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Modern Foreign Languages

Subject: MFL

Subject/Curriculum Leader: Mrs J. Wootton

Communication is at the heart of our students’ experience in MFL at Norton College. As a department we strive to encourage a love and enthusiasm of studying a foreign language and to develop the skills required for academic success at GCSE.

The MFL department is enthusiastic and creative, staffed by three experienced subject specialists. Our aim is to promote active engagement in our lessons alongside the rigour required to achieve well.

The MFL department aim to create and develop enthusiastic and independent learners. We are committed to establishing a learning environment that encourages students to feel confident about taking risks and developing informed opinions about the world around them. Our curriculum focuses on learning, rather than teaching; we want students to reflect on and enhance their skills, ask questions, and enjoy challenge. There will be opportunities to independently extend their skills beyond the classroom and therefore prepare for life beyond Norton College.

We teach in specialist rooms which are well equipped with dictionaries, interactive whiteboards, and good quality sound systems.

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things but learning another way to think about things.”  Flora Lewis


Key Stage 3

All students study a language throughout the three years of KS3. Across KS3 there is a generous provision of five one-hour lessons per fortnight of French. Students make the transition from Primary to Secondary school, building on the foundations from KS1 and 2 French and build up vocab, grammar knowledge and language learning skills through years 8 and 9.

Learning activities centre around different topics and include a wide variety of activities across the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Alongside, we aim to expand students’ cultural knowledge of France, by incorporating ‘Un peu de culture’ into every lesson – a five-minute cultural input in every year group in every classroom. Regular end of unit assessments informs our teaching and planning and reflect the format of KS4 exams.

Each SoL includes a range of different cultural, vocab and grammar elements which build upon previous learning and prepare the students for the rigours of the GCSE course.


Year 7 - Autumn term

Birthday, family, numbers, pets, likes and dislikes, alphabet


Year 7 - Spring term

Hobbies / where I live


Year 7 - Summer term

School life / Plans for the summer


Year 8 - Autumn term

Media . Clothes and fashion


Year 8 - Spring term

Food and drink / Holidays


Year 8 - Summer term


Home life / Role plays / Paris


Year 9 - Autumn term

Festivals / A weekend away / My town and region


Year 9 - Spring term

Healthy lifestyles / School


Year 9 - Summer term

Film study (Les Choristes) / Francophone countries

Key Stage 4

At Norton we follow AQA GCSE French. All assessments are at the end of the two years of study, which means that students have the full two years to hone their skills before sitting the exams. It is tiered entry, so students sit either all foundation or all higher papers in listening, speaking, reading and writing. Each exam has equal weighting, so 25% of the final mark.

Classes at Key Stage are mixed ability option groups and benefit from five lessons / fortnight.

AQA GCSE French is divided into three themes:

Identity and Culture – family, leisure and festivals are all included in this theme

Local, national, international and global areas of interest – this includes familiar topics such as where you live and holidays

Current and future study and employment – school, future plans and jobs

Each theme is divided into topics. This builds on familiar work from KS3, such as family, school life, hobbies, technology and holidays, as well as the challenge of new ones like voluntary work, the environment, social media and poverty – taking language skills to the next level.


Year 10 - Autumn term

Relationships with family and friends

Home, town, neighbourhood, and region

My studies

Free-time activities


Year 10 - Spring term

Healthy / unhealthy lifestyles

Life at school

Customs and festivals


Year 10 - Summer term

Travel and tourism

End of year exams


Year 11 - Autumn term

Education Post-16

Marriage and partnerships

The environment



Year 11 - Spring term

Charity work / poverty

Career choices and ambitions


Year 11 - Summer term

Final preparation for and sitting of external exams

Speaking tests typically take place around Easter of year 11