Modern Foreign Languages

Head of Faculty

Ms L Mulat –

Deputy Head of Faculty

Miss H Smith –

Teaching Staff

Ms V Davidian –

Mr M Harrison –

Ms S Reed –

Mrs B Williams –

Mr F Wenn –

Miss G Burston –

Mrs L Murcia Gomez –

Mr N Isherwood –

Subject Overview

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith.

Languages are hugely important in our modern world, and in our global community we believe that the ability to speak a second language is a key skill. We deliver languages in an engaging, varied and practical way to enthuse Oriel students in their use and to allow them to enjoy demonstrating their achievement in a foreign language.

The Modern Foreign Languages department at Oriel delivers lessons in French, German and Spanish, and all 3 languages are offered to GCSE and A-level. We also support students for whom English is an additional language (EAL). EAL students are encouraged to sit qualifications for their native language with the support of West Sussex County Council.

The Modern Languages Department has 7 full time specialised staff, all of whom have experience of living and working abroad. The department is situated in 6 specialist classrooms, all of which have interactive whiteboards.

Curriculum Intent

Our vision in the Modern Foreign Languages department is that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural and respectful world. We aim to support students to understand other countries and cultures so that they can be more open and adaptable to new experiences and career or life opportunities.

We ensure that our teaching enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It should also provide opportunities for them to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

We aim for pupils to sequentially develop language competency that is both broad and deep in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing based on a sound foundation of core grammar, vocabulary and phonics. They should also be able to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy.

We aim to ensure that:

  • our pupils understand and are able to respond to language from a variety of authentic sources,
  • they speak with increasing self-esteem and spontaneity
  • they use the variety of grammatical structures they have learnt when communicating.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

All students study two languages from Y7 to Y9. They have 3h a fortnight of each language (French and/or German and/or Spanish). In Year 7, all classes are mixed-ability. In Year 8 and Year 9, classes are streamed into one set 1 and two mixed-ability classes.

We practise and teach each language across all four skills: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing with a special emphasis on communication, target language and culture. The students are provided with a booklet that has all of the required grammar and vocabulary to support them in their work at home. Homework is set every week and includes learning homework as well as creative, research-based and written homework.

Students are assessed throughout the year with specific focus at the end of each unit in at least 2 of the 4 key skills. Students are also tested regularly on vocabulary and translation skills.

Year 7Introducing oneself
Free time
My school
Family and friends
Where I live
My World and I
Family and pets
Free time
Year 8Holiday
Clothes and parties
A visit to Paris
My passions
Town and travel
The media
Healthy living
Year 9Myself and my interests
Work and daily routine
Healthy living
A teenager’s social life
Sport and fitness
Jobs and the future
Holiday plans
Clothes and style
Social issues and the wider world

Key Stage 4 Curriculum – GCSE (AQA)

All GCSE students study the brand new 9-1 specification from AQA:

ValueExam typeTier
(same tier will apply to all four skills)
Unit 1: Listening25%End of Y11Foundation OR Higher
Unit 2: Reading25%End of Y11Foundation OR Higher
Unit 3: Speaking25%End of Y11Foundation OR Higher
Unit 4: Writing25%End of Y11Foundation OR Higher

The Tier of entry will be decided with the class teacher’s guidance and a combination of Higher/Foundation is not possible anymore. All exams take place at the end of Y11 with the Speaking exam starting earlier; usually around April/May.

Through the 2 year course, the students are taught to:

  • Engage in the culture of the target language
  • Speak confidently and accurately in the foreign language.
  • Understand a range of texts.
  • Write accurately for a range of purposes in the foreign language and from memory.
  • Understand the foreign language when it is spoken.

The main topics taught are as listed below:

Year 10Personal Information and relationships with others.
Local area
Healthy Living
Environmental issues
Personal relationship
Free time
Part-time job
Town and environment
Healthy Living
Relationships and future plans
Life at school
The Environment
Free time
Year 11School
The media and shopping
Choices and social issues
Revision program
Technology and the media
Money and shopping
Healthy Living
Revision program
The world of work
Where I live
Exam preparation

Key Stage 5 Curriculum – A-Level (AQA)

A-level Languages gives students an opportunity to learn a great deal more about the culture of the foreign country, as well as increasing their ability and competence in the foreign language itself.

A-level languages are taught by experienced specialist teachers in small classes which allows us to offer excellent support to pupils. The teachers make use of authentic resources alongside the set text book to deliver the lessons on topics like the following:

A-Level 1A-Level 2
Charity WorkMulticulturalism
Heritage (architecture/customs/religion)Young People and Politic
Culture (music/cinema)Immigration
A French/Spanish/German filmA French/Spanish/German book

The films studied in Year 1 are:

  • French = Au Revoir Les Enfants
  • German = Almanya
  • Spanish = Volver

The books studied in Year 2 are:

  • French = Un sac de billes
  • German = Der Besuch der alten Dame
  • Spanish = El Coronel No tiene Quien le Escriba

For AS and A-level, students study the new AQA specification which divides the assessments as follows:

A-Level Year 1A-Level Year 2
Unit 1:
XListening and responding to spoken passages from a range of contexts and sources covering different registers and adapted as necessary.
Reading and responding to a variety of texts written for different purposes, drawn from a range of authentic sources and adapted as necessary.
Translation into English.
Translation into French.
Unit 2:
XEssay writing
Two essays to write in 2h: one on the film (choice of 2 titles) and one on the book (choice of 2 titles).
Unit 3:
XDiscussion of a sub-theme with the discussion based on a stimulus card (5–6 minutes).
Presentation (2 minutes) and discussion (9–10 minutes) of individual research project.


Year 7Studio  1Viva! 1Stimmt! 1
Year 8Studio  2Viva! 2Stimmt! 2/3
Year 9Studio  3Viva! 3Stimmt! 2/3
(Foundation and Higher)
(Foundation and Higher)
Stimmt! GCSE
(Foundation and Higher)
A-LevelAQA KerboodleAQA KerboodleAQA Kerboodle

Useful Links

All languages: (ask your teacher for the username and password)

French specific:

Spanish specific: