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Saint John Houghton Catholic Voluntary Academy

Learning without limits

Modern Foreign Languages


The Modern Foreign Languages Department is committed to achieving excellence and fulfilling the potential of all students.

French is offered at KS3 and KS4. Students also have the opportunity to learn Spanish at KS4.


The Team

Miss D Cook – Head of Modern Foreign Languages
Mr C Riley – Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages (Second in Department)


Key Stage 3

The Modern Foreign Languages curriculum aims to help students to make progress, to participate and to achieve.


All students study French at KS3. Pupils have 3 lessons over a 2-week period and are taught in mixed ability groups.


The KS3 course enables pupils to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in French.


Topics Covered


Year 7


  • An introduction to French (Name, age, alphabet, days of the week, months, dates, colours, classroom objects and instructions)
  • An introduction to French (Where you live, nationalities, brothers and sisters, pets, descriptions)
  • Life at school
  • Free time and sports


Year 8


  • Past tense activities
  • Directions and places in town
  • Food and shopping
  • Daily routine and arranging to go out


Year 9


  • Social media and arranging to go out
  • Healthy living
  • Town and local area
  • World of work




  • Regular recap and consolidation of vocabulary and key structures
  • Preparation for assessments.


Key Stage 4

In Year 10, students can opt to continue with French to GCSE. The French GCSE builds on the foundations laid at KS3. There is also an express 2 year GCSE course for Spanish thus giving the opportunity to pursue this as an alternative language or as second language for dual linguists.


Students have 5 lessons over a 2-week period.


GCSE students follow the AQA GCSE French or AQA GCSE Spanish courses.


The three themes and relevant topics are:

Theme 1: Identity and culture
Topic 1: Me, my family and friends
Topic 2: Technology in everyday life
Topic 3: Free-time activities
Topic 4: Customs and Festivals


Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region
Topic 2: Social issues
Topic 3: Global issues
Topic 4: Travel and tourism


Theme 3: Current and future study and employment
Topic 1: My studies
Topic 2: Life at school/college
Topic 3: Education post-16
Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions


Students will either be entered for the foundation tier or the higher tier in all 4 skills. The final decision on entry levels will be decided before the examination.


For the final grade these skills are weighted as follows:


  • Listening 25%
  • Speaking 25%
  • Reading 25%
  • Writing 25%


Students will sit exams in Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing at the end of year 11.


AQA GCSE Spanish
GCSE Bitesize Modern Foreign Languages (French and Spanish)
Kerboodle (see teacher for login details)