Modern Foreign Languages


We aspire to give our pupils access to a broad and ambitious Modern Languages curriculum, which is rich in skills and knowledge.

Our Modern Languages curriculum aims are:

  • To foster a lifelong love for language learning.
  • To deepen students’ understanding of the world and, in so doing, to cultivate a healthy interest in and respect for other languages and cultures. 
  • To provide a respectful environment where students work collaboratively.
  • To help all students to develop the necessary skills and confidence to communicate in French and work towards becoming fluent and spontaneous speakers of the target language.
  • To give students access to a structured framework so they are supported to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
  • To assist students to become increasingly responsible for their own learning.
  • To enable all students to reach their full academic potential.
  • To raise awareness of the advantages of learning a language in all aspects of students’ lives
  • To develop resilience, confidence and independence in our students, so that they contribute positively to the life of the school, their local community and the wider world.

The MFL department consists of 4 specialist MFL teachers. We also have a dedicated Modern Languages assistant who supports our students in their linguistic development and provides authentic French materials to enhance learning.

Head of MFL: Mrs C Lowery  

Deputy Head of MFL: Miss K Connor  

Teacher of MFL: Mr F Noirit 

Teacher of MFL: Mrs M Campbell-Dowson 

Lesson Structure

All lessons are delivered by specialist teachers of Modern Foreign Languages. 

We have recently updated and streamlined our curriculum. All staff have access to a wide variety of authentic source materials in both the spoken and written language to help ensure that all students achieve their maximum potential. We have achieved outstanding parity across the department in terms of the structure of lessons– all staff conduct weekly drill to ensure knowledge is embedded into long term memory. We also use a range of collaborative structures. Staff ensure that all students are fully involved and engaged in all aspects of learning, using mini whiteboards and students are regularly challenged through questioning. Demonstrate and connect tasks are also undertaken on a regular basis to re-enforce learning and help clarify misconceptions. Extension tasks and support materials are provided in every lesson to ensure that all tasks are accessible, all students are challenged and that all can reach their maximum potential, especially SEND, EAL and disadvantaged students.  

Key Stage 3

In Key Stage 3, Year 7 and Year 8 follow the ‘Dynamo’ course book, covering topics which are directly relevant to their external examinations in Key Stage 4.

Year 9 follow the ‘Studio’ course book, which is a GCSE foundation level course.

Throughout Key Stage 3, students regularly undertake Delta wide assessments to monitor progress.

From Year 7 onwards, in line with the new specification, the following skills are covered and assessed in all topic areas: 

  • Developing a comprehensive knowledge of French grammar and vocabulary.
  • Developing the ability to express and explain opinions in French.
  • Responding, both verbally and in writing, to a picture stimulus.
  • Participating in a French role play.
  • Accessing and responding to authentic source materials presented both orally and in the written form.
  • Translating phrases and passages from French into English and from English into French.
  • Understanding rubrics and instructions in French.

Key Stage 4

Students at Manor Croft achieve results in Modern Languages which are significantly above the national average, with the number of students achieving level 7+ noticeably increasing in the last two years. Disadvantaged students consistently outperform the national expectations. EAL students are always given the opportunity to take a GCSE in their home language to boost their progress and confidence and to demonstrate the value and appreciation of all languages.

GCSE French course

In Year 10, students begin the GCSE course.

Throughout key Stage 4, students regularly undertake Delta wide assessments to monitor progress.

Students study the following themes on which the assessments are based.


GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series. Four skills are assessed – listening, speaking, reading and writing.

GCSE French course 

In Year 10, students begin the GCSE course. 

Throughout key Stage 4, students regularly undertake Delta wide assessments to monitor progress. 

Students study the following thematic contexts on which the assessments are based: 

• My personal world 

• Lifestyle and wellbeing 

• My neighbourhood 

• Media and technology 

• Studying and my future 

• Travel and tourism 

GCSE examinations 

Paper 1: Speaking in French  

Foundation tier: 7-9 minutes plus 15 minutes’ preparation time; 50 marks Higher tier: 10-12 minutes plus 15 minutes’ preparation time; 50 marks 25% of the qualification. 

Task 1: Read aloud (12 marks) 

Read aloud a short text and undertake a short, unprepared interaction relating to the text.  

Task 2: Role play (10 marks) 

Undertake a transactional role play,  

Task 3: Picture task (12 marks) with conversation (16 marks) 

Describe a picture stimulus, related to the selected thematic context.  

Paper 2: Listening and understanding in French  

Written examination:  

Foundation tier: 45 minutes, including 5 minutes’ reading time, 50 marks  

Higher tier: 60 minutes, including 5 minutes’ reading time, 50 marks  

25% of the qualification. 

Section A: Listening (40 marks) 

Students respond to multiple-choice, multiple-response and short-answer open  

response questions.  

Section B: Dictation (10 marks) 

Students are assessed on their ability to transcribe spoken French into written French. 

Paper 3: Reading and understanding in French 

Written examination:  

Foundation tier: 45 minutes, 50 marks 

Higher tier: 60 minutes, 50 marks 

25% of the qualification 

Students are assessed on their understanding of written French across a range of formal and informal contexts, and in familiar and unfamiliar settings.  

Section A: Reading and Understanding (40 marks) 

Students respond to multiple-choice, multiple-response and short-answer open  

response questions based on these texts. 

Section B: Translation into English (10 marks) 

Students translate a passage from French into English. 

Paper 4: Writing in French  

Written examination:  

Foundation tier: 1 hour 15 minutes; 50 marks. 

Higher tier: 1 hour 20 minutes; 50 marks. 

25% of the qualification 

Students are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively through writing in French for different purposes and audiences. Students are required to produce responses of varying lengths and types to express ideas and opinions in French.  

Foundation Tier 

• Question 1: picture-based task (8 marks) 

• Question 2: one of two open-response questions, set in formal context (14 marks) 

• Question 3: one of two open-response questions, set in informal context (18 marks) 

• Question 4: translation into French (10 marks) 

Higher Tier 

• Question 1: one of two open-response questions, set in informal context (18 marks) 

• Question 2: one of two open-response questions, set in formal context (22 marks) 

• Question 3: translation into French (10 marks) 

A recommended word count is specified for each open-response question. 

Homework and home learning

Every student in KS3 is issued with a Knowledge Organiser booklet and at KS4 a GCSE vocabulary booklet. This contains all the vocabulary students need to be successful within the Learning Unit being taught in school. Home learning is set every week.

We have embedded the online language learning service, Languagenut into our curriculum to allow students to participate in home and blended learning. Each student is provided with access to this platform which enables them to practise all four key skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and allows teachers to view, monitor and provide feedback. 


We aim to broaden the learning experience of our students by: 

  • providing opportunities to correspond with speakers of the foreign language and where possible to visit the country where the language is spoken to use the language and experience the culture. 
  • exploring appropriate authentic materials to enrich language learning (poems, songs, stories, literary extracts, and audio-visual materials). 
  • acknowledging festivals, traditions and customs which are relevant to the countries where the target language is spoken. 
  • marking the annual celebration of the European day of Languages to support cultural tolerance and diversity. 
  • giving pupils who have an ability to speak another language other than English support and encouragement to sit an external examination in this language. 
  • offering breakfast and twilight sessions to encourage pupils to show independence and ‘to go the extra mile’ in their learning. 
  • using careers and drop-down days to deliver lessons to raise awareness of the benefits of language learning and career paths. 

We are extremely fortunate to be working with a Foreign Language Assistant, which enhances many aspects of language learning. As well as direct access to a native French speaker, students can learn about French culture and traditions and develop empathy, tolerance and understanding. We run weekly French clubs, which gives students the opportunity to explore cultural themes and enhances a love of learning. 

In March 2024, the Department ran a trip to Paris, which gave the opportunity for many students to experience French culture first hand. 

Gaining a good grade in French is well regarded for Sixth Form and College courses as well as for university courses, apprenticeships, and careers. Languages form part of the English baccalaureate qualification which is a respected qualification both in this country and abroad and can open the door to many opportunities. 

The wide range of skills and challenges presented through language learning can enhance other subjects and broaden the lives and minds of young people.