Modern Foreign Languages.

Subject Leader: Mrs D Morey

Vision / Intent:

At Holywell School our aim is to deliver a rich and inspiring curriculum which gives every student the opportunity to understand and communicate in a foreign language. We passionately believe that our students should sample a wealth of exciting new experiences to broaden their horizons, open doors of opportunity, provide hope and aspiration for all. We strongly believe that learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an essential opening to other cultures. In our core curriculum, we offer French and/or German. All students study one of these languages and have the opportunity to pick up a second language as part of our Options structure. Our enrichment activities aim to further equip students with the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. It is our hope and intention that these indispensable skills will provide a strong foundation and ignite a passion and love of languages in students, subsequently leading to the widest range of pathways on a global scale.

Approach / Philosophy / Implementation:

The learning of a foreign language can provide a valuable educational, social and cultural experience for students – providing them with:
• Opportunities to communicate for practical purposes in the wider world.
• A foundation for further learning of languages, equipping students to study and work in other countries.
• An essential opening to other cultures and a widening of experiences and aspiration.
• A new perspective on the world, encouraging them to understand their own cultures and those of others.
We teach our students French / German to generate a fascination for words and how language works, a wider curiosity about the peoples and cultures of French / German speaking countries and the foundational knowledge to support confident communication in French / German.
We teach three core strands of essential knowledge:
1. Phonics – the key components of the sound-writing relationship
2. Vocabulary – a set of the most frequently used words
3. Grammar – the essential building blocks required to create simple sentences independently (including gender of nouns, singular and plural forms, adjectives (place and agreement), and the conjugation of key verbs).

Our French / German curriculum is designed to enable our students to:
• Develop linguistic and communicative competence.
• Extend their knowledge of how language works.
• Explore similarities and differences between French / German, any heritage languages our students have, and English.
In line with the National Curriculum Programme of Study, our students learn to:
• Listen and show understanding by joining in and responding
• Link the sound, spelling and meaning of words
• Read aloud with accurate pronunciation
• Read and show understanding of phrases and texts
• Speak in sentences
• Describe people, places, things in speech and writing
• Ask and answer questions
• Express opinions
• Write phrases from memory
• Adapt phrases to create new sentences
• Use a dictionary

Our students also learn key cultural and country-specific knowledge.



Students are continuously assessed on the knowledge they are taught in lessons, whenever they are called upon to understand and/or produce language, without reference to resources.  Periodically they complete achievement tests in phonics, vocabulary and grammar covering all skills, i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing, which assess the specific knowledge they have been taught. 

Equal Opportunities

Teaching modern foreign languages is a vital way to directly address student perceptions and potential stereotypes. It allows us to actively promote positive attitudes and values towards cultural and or religious diversity and to directly tackle any form of cultural and negative stereotyping.

Department Members

Mrs D Morey MFL Subject Leader
Mrs H Shirvington French teacher

Topic Overview 2023-2024:

Year 5

  • Classroom instructions
  • Equipment
  • The alphabet
  • Masculine and feminine nouns
  • Numbers 1-31
  • Days of the week
  • Countries and nationalities
  • Dates and birthdays
  • Descriptions of people and personal items.
  • Personality adjectives

Year 6

  • Family
  • School subjects, opinions, reasons and comparisons.
  • Revision of animals and colours
  • The verb AVOIR and the perfect tense
  • Describing places to live
  • Talking about free time
  • Food and drink
  • Partitive articles
  • Negative forms
  • Transactional language – restaurants and shops. Il faut + infinitive

Year 7

  • Describe a town
  • Say what activities you can do at different places
  • Ask for and give directions
  • Identify and describe the location of places on a map
  • Arrange to go out, and discuss meeting places
  • Clothes
  • Weather
  • Regular –ER verbs
  • Possessive adjectives
  • Free time and weekend activities. Reflexive verbs
  • Usual, preferred and dream holidays
  • Holiday items
  • Regular –IR verbs
  • Perfect, near future and conditional tenses 

Year 8

  • Winter and summer sports – likes and dislikes
  • Leisure activities and holidays.
  • Revision of conditional tenses
  • Body parts and injuries
  • Famous sportspeople
  • Perfect tense with ALLER
  • Talk about sports that you like and do
  • Talk about winter and summer sports
  • Talk about leisure activities and active holidays
  • Name parts of the body and talk about sports injuries
  • Talking about where you live
  • Daily routine
  • Perfect tense with ÊTRE
  • Revision of reflexive verbs, comparisons and near future tense
  • Types of TV shows and films
  • Direct object pronouns
  • Musical genres and reading preferences
  • Advertising films
  • Geography of Francophone countries
  • Revision of near future tense
  • Comparing France and the UK
  • Geography of France
  • Famous French people / characters
  • Jobs and technology
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