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John Milton Academy Trust

These schools are part of the John Milton Academy Trust. Click on the school's logo to visit their website.

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Modern Foreign Languages

Powerful Knowledge

In KS4 French and German, students build upon their previous learning, and are able to express not only their own opinions and to talk about their own lives, but are able to provide information and to discuss the opinions of other people on a range of themes relating to their own experiences as well as people in countries/communities where French or German is spoken. Students in KS4 are able to express ideas, give detailed opinions, to narrate and describe events both past, present and future using a broad range of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students are able to read and understand both the general gist and details within a wide  variety of different texts  in the target language.

In addition, students of modern foreign languages learn about the culture and key festivals of the key French or German speaking countries. This knowledge ensures that students become curious about the world around them and to be  open and adaptable to new experiences,  to be motivated to explore and respect different countries and cultures.


An understanding of grammar and how languages work is an essential part of learning at GCSE French or German. Students are encouraged to make connections between their language of study and English as a way of improving their understanding of grammatical structures.

Equally, key literacy skills are a key part of the KS4 curriculum in MFL. Students use the vocabulary and grammar they have learnt in order to develop their literacy skills  in four key areas, listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn how to approach a range of written and spoken  texts in the foreign language and how to understand both the gist and the details of texts including extracts from important French or German novels, poems, songs, emails, letters, and newspaper articles amongst others. 

Using all the skills students have acquired through analysis of spoken and written texts, as well as the essential vocabulary and grammar skills, students are able to express themselves in both the written and spoken form with increasing accuracy on  a range of themes.

School Context

Many of the topics that are covered in the GCSE curriculum build upon the knowledge that students have gained at Key Stage 3.  For example in year 7 and 8, students learn to describe themselves and who is in their family. At GCSE, students use this knowledge to be able to discuss relationships with family and friends. Again, many of the skills students have developed in previous years continue to be practised and improved, for example students in year 9 will have been able to describe in simple terms a picture based on their topic of study. In GCSE this is a crucial element of the oral exam.

During Key Stage 4, students have the opportunity to travel abroad to either Paris or to the Black Forest in Germany. These trips provide students not only with real life experiences they can draw upon when discussing the theme of travel and tourism, but also, motivates students and provides them with opportunities to both listen to and speak the target language in a real life context.


Students are assessed formally at the end of year 11 on the four skills, three written papers and a practical, oral exam; each paper is equally weighted at 25% of students' grades. In these exams students are expected to understand the main points and details of written and listening extracts. To be able to express their ideas and opinions and to give information on a variety of topics.

In addition to the exams as stated above; students will be regularly assessed during the year 10 and 11 and provided detailed feedback which enables them to see what they need to do to improve prior to the real exams in May/June.


GCSE French and German directly prepares students who wish to continue to study languages at A level. In addition students will have developed a valuable set of transferable skills that are useful in many careers and for future study.  These skills include communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society.  In addition, the ability to speak another language is useful in a large number of job markets including the  travel and tourism sector, law, retail and business, and education to name a few.