Mrs Z Weatherley: Subject Lead for MFL

Miss J Heitmuller: KS3 and KS4 German and French

Miss S Sacco: KS3 and KS4 French


Key Stage 3

Curriculum Intent

What we aim to achieve:  

  • Communication skills
  • To communicate in another language
  • Coping techniques when they don’t understand everything
  • Foster a love of languages and an understanding of the culture
  • To embrace new ideas and challenge their ideologies
  • To have excellent outcomes for students
  • To allow students access to MFL
  • Fully embracing the whole ethos and standard of the school

In a society with an ever-growing demand on communication skills, this subject is essential to the students at Alcester Academy. The department’s primary aims are to enable growth and confidence in learners whilst at the same time encouraging a love for languages and inquisitiveness.

The challenge within a supportive and encouraging environment where students can take risks and make mistakes as part of the learning process are at the forefront of recent changes to the KS3 curriculum, with a view to fully embrace the ethos and standards of the rest of the school. Year 7 and 8 students can then learn to become more resilient and effectively adopt coping techniques when challenges arise.

How is our curriculum structured to achieve this aim?

  • The grammar scaffolded - through a sequence of lessons which build in topics to complement each other.  For example choosing the topic of food followed by healthy living.
  • Differentiation and personalised learning
  • All 4 key skills are constantly monitored
  • Fun and engaging lessons are produced
  • Topics and assessment in KS3 mirror those expected in KS4 - therefore are no surprises
  • The skills learned in KS3 are then brought back in KS4

The main change has been to provide students with two hours of teaching each week, focusing upon only one language (as opposed to one hour each for both French and German). This is intended to broaden skills and deepen knowledge within that one language, encouraging more significant and sustained progress.

The sequence of lessons allows for the challenge within themes to escalate and also compliment those which follow, meaning that topics become relevant and are revisited to establish links and strengthen prior learning. For example, long term plans have been written to cover ‘Food' before progressing to ‘Healthy Lifestyles’. This will also occur at KS4, when GCSE students will link projects and skills to areas covered in years 7 and 8. The escalation of challenge is scaffolded and personalised as all four key skills are closely monitored to then allow students to make individual progress.

  • An understanding of other cultures
  • With the current climate it is going to be even more important
  • Taking risks in a safe environment
  • Being challenged in a supportive way
  • Building on skills from KS3
  • Revisited in KS4
  • Constantly returning to revisit prior knowledge
  • Importance of vocabulary learning
  • Discipline of continual practise – repetitive
  • To gain independence and know where to gain information
  • Etymological understanding

Throughout KS3, all learners are encouraged to investigate their target language from literacy elements to the origins of words. They are expected to adopt an etymological understanding but also an appreciation of other cultures and gain independence in knowing how to access information of these.

The discipline in learning a language compliments other subjects within the curriculum, for example, retaining new vocabulary and the practise and patience needed to build resilience. The pace and challenge within lessons encourages learners to move forward with optimum support and students will receive guidance and feedback through verbal and written forms by staff and peers.

The early part of the year 7 curriculum is predominantly concerned with speaking skills. By reflecting how they learned  their mother tongue, students are able to concentrate more effectively on pronunciation at a stage which can then allow better and more confident conversational skills at this and future levels.

As already mentioned the links between both key stages allow for students to revisit and consolidate prior learning and discover that language skills are meant to be constantly developing but also utilising knowledge from earlier experiences.

Within MFL at both key stages, students reflect upon themselves as individuals and upon society. There is often a self-identity element to the themes covered and topical issues such as global warming, poverty, homelessness and plastics in the oceans etc are studied and then re-introduced with greater challenge at GCSE level to link prior learning. A music unit is introduced to coincide with the Eurovision Song Contest when students are able to write and speak critically about the event and provide opinions, likes and dislikes.

Promotional lessons – lead learners explain the course

SLD - European Day of Languages and foreign plays coming

German market trip to practise spoken language

KS3 is now 2 lessons every week - it allows for breath and more depth of knowledge

In order for students make informed choices when considering French or German at GCSE level, the department has written options talks to be delivered in all KS3 lessons at the beginning of year 8 and again at the start of the spring term,  providing the most up to date course knowledge and expectations. The department intends to use year 10 MFL students as lead learners to guide year 8s through these presentations.

Speaking requirements of the GCSE course and its importance within the subject are highlighted through the additional use of external experiences. Students visit Birmingham’s German Christmas market and French speaking is promoted through the inclusion of foreign plays within the academy.

The changes to teaching time at KS3 also now provides potential GCSE students with the feel of the pace, challenge and breadth of delivery which they could experience at the next level. The links to prior topics also enable the students to gain confidence through established knowledge on which to build.

Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)

KS4 topics are restricted by the exam board and therefore KS3 topics are chosen to reflect these.

In KS3 topics are chosen to reflect the topics studied at KS4. An introduction of an environment KS3 topic so introduce more complex vocabulary usually left till ks4.

Topical subjects like Music have been chosen to be studied during Eurovision. Therefore allowing for critical analyses and to make judgement and opinion on a relevant current topic.

Students’ progress is measured in many different ways. The department follows the academy policy of reporting levels every twelve weeks. There are also mini assessments every six weeks where appropriate as the four key skills are measured. Key stage 3 students are assessed in many of the same ways as those studying GCSE to provide some guidance to the expectations at the next level. As a result of these assessments, intervention groups are formed and sessions implemented. Within lessons, seating plans can be adapted to allow more confident, lead learners to work closely with those needing support.

Curriculum Impact

  • A foundation knowledge of all topics covered in KS4.
  • Understanding of tenses= linking lessons to grammar points
  • Cultural understanding
  • An awareness of the importance languages are to their future career.
  • A love of languages

Key Stage 4

KS4 AQA French/German GCSE.

Curriculum Intent

Our objective is to enable students of all abilities to develop their French language skills to their full potential, equipping them with the knowledge to communicate in a variety of contexts with confidence

At AQA we're passionate about the benefits that learning a language can bring. We strongly believe in

Languages as a skill for life and something students should enjoy and find rewarding.

Curriculum Implementation (see also Long Term Plans)

We have followed and implemented the 3 year programme suggested by AQA.  

Curriculum Impact

This information will be populated shortly.

MFL Long Term Plans & Assessment Plan

French LTP Year 7 
French LTP Year 8
French LTP Year 9
French LTP Year 10
French LTP Year 11

German LTP Year 7 
German LTP Year 8
German LTP Year 9
German LTP Year 10
German LTP Year 11

MFL Assessment Plan


The Curriculum Introduction Teacher
The Curriculum Introduction Chemistry
The Curriculum Introduction Biology