formally assessed in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) throughout the year, typically once per half term.

At Key Stage 4, assessment in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) is by formal examination at the end of Year 11 at either Foundation or Higher Level. Internal assessments are administered at least once per half term.

Useful websites

Passwords are available for the above sites for current pupils for use at school and home. Ask your language teacher for details.

Extra Curricular Opportunities

We run a range of local trips and foreign visits. We provide opportunities for pupils to explore language learning and to further develop cultural awareness. Opportunities include:

  • Lunchtime language clubs for beginners and intermediates.
  • Opportunities to communicate with a penfriend in the target language country.
  • Visits to language departments at local universities and tertiary colleges.
  • Theatre visits to watch foreign language plays.
  • Entering national writing competitions.
  • Participation in the annual European Day of Languages celebrations.
  • Targeted revision and intervention sessions.
  • Recent visits to Boulogne (France), Berlin (Germany) and Barcelona (Spain).

Links abroad are continually developing and evolving.