What is the importance of the subject? Why should pupils be studying it? Why should they care about it? How might the subject link to the real world / real life scenarios?

Learning a foreign language in the classroom gives students a point of comparison with their own language at every possible stage, through word, sentence and text level work. Learning a language has a huge influence on confidence and literacy. Modern Languages teaches how language works and makes the learner more aware of the mechanics and imaginative use of the mother tongue. As learners compare the new language with their native language, they gain a deeper awareness of how language functions.

“Creativity ranks high in many employers’ wish-list for a workforce able to find solutions to the challenges of the twenty-first century. Research confirms what has been long suspected: that we can boost our creativity by learning languages. It’s not hard to see why: learning a language stops you over-relying on the same old habits and reflexes; it pushes your mind in new directions; it makes you able to adopt an unfamiliar mindset. That’s also why language-learning boosts our children’s achievement in other areas of the curriculum. People of all ages who have done little or no effective language-learning are really missing out.” (Professor Neil Kenny, Lead Fellow for Languages at the British Academy).

What are the key concepts or big ideas underpinning the subject?

Being able to communicate effectively is perhaps the most important of all life skills. It is what enables us to pass information to other people, and to understand what is said to us. Communication, at its simplest, is the act of transferring information from one place to another. It may be vocally (using voice), written (using printed or digital media such as books, magazines, websites or emails), visually (using logos, maps, charts or graphs) or non-verbally (using body language, gestures and the tone and pitch of voice). In practice, it is often a combination of several of these. We work on developing all these skills in languages lessons.

In brief, what topics will the pupils be studying in each year group?

Year 7

Autumn: La rentrée : Going back to school.

  • The French alphabet
  • Introductions in French
  • Brothers, sisters and age
  • Describing a classroom
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Describing yourself and others
  • Saying what activities you do

Spring: En classe: in school.

  • Colours
  • Telling the time
  • School subjects.
  • what you wear at school.
  • Your school day
  • School in France
  • School facilities

Summer: Mon temps libre: my free time.

  • Weather and seasons
  • Which sports you play
  • More detail on what activities you do
  • Discovering sport in French-speaking countries
  • More detail on what you like to do in your spare time


For more information, please click on the links (on the left) to download the subject Rationale and Roadmap.