Modern Foreign Languages

MFL Curriculum Intent 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum builds upon the foundations of language learning introduced in Key Stage 2. At Key Stage 3, students use a variety of resources to improve their knowledge and skills in Spanish & French, catering for all learners. It is our aim to support and challenge students of all abilities using differentiated activities, resources and the sharing of success criteria.

We ensure that the teaching in Key Stage 3 supports learning at GCSE by building the foundations of grammar and vocabulary that provide a solid basis for transition to GCSE level. The curriculum focuses on key grammatical structures by introducing students to the concept of gender, word order, adjectival agreement and high frequency verbs. We choose topics that are suitable for younger children such as family, hometown, holidays, food and drink, sports and activities. We also introduce certain GCSE examined elements, such as photo-cards, role plays, spontaneous speaking and writing, as well as ensuring teaching & learning covers the four key skills of writing, reading, speaking and listening.

At GCSE, students follow the AQA curriculum and receive multi-skill teaching & learning in the relevant themes. Topics are taught progressively to firstly deepen knowledge of Key Stage 3 units, and then topics that require a more mature approach are taught in year 11, such as future plans, global issues and technology. Key Stage 4 teaching encourages regular use of authentic materials in reading and listening, as well as celebrating and recognising Spanish & French festivities. This focus on authenticity and cultural exploration provides a foundation for those going on to study languages at Key Stage 5. 

Learning a language is an asset that inspires and engages students. It encourages open-minded curiosity about the wider world, which in turn fosters a greater understanding of other cultures along with increasing communication skills. 

Language skills and qualifications are valued by universities and employers and they recognise their crucial importance in today's global economy. Learning a language is challenging but enjoyable and rewarding.

As a department we aim to support and challenge students while expecting the highest standards of behaviour, effort and progress. We strive to:

  • Encourage positive attitudes to foreign language learning and to speakers of foreign languages and a sympathetic approach to other cultures and civilisations.
  • Show students that learning a foreign language can be enjoyable, stimulating and rewarding.
  • Enable students to understand the spoken and written word of the foreign language.
  • Develop students' ability to use the foreign language effectively and in practical communication.
  • Enable students to recognise grammatical patterns and manipulate language structures for their own purposes.

Download a guide for maximising your prospects using languages

Useful Links

  • -   an excellent vocabulary consolidation website with interactive language games for learning, worksheets and resources.
  •   - useful website for practising and consolidating grammar points through clear explanations and a range of exercises to enhance student understanding of the building blocks of a language.

KS3 Modern Foreign Languages

MFL study is both enjoyable and interactive. Students learn through a variety of activities which aim to develop skills such as literacy, phonics, numeracy and problem solving. Students study an array of topics such as family, regions and hobbies to spark their interest in target language countries. The MFL department has high standards and expectations resulting in students gaining firm foundations for GCSE.

Year 7

Students study a term and a half of both Spanish and French. At the end of the summer term, students then opt for the language they wish to study for the rest of Key Stage 3.

Year 8

In year 8, students study either French or Spanish. 

For students who speak another language at home, we encourage early entry GCSE at the summer term of Year 9 or Year 10. 

What skills students develop

Studying a foreign language provides students with the opportunity to develop a number of skills including:

  • Literacy, oracy and phonics
  • Verbal communication
  • Team work
  • Independent learning
  • Reading for detail and gist

How students are assessed

Students' class work will be marked on a regular basis as per the school marking policy and constructive ‘next step’ comments for improvement will be provided. Students will carry out a Tri-Weekly piece of work per half term which is deep marked, followed by end of topic Key Assessments. Students are assessed across the four skills of listening, reading, writing & speaking.


Homework in languages is set twice over the two week timetable and focuses on developing the skill of writing in the target language, reading for gist and the consolidation of vocabulary and grammar.

How parents can help

  • Ask questions about what your child has learnt in languages and encourage them to teach you some useful phrases. 
  • Help them with vocabulary revision by testing them and promote the importance of language learning which will open up future opportunities.
  • Encourage them to be resilient in their learning, practise and check all their work carefully.

Extra Curricular Activities

Language film and journalism clubs are available to all students and provides an opportunity to learn about other cultures and languages. The department also runs trips abroad to both France and Spain to enable students to use the languages in real life contexts, and experience the cultures and traditions of these countries. 

KS4 GCSE Modern Foreign Languages

For students who speak another language at home, we encourage early entry GCSE at the summer term of Year 9 or Year 10. 

Board and Exam Details

AQA GCSE in French or Spanish.

French Course Specification

Spanish Course Specification

Course Outline

Many Blenheim students choose to study a language at GCSE with a higher uptake than the National average. A GCSE in modern languages is essential for the Ebacc (English Baccalaureate). It is a challenging course of study.

The current programme of study covers three themes with four topics in each.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international

and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study

and employment

Me, my family and friends.

Technology in everyday life.

Free-time activities.

Customs and festivals county wide and within communities.

Home, town, neighbourhood and


Social issues.

Global issues.

Travel and tourism.

My studies.

Life at school/college.

Education Post-16.

Jobs, career choices

and ambitions.

The introduction of the newly accredited GCSE MFL courses for French and Spanish are already being embedded in Year 9 Schemes of Work, resources and lessons ahead of first examination in 2026. The GCSE course builds on the skills gained at Key Stage 3 and this smooth transition into Key Stage 4 ensures students are confident in the learning from the start of Key Stage 4. Regular assessments and vocabulary tests give students an insight into their progress, and allows them to track their own progress and achievements. Students have three years of study at GCSE and there are no formal exams until the end of year 11.

What skills students develop 

Undertaking a GCSE in a modern foreign language provides the student with the opportunity to develop: 

  • Interpreting skills  
  • ​Listening for detail 
  • Oracy 
  • Organisation of written work  
  • Literacy and building vocabulary and improving grammar 
  • Drawing linguistic comparisons 

How students are assessed 



25% of the qualification



25% of the qualification



25% of the qualification



25% of the qualification

Students will be entered for the examinations at either foundation or higher tier levels for all four disciplines.


Homework at GCSE is set over the two-week timetable. Homework focuses on developing the key skills of reading for gist and writing and consolidates key grammar and vocabulary.  Students are encouraged to study for one hour per fortnight in addition to their homework as a minimum and to regularly revise the key vocabulary that is taught for regular spelling tests.  

How parents can help 

  • Ask questions about students' work and the topics they have covered.
  • Encourage them to teach you some useful vocabulary and grammar.
  • Help them with revision by testing them and promote the importance of memorising and recycling prior language learnt which will open future opportunities.
  • Encourage practise wherever possible and cultivate an interest in the country by exposing them to native speech through online resources or travel.  

Useful Links 

Extra Curricular Activities

Language film and journalism clubs are available to all students and provides an opportunity to learn about other cultures and languages. The department also runs trips abroad to both France and Spain to enable students to use the languages in real life contexts, and experience the cultures and traditions of these countries. 

MFL Team

Miss L. Riley, Associate Assistant Headteacher and Head of MFL

¡Hola! Me llamo Señorita Riley y soy la jefa de idiomas en Blenheim. Llevo doce años trabajando aquí y enseño el español y el francés.  Por supuesto, me apasionan las lenguas ya que “para realmente entender una cultura y su gente, hay que hablar su lengua”. Empecé a aprender el español en el colegio cuando tenía doce años y al terminar los A levels, fui a la Universidad de Nottingham donde seguía estudiando el español y el francés. ¡Yo puedo hablar el portugués un poquito pero necesito mejorarlo!

Con mis estudios en los idiomas, he tenido mucha suerte ya que he vivido en Valencia en España y Nantes en Francia. He visitado muchos países como Tailandia, Grecia, Italia, Camboya los Estados Unidos, para mencionar algunos. Siempre he soñado con visitar Perú, y si tuviera la oportunidad, no tardaría en hacer una excursión a las ruinas de Machu Picchu. 

Mrs. N. Anderson, Teacher of MFL and French Lead

Bonjour, je m’appelle Madame Anderson, je suis née le 27 Juillet à Nice, sur la côte d’azur en France. Je suis moitié française, moitié marocaine. J’ai passé mes premières années en France et après la mort de ma mère, je suis rentrée au Maroc vu que mon père ne savait pas comment être monoparental! 

Très tôt, j’étais habitée par un désir linguistique. Ceci dit, J’ai commencé à apprendre à parler arabe, anglais, allemand et bien sûr français comme j’ai une licence en littérature française.  La langue espagnole, par contre, je l’ai apprise à l’université de Surrey, lors de ma licence de traduction et d’interprétation. 

Ma passion pour les langues vient du fait que dés un jeune âge, mes oreilles se sont habituées au son de différentes langues.  J’adore tout ce qui est culture et langage et bien sûr, ce mélange est la vraie définition de Liberté, d’Egalité et  de Fraternité. Je suis professeur de langues et je suis fière de l’être. 

Miss A Ashtari , Teacher of MFL 

¡Hola! Me llamo Señorita Ashtari, profesora de lenguas en Blenheim y soy de Barcelona, España. Me mudé a Inglaterra en noviembre de 2017 después de acabar mi master en educación secundaria para vivir una nueva experiencia y, sobretodo, para dar clases en una escuela en el Reino Unido. Me enamoré de Londres de immediato así que decidí quedarme aquí. Hablo cuatro idiomas, tres nativos y ¡me encantaría aprender muchos más! Cuando era pequeña solía hacer ballet y claque en mi tiempo libre. En cambio, ahora lo que me más me gusta es viajar, descubrir nuevos rincones y culturas y visitar a mi familia cuando tenemos vacaciones en el instituto.

Silver School Mental Health Award