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St Francis Xavier

Modern Foreign Languages

MFL Department Staff

Mrs C Winter            Head of Department
Mrs S Henderson    Teacher of French/German
Miss C Nixon            Teacher of French/German

We would like to welcome you to the Modern Foreign Languages Department at St Francis Xavier School.

We are a friendly and supportive team who wants the language learning experience to be a positive one for all students, whatever their ability and we are working hard to pass on our love of languages and the benefits of learning about other cultures and communicating with speakers of other languages. We in the MFL Department believe that learning a language is an important skill  all children should have and in this ever-shrinking world, a skill that is becoming essential in the workplace. Learning a language is an enriching experience that continues well after school.

Our aims are to bring about a passion in pupils for learning languages, to help them to realise their potential and to achieve their goals. To achieve these aims we offer language lessons which are inclusive, stimulating and enjoyable.

Studying languages…

  • Means that you are a good communicator and independent worker
  • Means that you are an open-minded person who has a thorough understanding of other cultures
  • Helps you to become a ‘world citizen’ in a global economy
  • Proves that you have highly developed reasoning and problem-solving skills
  • Make you more employable
  •  Means that you will earn 8-14% more if you use a language in your job
  • Means that you follow the recommendation of the 20 leading UK universities (Russell Group Universities)

What languages do we offer? 

In year 7 all pupils have 5 lessons per fortnight of French.

In Year 8 pupils start to study German for 3 hours a fortnight and French for 2 hours. In Year 9, pupils opt to continue with either french or German.

Spanish is offered as a lunchtime activity and the Cambridge Latin Course is offered as an extracurricular activity.

The majority of pupils continue to study a language at KS4 as part of the English Baccalaureate.

 We support our pupils in a variety of ways:

  • Pupils receive regular feedback on their performance and advice on how to improve within lessons.
  • Pupils’ work is marked regularly and steps for improvement are given.
  • Pupils will develop language acquisition in all four-skill areas with emphasis on communication, progress, independence and enjoyment.
  • Pupils will be encouraged to work on their own, in pairs and in groups. An awareness of the importance of I.T. will be fostered.
  • Pupils study language through a range of contexts which include themselves and their home, family, school, local area and free time.

 What else do we have to offer?

  • KS4 trip to Strasbourg
  • KS3 trip to Paris. Staying in a purpose-built youth centre, this trip will take in all the major tourist attractions of Paris, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, Sacré Coeur, Versailles as well as one day at Eurodisney!!
  • Penfriend introduction in Year 7
  • Spanish lunchtime sessions
  • Latin extra curricular

 Key Stage 3 Curriculum


Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Year 7

General Introduction


House and Home

My Town



Year 8


Free time/past tense

Modal verbs/Clothes

Shopping for food


Pocket money

Year 9

Family /jobs

Health/future plans

Travel by train

At the hotel


Time frames

French or German GCSE

Course Content

The GCSE course aims to build on what students have already studied at Key Stage 3.

The specifications include the study of the following themes:

 Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Topic 1: Me, my family and friends
  • Topic 2: Technology in everyday life
  • Topic 3: Free-time activities
  • Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking or German-speaking countries/communities

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest:

  • Topic 1: Home, town, neighbor hood and region
  • Topic 2: Social issues
  • Topic 3: Global issues
  • Topic 4: Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment covers the following four topics:

  • Topic 1: My studies
  • Topic 2: Life at school/college
  • Topic 3: Education post-16
  • Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions


GCSE French and German have a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9).

Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. Each paper is worth 25% of GCSE.

Paper 1: Listening

Listening is by examination and includes questions that must be answered in English, in the target language or non-verbally.

Paper 2: Speaking

Speaking is conducted by the teacher and includes a role-play, a discussion on a photo card and a general conversation.

Paper 3: Reading

Reading is by examination and includes questions that must be answered in English, in the target language or non-verbally, as well as a translation from the target language to English.

Paper 4: Writing

Writing is by examination and includes writing a short passage, a structured writing task and a translation from English to the target language.


Success in languages at GCSE allows students to progress on to Sixth Form A level courses. Language A levels combine very well with many other subjects (e.g. business studies, geography, English, and History…) and is highly regarded by universities and employers.