St Michael's
We believe that a three way partnership between the school, its students and their parents is vital to success

Modern Foreign Languages

 A downloadable version of this information is available here.


Pupils practise speaking, listening, reading, writing and communication skills in either French or German throughout their language learning at St Michael’s. From September 2017, Year 7 students will have the opportunity to learn Spanish if they have not studied another language at primary school.

What skills will pupils develop?

  • Pupils will apply and adapt their knowledge and understanding to a range of contexts - they will solve problems in familiar and unfamiliar situations as well as gather, interpret and communicate information effectively and confidently in the target language.
  • Languages are a life skill - knowledge of a foreign language is not just another GCSE grade – it is a concrete and demonstrable life skill, like being able to drive a car or touch-type and it is a skill highly valued by employers.
  • Learning languages gives you greater opportunities to travel and work abroad – there are many opportunities to travel or work with organisations abroad where some knowledge of a foreign language is a clear advantage.
  • Languages teach you cultural awareness - the ability to operate cross-culturally is becoming just as valued by employers as straight language skills.
  • Learning languages gives you a deeper understanding of your own language - pupils develop their understanding of French or German grammar and in doing so look at English in a different light.

What will help pupils to learn?

  • Access to the Internet - there are a variety of websites that support independent language learning such as linguascope, dualingo, memrise and BBC languages. Using the internet also gives language learners access to authentic materials.
  • Vocabulary learning – help your child learn spellings and memorise words and short phrases using a variety of techniques taught in language lessons.
  • Kinaesthetic activities – try to be active, move around using post-its, vocab on walls, posters around rooms or even in the car!
  • Speaking aloud – practise your accent, pronunciation and fluency in the mirror or with a sibling or parent. Ask a friend to test you in person or on the phone. There are also a variety of APPs which will help.
  • Writing – practise writing by using the read-cover-remember-write-check method. Ask a parent or a sibling to check your work and spellings.
  • Awareness of current affairs - encourage language learners to watch the news and access information about current affairs. This will help develop their understanding of the world around them and enable them to be aware of important matters in French and German-speaking countries.
  • Buy a French or German bilingual dictionary – this will help pupils with their homework and increase their memorised vocabulary.

KS3 Course Structure

Each year group follows a detailed scheme of work, covering a series of topics throughout the year. Some examples of topic areas are personal identity, school, hobbies and the environment. Within these topics, pupils will develop their competency in: listening, speaking, reading, writing, translation, and grammar. French and German literature and film also feature in the KS3 MFL curriculum.

KS3 Assessment

Pupils are tested in the skills of

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing

Assessment is both formative and summative.

Pupils are tested at the end of each module of work as well as at the end of each academic year.

KS4 Course Structure

The new revised MFL GCSE consists of the following themes:

Theme 1 Identity and culture
Theme 2 Local area, holidays and travel

Theme 3 School

Theme 4 Future aspirations, study and work

Theme 5 International and global dimension

Within these topics, pupils will develop their competency in: Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Translation, and Grammar. French and German Literature and film also feature in the KS4 MFL curriculum.

KS4 Assessment

Pupils are tested in the skills of

• Listening

• Speaking

• Reading

• Writing

Each skill represents 25% of the total mark. Entries are either Foundation or Higher Tier for the GCSE.

Assessment is both formative and summative.

Pupils are tested at the end of each module of work.


Mrs W Fincher-Adams - Head of Department

Miss J Kucharczyk - Second in Department

Mrs J Marshall

Mrs J Morgan

Mrs R Grice

Miss R Kirton

Opportunities out of lessons

Pupils will have the opportunity to attend MFL clubs such as the spelling bee club and film club. Pupils also have the opportunity to attend regular intervention sessions with MFL staff. We intend also to run a trip to France or Germany during the academic year 2017-2018, so watch this space!

Career Pathways in this subject

Employability: give yourself the edge

This is what a top employer said they are looking for in a new employee:

  • social skills
  • ability to work in a team
  • communication skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • confidence
  • experience
  • open-mindedness
  • flexibility

Learning languages gives you these skills! Speaking another language makes you stand out from the crowd!

Here are a few career pathways that use languages:

  1. Foreign civil service
  2. Airline services
  3. Advertising
  4. Editing and publishing
  5. Subtitles and voice-overs
  6. Event management
  7. Nursing
  8. Teacher
  9. Import/export specialist
  10. Hotel management