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Garth Hill College

Modern Foreign Languages - Curriculum Page

Subject Leader – Mrs Tigano  f-tigano@garthhillcollege.com

French, German and Spanish are studied as Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) at Garth Hill College.

MFL - Years 7, 8 and 9

Content coverage: Knowledge and practice KS3

Our Scheme of Work (SoW) is driven by the need to focus on three main bodies of knowledge and provide ample meaningful practice.

1.   Phonics

2.  Vocabulary

NCELP SoW address the what and the how of vocabulary learning. Vocabulary selection is based on word frequency and informed additionally by a meticulous scrutiny of the awarding body vocabulary lists.

3.  Grammar

The grammar spine is not driven by traditional ‘paradigms’ (e.g., full sets of verb, article or adjectival agreements, all at once). However, in its totality the grammar spine will cover the full range of features for persons, subjects, tenses, and aspectual functions. Sets of grammatical functions are brought together every so often.

4.  Meaningful Practice

Opportunities are built in to the SoW to provide plenty of practice, at different levels of control (structure and support) and spontaneity, in all modes and modalities. The aim of practice is to establish the knowledge of phonics, vocabulary and grammar that is required to understand or express meaning. First, this requires plentiful practice in understanding the new language. These practice activities are carefully designed to ensure that students pay close attention to the meaning and function of words, parts of words (morphology), and relations between words (syntax). Gradually, practice extends to production, which requires learners to recall language and manipulate it to communicate where there is a genuine ‘information gap’.


Each topic is assessed on all four Aspects, according to GHC Assessment Framework:

  • Aspect 1 - Listening and Reading
  • Aspect 2 - Grammar and Vocabulary
  • Aspect 3 - Speaking
  • Aspect 4 - Writing

Home Learning

Home Learning is set fortnightly and will consist of regular vocabulary or grammar-based learning as well as extended writing to lay the foundations for success at GCSE. We recommend that pupils spend at least 30 minutes per task and, when learning tasks are set, they aim for at least 60% in the subsequent test. We believe it is important for pupils to find the right learning techniques for them early in the course and, where needed, support is offered by their language teacher in the form of an Academic Appointment.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

  • Encourage your child to ask teachers for help if there are any difficulties.
  • Ask your child to explain to you how to use verbs to refer to the past, present or future.
  • Encourage your child to be observant and take an interest in the world around them. This could include reading local and national newspapers and watching news programmes that include themes connected to French / German / Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Encourage your child to attend any after school revision sessions.
  • Encourage your child to make use of the College LRC, public libraries and computer resources if they are available at home.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links

Reading List

Assessment Framework

KS3 Assessment Framework

Assessment Schedules

Assessment Schedule - Year 7

Assessment Schedule - Year 8

Assessment Schedule - Year 9

Knowledge Organisers 

Spanish Knowledge Organiser - Year 7

Spanish Knowledge Organiser - Year 8

Spanish Knowledge Organiser - Year 9

French Knowledge Organiser - Year 7

French Knowledge Organiser - Year 8

French Knowledge Organiser - Year 9 (NCELP Vocabulary List)

French Knowledge Organiser - Year 9 (Multiple Senses)

MFL GCSE - Years 10 and 11

Exam Board and syllabus code

  • AQA 8658 (French)
  • AQA 8668 (German)
  • AQA 8698 (Spanish)


At Key Stage 4, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) becomes an option subject. Pupils who have made good progress at Key Stage 3 will be encouraged to continue with their studies in years 9, 10 and 11. Furthermore, the college supports the widely held view that pupils who aspire to higher education will need a Modern Foreign Language GCSE qualification as part of their portfolio when the time comes to apply to University. Studying for a GCSE Language can also help enhance presentation & communication skills. The impact of the ‘English Baccalaureate’ raises the expectation for pupils to have a GCSE in MFL even further.

Students study the following themes on which all four GCSE papers are based:

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, National, International and Global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

As well as learning key vocabulary for each of the topics within these themes, pupils will also continue developing and applying grammatical structures discovered in Key Stage 3. Pupils will be taught the key rules of grammar so that they can express themselves accurately in both spoken and written work. Pupils will be encouraged to speak as much French, German and Spanish in lessons as they can.

It is important to remember that although all pupils will be working towards producing a high standard of grammatically accurate work, effective communication is the key to success in many elements of the GCSE exam.


As at Key Stage 4, candidates will be tested in the four skill areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. In all four skill areas there are two tiers of examination - Foundation and Higher. The range of grades available is 9-1, with Foundation Tier covering grades 1-5 and Higher Tier 4-9. Students must sit all four exams at the same tier at the end of each year. Each exam counts up to 25% of the exam.

Examination Format

Skill Duration of exam What is assessed?

35 mins Foundation


45 mins Higher


25% of GCSE

Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language. There are 2 sections:

  • Section A Questions in English to be answered in English or non-verbally.
  • Section B Questions in French/German/Spanish to be answered in target language or non-verbally

7-9 mins Foundation


10-12 mins Higher


25% of GCSE

Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes. The format is the same at Foundation and Higher Tier have 3 tasks – role-play, photo card & conversation. Out of the three themes one is chosen by students, and a second one is allocated by the examining board.

45 mins Foundation


1 hour Higher


25% of GCSE

Understanding and responding to different types of written language

In both Foundation and Higher Tiers there are 3 sections:

  • Section A – Questions in English to be answered in English or non-verbally.
  • Section B - Questions in French/German/Spanish to be answered in the target language or non-verbally.
  • Section C – Translation of a text approximately 35 words at Foundation Tier and 50 words at Higher Tier.

1 hour Foundation


1 hour 15 Higher


25% of GCSE

Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes.

At Foundation Tier tasks are writing simple sentences about a photo; a 40-word response to four bullet points and a 90-word response to four bullet points covering all three time frames. This is the first question at Higher Tier plus a 150-word response to two bullet points. There is also a translation section in both tiers from English into the target language.

Home Learning

Home learning is set once a week at GCSE and forms a crucial part of the course. Pupils will be expected to regularly learn vocabulary and grammar rules as well as preparing speaking tasks, attempting extended writing questions or reflecting on previous work.

We would normally expect GCSE pupils spend 45 minutes on each home learning task.

How Parents and Carers Can Support

  • Encourage your child to log onto Kerboodle every week to review work covered in class. Here they can access both the Foundation and Higher textbooks as well as a range of other resources connected to each topic and interactive practice.
  • Ask your child to explain to you how they would conjugate a current topic-related verb to refer to the past, present and future.
  • A dictionary is recommended to enable the accurate completion of home learning and class work tasks, as well as helping pupils to extend and vary their vocabulary. Please note that pupils, however, will not be allowed to use a dictionary in exams.
  • The CGP group publish revision and practice guides in all three languages. These can be purchased from the College via our online payment system.

Additional Support Available/Useful Links


  • For further information on the new syllabus & exams plus exemplar material see: www.aqa.org.uk/languages
  • Kerboodle: Take a look at our textbooks by clicking on the link below. If you have not used Kerboodle before then your user name & password are both your 1st initial + surname in lower case (eg/ fsmith) Institution code is aic9 https://www.kerboodle.com/users/login
  • For online practice of your Listening & Reading skills plus links to foreign language websites see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/french/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/german/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/spanish/ www.studyspanish.com

Assessment Schedule

Assessment Schedules - Year 10

French Knowledge Organisers

Charity mat - Year 10

Charity mat 2 - Year 10

Vie Scolaire - Year 10

KS4 - Opinions

KS4 - Opinions 2KS4 - Verb chartKS4 - Verb chart 2

German Knowledge Organisers

Family and Friends - Knowledge Organiser

Feste - Knowledge Organiser

Free time - Knowledge Organiser

Haus und Stadt - Knowledge Organiser

Healthy Living - Knowledge Organiser

Social Issues - Knowledge Organiser

Technology - Knowledge OrganiserUmwelt - Knowledge Organiser

Spanish Knowledge Organisers

Theme 1 - Relationships with family friends

Theme 2 - Charity and Voluntary work

Theme 2 - Healthy and Unhealthy living

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

Theme 3 - Current and Future Study and Employment.