Modern Foreign Languages

Curriculum rationale:

The aim of the MFL curriculum is to develop successful and effective communicators and to allow students to reflect on their culture alongside understanding new cultures. Lessons encourage students to experiment with the new language structures that they learn and embrace challenge and risk in a safe environment.

Regardless of ability or background, all students study a language, either French or Spanish.  Our curriculum is planned over five years to provide all students with a secure foundation on which they can build and equip them with life skills.  Leaving SJN with language skills will open up a range of pathways for their further and higher education and increase their employability. As well as building upon prior knowledge, the curriculum fosters resilience through challenge.  The curriculum is designed to enable all our students to recognise and produce language in three timeframes.

We use a wide variety of strategies and resources including use of authentic materials and we encourage students’ use of spontaneous language.  The content of our curriculum enables students to develop an awareness of others and the world outside of the classroom, for example, through teaching about customs and festivals in Francophone and Hispanic countries.  Teaching of social issues broadens their knowledge of the wider world and current affairs.  We use current popular music to help students relate to popular culture.  All of this contributes to challenging stereotypes.  Our multi-sensory approach ensures we appeal to all learning styles, backgrounds and ability.

Curriculum Design:

The MFL curriculum is coherently sequenced with interleaving of topics and important language structures and regular retrieval practice. There is a clear transition between each phase of learning with provision to revisit skills and subject knowledge over time so no student is left behind in their learning.

Curriculum Plan:


MFL 5 Year Curriculum Plan   2020-21

Half term







Phonics and alphabet

Classroom language

Numbers and colours

All about me

Food and drink

Eating out

Retrieval – School


Retrieval – Environment

Retrieval – Food and Drink

Theme 3: My studies, life at school and college

Future plans


Retrieval – Holidays (KS3 topic)

Theme 2: Travel

Theme 2: Global issues

Retrieval of social issues



My family and I



Minor illnesses

Healthy eating

Buying travel tickets

Booking info


making complaints

Theme 1: Self, family, and relationships. 

Marriage and partnership

Retrieval of Festivals

Theme 1: Customs and festivals

Retrieval and Revision for mock exams







Free time (music, TV and cinema)

Customs and festivals

Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/ communities: Talking about key activities for different festivals & opinions –

Describing a special day – a celebration in the past use key verbs

Theme 1: Free time

Social media and mobile technology

Music, cinema, and TV

Food and eating out


Retrieval of all topics – exam skills


School - uniform

Future plans

Free time (technology and social media)

Ideal presents

Clothing and what to wear for festivals

Talking about food for special occasions

Theme 1: Customs and festivals

Work experience

Retrieval of all topics – exam skills

Trial 2 exams listening/reading/writing

Revision for GCSE speaking exams TBC


Free time (sports and other hobbies) including future




Retrieval of healthy eating and minor illnesses

Daily routine

Helping at home

Pocket money

Theme 2: Travel and tourism

Week 1 and week 2

MFL GCSE Speaking exams TBC


Retrieval of family and school - prepare for Big test

Retrieval of food and drink

Prepare for Big test

Retrieval of Holidays and Festivals - Prepare for Big test

Social issues – film project

Theme 2: Home, town, neighbourhood, and region




Curriculum Assessment:

The curriculum integrates low stakes formative assessments in the form of interim tasks and weekly vocabulary tests and retrieval tests as well as summative assessments at the end of each topic.

Students are assessed in at least three skills at the end of each topic including a receptive skill (reading and listening) and a productive skill (writing and speaking).  Students are given a WWW and EBI to help them improve and are provided with a closing the gap task where students are not meeting their target.  Challenge tasks are provided for extension. 

Our writing and speaking assessments criteria are made explicit to students.  For most tasks the expectation is for students to extend their verbal and written responses with connectives, intensifiers, opinions and justifications. 

Summative and formative assessments are used to inform us of our students’ progress and enable us to provide intervention where students are at risk of not meeting their target. 

Extra-curricular opportunities:

There are a huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities in Modern Foreign Languages. The Y8 trip to France and Y9/10 trip to Barcelona bring the language to life and allow students to experience first-hand other European cultures. KS3 students are given the opportunity to compete in the National Foreign Language Spelling Bee and Translation Bee competition.

European Day of Languages is celebrated each year through quizzes and competitions and through celebrating the vast number of languages spoken by the students at SJN. In addition, visiting speakers are used to highlight the cultural aspects of the language and to promote the career opportunities within the subject.