Modern Foreign Languages

MFL picture & quotev3

Curriculum Intent Statement

At Clyst Vale Academy we believe that the reasons to study a foreign language are many and varied:

  • Languages provide a window into other cultures and an appreciation of the similarities and differences between these cultures, enabling students to become well-rounded global citizens.
  • The ability to understand and communicate in a foreign language brings a huge sense of achievement.
  • Learning a language enhances students’ literacy skills, embedding an awareness of how language works and an ability to manipulate both the foreign language and their own native tongue.
  • Communication skills both receptive (listening and reading) and active (speaking and writing) are developed and honed.
  • The foundations are laid for the future study of languages, equipping students for life in the work-place and at leisure.
  • Students gain transferable skills of logical thought, application of rules, deduction.
  • Speaking and understanding a language is a life-skill.
  • Students gain confidence.
  • Students enjoy learning through a multitude of different meaningful activities.

Our teaching aim is to enable students to express themselves in a foreign language, both orally and in writing and to understand this language in both its written and spoken forms, including authentic texts.  We aim to provide opportunities for students to communicate for real purposes with each other, with their teacher and with native speakers of their own age from the target language country.

Why learn a language?

Learning a language is fun, it’s a skill for life, it’s impressive and it’s really useful!

Plus…it’s good for brain growth, it prevents dementia and promotes listening skills.  Learning one language helps you learn others; it boosts your memory, you get better at multi-tasking, it increases attention span, it activates more parts of your brain and it improves your English!

75% of the world’s population have no English. Twenty nine countries have French as an official language (80 million speakers) and twenty one have Spanish as an official language (405 million speakers).

Both French and Spanish are taught at KS3.  Students have the option to choose one or both languages for GCSE and Advanced level.

The language you will learn will enable you to cope in everyday situations, for example on holiday or when a French/Spanish visitor is here.

We have a letter exchange with a school in Brittany, Spanish students attend our school alongside our students of Spanish for three weeks in Year 10, there is a trip to Paris for Year 7.

There are four members of the Modern Foreign Language department, two specialise in Spanish and two specialise in French, but all teach both languages.


MFL Staff Teaching Team

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9
In Year 7 students will study both Spanish and French in equal measure. In the first half of the year they will study one language, French or Spanish, and in the second half they will study their second foreign language. Students will have six lessons a fortnight. This will give students a balanced experience of both French and Spanish In Year 8 students choose EITHER French OR Spanish. They have six lessons a fortnight. In Year 9 students continue with their chosen language. They have four lessons a fortnight.

Current Courses

French/Spanish GCSE



Terminal Oral exam (conducted by teacher, externally marked) (25%)

Terminal exam in Listening comprehension  (25%)

Terminal exam in Reading comprehension (25%)

Terminal exam in Writing (25%)

Current courses

French A level


French/Spanish A level

AS and A Level in French/Spanish gives learners the opportunity to develop and deepen their awareness and understanding of the language, as well as the cultural knowledge of the countries and communities where the language is spoken.

In addition to the focus on speaking the language confidently and coherently, learners will increase their knowledge of the countries and communities where the language is spoken by their study of language in its cultural, literary and social context, as well as through cinema and literature.


Paper 1: Listening, reading and writing – Listening and responding to spoken passage

What’s assessed

  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends
  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues
  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world
  • Grammar

How it’s assessed

  • Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes • 100 marks • 50% of A-level

Paper 2 Writing • Written exam: 2 hours • 80 marks in total • 20% of A-level

What’s assessed

  • One text and one film or two texts from the list set in the specification
  • Grammar

How it’s assessed


  • Either one question in French on a set text from a choice of two questions and one question in French on a set film from a choice of two questions or two questions in French on set texts from a choice of two questions on each text.
  • All questions will require a critical appreciation of the concepts and issues covered in the work and a critical and analytical response to features such as the form and the technique of presentation, as appropriate to the work studied (eg the effect of narrative voice in a prose text or camera work in a film).

No access to texts or films during the assessment.

No access to a dictionary during the assessment.

Students are advised to write approximately 300 words per essay.

Paper 3: Speaking

What’s assessed

  • Individual research project
  • One of four themes ie Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends, Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues, Artistic culture in the French-speaking world, Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

How it’s assessed

  • Oral exam: 21–23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time)• 60 marks in total• 30% of A-level