Why are Modern Foreign Languages important?


  • 94% of the world's population live in a country where English is not the native tongue. 75% do not speak English at all.
  • As international links become closer, easier and faster we need more than ever to communicate with foreign customers in their language.
  • It is a multilingual world and UK companies are now realising that they need Foreign Languages to compete when trading internationally. In fact one in six businesses are losing money because of language barriers.
  • Internet users are four times more likely to buy when addressed in their own language.
  • 60% of British trade and business is with non-English speaking countries.
  • Languages help you understand and appreciate the cultures and backgrounds of people from all over the world.
  • Languages improve the quality of your life. Speaking languages gives you access to a whole new world (music, the Internet, cultural events, new friends).
  • Learning a second language boosts brain function and can improve levels of achievement in other subjects.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

French Outline of topics
Term 1 All about me
Term 2 Endangered species
Term 3 My leisure activities
German Outline of topics
Term 1 Me and my school
Term 2 Family and free time
Term 3 Where I live

Year 8: 

French Outline of topics
Term 1 School
Term 2 Home
Term 3 Food & drink at home and abroad
German Outline of topics
Term 1 Holidays, food and drink
Term 2 Leisure activities
Term 3 Health and fitness

Year 9:

French Outline of topics
Term 1 Healthy lifestyles
Term 2 Daily routine
Term 3 Holidays
German Outline of topics
Term 1 Jobs and future plans
Term 2 The environment, my home
Term 3 Town and local area

Key Stage 4

What does the course involve? 

The GCSE is divided into three main subject areas, called THEMES.

1. Identity and culture 2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest 3. Current and future study and employment

Each theme is divided into four TOPICS.

Theme 1

  1. Me, my family and friends (relationships, marriage and partnership)
  2. Technology in everyday life (social media and mobile technology)
  3. Free time activities (music, cinema, TV, food and eating out, sport)
  4. Customs and festivals

Theme 2

  1. Home, town, neighbourhood and region (home, where I live)
  2. Social issues (charity and voluntary work, healthy and unhealthy living)
  3. Global issues (environment, poverty and homelessness)
  4. Travel and tourism (holidays and travel, regions of Germany or France)

Theme 3

  1. My studies
  2. Life at school and college
  3. Education post 16
  4. Jobs, career choices and ambitions

The GCSE examinations all take place at the end of Year 11.

The assessment consists of a formal examination in all four language skills as follows:

Unit 1 - Listening 25%

Unit 2 - Speaking 25%

Unit 3 - Reading 25%

Unit 4 - Writing 25%


Homework tasks set are related to the topics covered in class.

Examples of homework tasks

  • Revision
  • Preparing a presentation for speaking
  • Research
  • Reading or listening tasks
  • Short writing tasks
  • Short grammar exercises
  • Learning vocabulary
  • Collecting materials to bring to lesson


Progress 8 and annual Milestone Targets are set and are based on KS2 results in Reading and Maths.

Books are marked according to a learning code

Green - Above level

Amber - At level

Red - Below level

Teachers use a "pink box" for pupils to respond to in order to improve their work.

“What went well” and “Even better if” comments are also made to ensure that pupils understand how to make progress.

A summative assessment is carried out at the end of each topic in one of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and/or writing).  Current grades are given and targets are reviewed and set.  Students are reminded of these targets at the front of their books.

Assessment also includes

  • Vocabulary tests
  • On-going assessment in class (beginning/end of lesson)


Pupils are expected to bring:

  • Exercise books (provided)
  • Pen, pencil, ruler, rubber

Also useful are:

  • Highlighters
  • Colouring pens and pencils
  • Glue
  • A small bilingual dictionary

Why choose a language at Key Stage 4?

Learning a language will help you develop lots of skills you will need in life and in the world of work. Language skills can boost employability and broaden students' career options:

  • Resilience
  • Communication skills
  • Reading skills
  • Writing letters (CV, job applications etc.)
  • Spoken presentations (useful for interviews)
  • ICT
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Cultural awareness
  • Getting on with people
  • Making new friends
  • How to speak to, listen to and deal with people in different situations
  • Dealing with money
  • Presentation of work, files and letters
  • Taking responsibility
  • Working independently
  • Working in a team
  • Gathering information
  • Managing your time effectively.

Practically any job can involve languages, whether it is based in the UK or abroad. Here are just a few sectors where languages are important:

  • Accountancy
  • Travel and tourism
  • Computing
  • Engineering
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • International law
  • Private sector business
  • Diplomacy
  • Security
  • Defence 

According to recruitment agencies, salary uplift for those using languages at work can be anything from 8% to 20%. Employers value the mental agility that language learners have developed.  Languages go really well with a wide range of subjects. When you are choosing what to do in Key Stage 4 and beyond you will find that a language will come in very handy. You can combine languages with other subjects at college and university. An increasing number of universities now ask for a Modern Foreign Language qualification as part of their entrance requirements.   Many students then choose to study a Modern Foreign Language as part of their course.

Languages and careers

Languages will broaden your choice of careers.

Who can do languages?

Anybody. There is room for all levels of ability. Although fluency will later give you more options, basic ability in languages is much in demand as employers seek those capable of communicating with foreign customers or breaking the ice with a few simple phrases at visits or in a meeting. Employers view languages as a “value-added skill”.

Pupils discover that languages have a life beyond the classroom door, when they have a chance to use their language skills in a realistic and meaningful way.

This year pupils visited Cologne, local villages and spent a day at the Movie World theme park and next year we are looking forward to our study visit to Paris and the Somme. This is what students tell us about their experience abroad:

"Fun with an educational side."
"Opportunity to try new things."
"Good experience."
"Beautiful places."
"You learn about what you're studying."


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