Modern Foreign Languages

Key Stage 3 & Key Stage 4 - Study Matrix 2021 – 2022


Learning a foreign language is liberation from insularity and provides our pupils with an awareness of, and an opening to other cultures. Our quality and passionate delivery of languages education aims to enthuse and develop pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world around them. In our language department, we encourage pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We also aim to provide opportunities for our pupils to communicate for practical purposes learn new ways of thinking and read great literature in the original language. We also tailor our Language teaching to provide the foundation for learning further languages, equipping pupils to study and work in other countries.


We aim to create the very best Linguists. We challenge pupils to think, act and speak like those working in the field would. We do this by equipping all our pupils with the knowledge and skills to thrive and succeed in language learning; encouraging and inspiring them with quality first teaching, broadening their awareness of other countries and communities and providing opportunities for participation in a broad range of linguistic and cultural educational experiences.

Our curriculum at St Aidan’s goes far beyond what is taught in lessons, for whilst we want pupils to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable. Our aim is for pupils to benefit from the educational visit to France, which being cross-curricular in nature, offers an experience which is not only linguistic but which supports and promotes many other areas of the curriculum As a department, we offer a broad range of opportunities beyond lessons; for example, after school language club. This is impacting pupils’ creativity in languages. For example, after being enthused by the languages club, a pupil in year 9 has begun translating his songs from English to French.

As knowledge engaged curriculum we believe that knowledge underpins and enables the application of skills; both are entwined. As a department we define the powerful knowledge our pupils need and help them recall it by having a carefully planned progression through our curriculum with content and skills clearly defined in our schemes of work which revisit and build on existing knowledge. We are very clear from the outset that we teach grammatical structures, syntax and vocabulary; using the correct terminology and making explicit links to English and other foreign languages’ grammatical structures and vocabulary.

We build the Cultural Capital of our pupils by embedding their linguistic acquisition within a framework which introduces them to a wide range of knowledge which goes beyond their own cultural experience and sets them up as inter-cultural citizens. We do this by teaching language contextually within topic areas and using target language to model and encourage pupils to communicate in the foreign language. We use authentic resources, particularly through the Internet to offer immediacy and authenticity to the MFL learning experience.

Further rationale behind our curriculum design includes the revisiting and building on existing knowledge. The topic areas and grammatical structures which are introduced at KS3, are seen as building blocks for more in-depth learning at KS4. The Academy’s model of retrieval practice is most harnessed in the MFL classroom to facilitate the progression and recall of key vocabulary to support long term memory.


Collaborative curriculum planning lies at the heart of what we do in the department. We are committed to developing our schemes of work to provide our pupils with the very best content that will provide them with a solid foundation in languages. In 2019/2020 we are working on KS4 schemes of work. These are focussed on embedding challenge, meta-cognition, memory techniques and literacy into our departmental curriculum.

Alongside our schemes of work, we are developing knowledge organisers at KS3. This is enabling us to define the core knowledge our pupils need to master.

In MFL, we also implement our curriculum through using a variety of teaching approaches and tasks which encompass the four key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Subscribing to interactive language learning programmes such as linguascope provide pupils with the independence to pursue their learning of language beyond the classroom. With this tool, pupils can complete homework tasks, develop their listening skills and develop their oral fluency through ICT.


We have seen pupils’ love for MFL on the rise. Pupils attend after school language club as well as share their individual language achievements.

Many pupils are now familiar with basic verbs and tenses and are as a result building their confidence in using the target language without hesitation.

Most importantly, pupils frequently express their enjoyment of the lessons and the subject: mentioning the quality of the teaching, the support and the opportunities from which they have benefited. 

Topics covered in Year 7

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
  • Greetings
  • Numbers
  • Alphabets
  • Age
  • Birthdays
  • Dates
  • Classroom equipment
  • School equipment
  • Hobbies
  • Colours
  • Animals
  • Adjectives
  • Family
  • Where I live
  • Food and drink
  • Countries and nationality
  • Weather
  • Grammar revision
  • Topics covered in Year 8

    Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
    • Describing your town
    • Adjectives
    • Directions
    • Theme park
    • Definite and indefinite articles
    • The verb aller
  • Holidays
  • Getting ready
  • Reflexive verbs
  • High numbers
  • Holiday plans
  • Near future tense
  • TV programmes
  • Film genres
  • Internet
  • Weather conditions
  • Topics covered in Year 9

    Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
    • Family and people descriptions
    • Places in town and activities
    • Friends and what makes a good friend
    • Use irregular verbs in the present tense
    • Talk about family relationships
    • Use reflexive verbs in the present tense
    • Going out
    • Near future tense
    • Perfect tense
  • Hobbies (sports and music)
  • Technology (film and tv)
  • Use ‘depuis’+ present tense
  • Internet
  • Books and reading
  • Imperfect tense
  • TV programmes
  • Direct object pronouns (le, la, les)
  • Films
  • Superlatives and adjectives
  • Describe your daily life
  • Modal verbs
  • Food for special occasion
  • The pronoun ‘en’
  • Polite language
  • Asking questions using tu and vous form
  • Family celebrations
  • Venir de+ infinitive
  • Topics covered in Years 10 and 11

    Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
    • My region
    • Weather and transport
    • Describe the town and ask the way
    • The pronoun Y
    • Negatives
    • Asking questions
    • Plans and weather
    • The future tense
    • Community projects
    • Using three tenses

    • Career Choices
    • Saying better and worse
    • Using the subjunctive tense
    • Importance of languages
    • Adverb
    • Applying for jobs
    • Using direct object pronoun in the past tense

    • An ideal holiday
    • The conditional tense
    • Book and review hotels
    • Holiday disasters
    • Reflexive verbs in the perfect tense
    • Ordering at the restaurant
    • En + present participle
    • Travelling
    • Avant de +infinitive
    • Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
    • Pluperfect tense

    • Using verbs followed by à or de
    • Problems facing the world
    • Connection between word types
    • Protecting the environment
    • Modal verbs
    • Discussing ethical shopping
    • The passive voice
    • Direct object pronoun
    • School
    • Pronouns
    • Comparing schools in the UK and French speaking countries
    • School rules
    • Using il faut and il est interdire de
    • Talking about getting the best out of school
    • School exchange
    • Past, present and future time phrases