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Latest News: MFL

Modern Foreign Languages

Intent: The Big Ideas in Modern Foreign Languages at Atherton High School

To create aspirational lifelong linguists through an engaging, challenging, knowledge and culturally rich curriculum.

The big ideas in MFL at Atherton High are to ensure that pupils are able linguists who can use transferable skills and knowledge to manipulate whichever language they are learning. We also want to promote an aspirational curriculum by creating the opportunity for pupils to study both Spanish and French. We look to promote a love of learning within the subject, through ensuring that pupils are knowledge and vocabulary rich, so that they have good foundations when they come to use the language across the attainment skills that we teach (Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing). Pupils are challenged in Languages at Atherton High through the constant exposure to new grammar, such as being able to use 3 tenses successfully to support their communication, so that they speak with confidence and greater fluency. It will also support their writing by applying the variety of grammar learnt; and continually developing their level of vocabulary. Pupils will cover a range of themes and topics of study throughout their time learning Languages at Atherton High School. Topics will include areas such as:

  • Family and friends, hobbies and free time and celebrity culture.
  • Holidays, hometown and region and the environment.
  • School life, education Post 16 and jobs.

Within the languages department, we constantly develop cultural capital, exposing pupils to not only the culture of the Spanish and French speaking worlds by studying festivals such as Día de Los Muertos and Bastille Day, but also increasing the cultural knowledge of their own country through constant comparison. Pupils also study a variety of authentic sources, such as film and literary texts. Pupils will watch films and read texts, stories and or poems in the target language.

 How the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum contributes to the school’s curriculum intent.

Our curriculum supports students from all backgrounds, including those who are disadvantaged, so students can access a high-quality, knowledge-rich curriculum. Our school community believes strongly in providing disadvantaged pupils with a curriculum that enables them to reach the academic standards of their non-disadvantaged peers. Our goal is to bring our young people into the big conversations of our disciplines, to bring depth to our curriculum, so they can understand the world around them.

  1. Knowledge – Knowledge is at the heart of every scheme of learning. Knowledge is developed about the language and the skills needed to be able to successfully build upon the language. Knowledge will be developed through allowing the pupils to learn how to form tenses, how to make adjectives agree, look at the correct word order and fully ensure that they can converse as securely as possible in the language.
  2. Vocabulary rich – We have selected a challenging list of vocabulary, to enrich learning and deepen subject understanding, vocabulary is thread through the language’s curriculum, allowing pupils to become more fluent in their use of the language and to also strengthen their knowledge. Vocabulary development will allow the pupils to become more confident and strengthen their knowledge and understanding of key vocabulary in their own language as well as Spanish/French.
  3. Aspiration – through a knowledge rich ambitious curriculum pupils are encouraged to use the language as much as possible. The curriculum offers both Spanish and French, allowing the pupils to aspire to become dual linguists. The curriculum allows for aspiration to also be built by allowing pupils the opportunity to take part in trips to the countries of study and use their language skills in a real cultural situation.
  4. Character building –through teamwork and group work within lessons in AHS. Group learning will allow the pupils to use their language skills comfortably in front of their peers and allow them to build up relationships and develop their character in different settings. In languages, we are constantly linking to the CEAIG opportunities that languages can offer and explain how using a language gives more interpersonal skills for the pupils to communicate not only in the target language, but in English also. Pupils are given the exposure to topics such as environmental and social issues, and how to support these, linking to their personal development.
  5. Love learning –as passionate teachers of MFL, the curriculum allows us to share our love of the subject with our pupils at AHS. Pupils will be taking part in engaging MFL lessons that allow them to be inquisitive and develop their cultural knowledge and understanding of the curriculum, as well as developing their knowledge of how to speak in the target language. Pupils will have the opportunities to visit the countries of the languages that we study in school, to further give them the opportunity to develop their language skill and passion for the subject.

 The Modern Foreign Languages Learning Journey

Spanish                              French

Yr7                                               Yr7

Yr8                                               Yr8

Yr9                                               Yr9

Yr10                                             Yr10

Yr11                                              Yr11

 Modern Foreign Languages Knowledge Organisers

Autumn Term

Year 7 – French

Year 8 – Spanish

Year 9 – French

Year 10/11

Spring Term

Year 7 – French

Year 8 – Spanish

Year 9 – French

Year 10/11

Summer Term

Year 7 – French

Year 8 – Spanish

Year 9 – French

Year 10/11


Reading in Modern Foreign Languages

In MFL, reading and vocabulary forms a substantial part of the curriculum. Pupils are constantly exposed to new vocabulary that allows them to develop their knowledge of language and become more confident in being able to apply this in their work. Reading is used daily; pupils will be exposed to texts in lessons that allow them to identify any previously taught vocabulary. Furthermore, pupils are also exposed to authentic literary texts such as Le Petit Prince and Spanish poetry, to allow them to further develop their love of Languages, reading and have the cultural exposure to texts from other countries.

Learning Beyond the Classroom in Modern Foreign Languages

Pupils at Atherton High are also given the opportunity to attend trips, such as the Spanish trip to Barcelona, allowing pupils to have the first-hand exposure to Spanish life. In addition to this, pupils will also be given the opportunity to take part in trips within the local area, such as trips to local language centres to help improve their language skills through conversations with native speakers. In July 2023, 31 pupils and 4 staff travelled to Barcelona for 4 days to experience the Spanish culture and way of life first hand. Pupils visited La Boquería food market where they were able to see and taste Spanish cuisine first hand. Following this, on day 2, pupils then visited Barcelona Aquarium and La Sagrada Familia to look at the work and designs of Antoni Gaudí! And what a sight it was! Day 3 involved a visit to the Camp Nou and Picasso Museum, where pupils learned more about the culture of this amazing city! Pupils had the opportunity to explore Las Ramblas, and various other famous tourist spots in Barcelona during their time abroad and learned a lot about the Spanish culture and way of life

“Learning languages, has allowed me to experience and develop my knowledge of other cultures around the world. Spanish has given me the opportunity to become more aware of the world around me and develop not only my language skills but, my interpersonal skills and being able to communicate well with others. Learning a new language has been one of the most rewarding things I have done, and I love sharing and imparting this knowledge on a day-to-day basis with the pupils of Atherton High.”

Mr S Plant