Head of Department

Mrs Manser

Subject Overview

In the Modern Foreign Languages Department, we aim to equip our students with the necessary skills to communicate in foreign language, as well as understanding and appreciating different cultures.  We aim to make learning a language as interesting and innovative as possible in order to support and inspire our students to embark upon a lifelong enjoyment of Foreign Languages. All students will have the opportunity to study French, Mandarin or Spanish through their academic life at Cornwallis Academy.

Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3 Overview:

All students in Year 7 study French for 2 lessons a week when they arrive at Cornwallis Academy. They will then be given the opportunity to start Spanish or Mandarin in Year 8 for one lesson, whilst continuing with French for the other lesson.

Current Year 8 students have opted for their preferred Language (French, Mandarin or Spanish) and study their chosen language for 2 lessons a week.

Current Year 9 students are consolidating their knowledge of French or Mandarin in order to lay the basis for their start of GCSE in Year 10. Some students have also taken the opportunity to start Spanish as a Beginner’s course into GCSE.

KS3 builds a strong foundation in key language and grammar concepts and we focus on the productive skills of speaking and writing. We do not follow a course textbook as such, but do dip into Métro, Allez and Expo for French as well as Listos and Zoom for Spanish.

Year 7:

September 2017 saw a change in our provision for Year 7 as all pupils began studying one language for the year. The rationale behind this is to give all pupils a firmer grounding in one language which increases enjoyment and heightens their sense of achievement. Since September 2017, all pupils in Year 7 have two lessons of French every week.

Our French programme of study is based on Metro 1, Allez 1 and Expo 1. It covers Talking about oneself, School life, Free time & hobbies, Local Area and Holidays.

Year 8:

Year 8 students are continuing with the language they have chosen after Year 7.

In all three languages, we increase the emphasis on grammatical knowledge in order for students to begin manipulating the language.

In French, students progress onto the Metro 2 and Expo 2 courses. Topics covered include Social life, Tourism, Food, My identity, Home & lifestyle.

In Spanish, students progress onto the Listos 2 course. Topics covered include Social life, Tourism, Food, My identity, Home & lifestyle.

Year 9:

At this stage in the course, we aim to consolidate the grammatical and communicative knowledge that students have acquired in Years 7 and 8 and build on those themes so that students can speak more in depth on topics and give more thought out points of view.

Our French course is based on Oxford University Press AQA GCSE French Foundation and covers the topics of Going out, Health, The world of work, Tourism and Young people.

The Spanish course is based on Oxford University press AQA GCSE Spanish and covers the same topics.

Assessment at Key Stage 3:

The timetable ensures that formal assessments take place every term.

Assessment will be based on the most recent module covered, in line with the Scheme of Work.

Each skill area will be assessed over the course of the year under test conditions.

Assessment 1

2 skills

To be completed before half-term 1

Assessment 2

All four skills

To be completed before Christmas holidays

Assessment 3

2 skills

To be completed before half-term 2

Assessment 4


All four skills

To be completed before Easter Holidays

Assessment 5

2 skills

To be completed before half-term 3

End of year tests

All four skills

To be completed by July (Summer 2)

Key Stage 4 

Key Stage 4 Overview:

For French, Mandarin and Spanish, students follow the new GCSE (1-9) course provided by AQA. We follow the Studio GCSE course for French and the Viva GCSE course for Spanish.

All students are assessed at the end of Year 11 in all 4 skills, which carry equal weighting. Students will either be entered for Foundation (5-1) or Higher (9-4) depending on their level.

Years 10 and 11:

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Assessment at Key Stage 4:

Students in Years 10 and 11 will sit 4 papers at the end of Year 11:

  • Paper 1: Listening - Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier) - 25% of GCSE
  • Paper 2: Speaking - 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time / 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time – 25% of GCSE
  • Paper 3: Reading - Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier) - 25% of GCSE
  • Paper 4: Writing - Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier) - 25% of GCSE