Course ID
Modern Foreign Languages
A-Level, GCSE, KS3
Subject Leader
Ms H Fitzgerald

Subject Overview

In French, our main aim is for students to develop a deep appreciation of the French language and culture.  Through continued speaking practice within the classroom, students develop their ability to communicate confidently with increasing accuracy, and to articulate thoughts and ideas with growing fluency.  Residential visits in France enhance students’ appreciation for other cultures.  A language course led by native speakers is included in the visits.


Ms Helen Fitzgerald

Subject Leader for Modern Foreign Languages

Miss Nicola Aldridge

Student Achievement Manager for MFL / Teacher of French

Mrs Valérie Baker

French Teacher

Curriculum Intent

Key Stage 3: Our intent is to maximise students’ access to foreign languages and instil an enthusiasm for languages and their associated culture and customs.  Many students joining the school in Year 7 experience regular timetabled lessons of French for the first time and our aim is to promote the enjoyment of languages and a confidence to deal with unfamiliar language and grammatical structures.  At the end of Year 7, students of French are encouraged to take pride in their work and produce a Best Piece of Work.  This goes into the students’ Year 8 book at the beginning of September and is a basis on which to build for the coming year.

Key Stage 4: The curriculum delves deeper into ideas that have been introduced in part at KS3, allowing for revision of knowledge before deepening the content. Increasingly complex vocabulary and grammar are introduced to students and there is a large focus on listening, reading, writing, translation and speaking skills.  Students refine their depth of knowledge in each component.  Assessment practices are introduced in Year 9 and students begin their practice of past GCSE questions on particular topic areas.  This builds students’ confidence and resilience when faced with unfamiliar language.  Students experience their first mock speaking exam in Year 9 and this practice continues throughout Years 10 and 11.

Key Stage 5:  Our intent at KS5 is to maximise students’ passion for languages with a view to taking their knowledge of French further in the future.  Students complete an individual Research Project and this encourages them to think critically, evaluate knowledge that has been presented to them and present their own ideas and analysis of their findings.  By the end of Year 13, students have developed the necessary skills to analyse complex and numerous resources and produce a bibliography in French.  We offer foreign languages conferences, visits to London to develop reading and research skills, study of foreign literature and films and the use of native language speakers in lessons.

Key Stage 3

KS3 Booklet
Year 7 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 7:

  • Introductions
  • Physical description
  • La Francophonie
  • Describing house and local area
  • Best Piece of Work at the end of the year.
Year 8 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 8:

  • Food and drink
  • Leisure activities, including the use of past and future tenses
  • School and future plans
  • Countries and customs
  • The weather

Key Stage 4

KS4 Booklet KS4 Syllabus
GCSE Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 9 to 11:

  • Me, my family and friends
  • Technology in everyday life
  • Free time activities
  • Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries
  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Customs and festivals in French-speaking communities
  • Social issues
  • Global issues
  • Life at school and college
  • Jobs and future careers

All grammar points are introduced through these topic areas and listening, reading, writing, speaking and translation skills are regularly practised throughout the course.

Key Stage 5

KS5 Prospectus KS5 Syllabus
A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 12 and 13:

  • Social issues and trends (this includes work on the changing nature of family, cyber society, the role of voluntary work, positive features of a diverse society, life for the marginalised and how criminals are treated)
  • Political and artistic culture (this includes work on cultural heritage, contemporary francophone music, cinema as the seventh French art form, teenagers and the right to vote, debates on the importance of demonstrations and strikes, the power of trade unions and politics and immigration)
  • Grammar
  • Literary and film study (students study the novel No et moi by Delphine de Vigan and the film Au revoir les enfants).

Extra and Co-Curricular Experiences

  • A 3-day visit to the Opal Coast is offered to students in Year 8
  • A 5-day visit to Paris is offered to students in Years 9 and 10

Additional Curriculum Opportunities for our High Prior Attainers

  • Use of Translation in the Classroom to encourage greater spontaneity in written and spoken language.
  • Opportunity to take part in small group discussions with language assistants
  • Visits abroad

Waddesdon Church of England School’s Assessment and Feedback Policy. At Waddesdon our aim is for assessment to be:

  • Meaningful
  • Motivational
  • Manageable

We are currently consulting on proposed changes to our admissions arrangements.