Acland Burghley School

Acland Burghley School

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“Those who know no foreign language know nothing of their mother tongue.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Welcome to our departmental website. This page will hopefully give parents and students more information about the teaching and learning in MFL. We hope you enjoy looking through examples of students’ work and photos of trips as well as learn more about what we do.

Head of Department: Katty Jacob

The MFL department believes that

Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. Through studying a Modern Foreign Language pupils learn to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. By making comparisons with others, they gain insight into their own culture and society. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.

Learning languages gives pupils opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. They explore the similarities and differences between other languages and English and learn how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways. The development of communication skills, together with understanding of the structure of language, will lay the foundations for future study of other languages and support the development of literacy skills in a pupil’s own language.

All students at Acland Burghley learn Spanish or French in KS3, and are encouraged to continue studying a language to the end of KS4. In Y9 we discuss in lessons ‘What’s the point?’ in studying a language so that students understand the importance in their future studies and careers of having a Language GCSE. We have a strong uptake in languages at KS4 and and our results have been consistently good. A pleasing number of our students go on to study languages at A level and we work as part of the LaSwap sixth form consortium to offer French and Spanish A level to our students.

We also encourage students who speak another language at home to take public examinations in their native language and have an excellent success rate across a wide range of languages including -Turkish, Bengali, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Russian and Farsi.

All the MFL teachers are enthusiastic about the languages they teach, and work hard to instil their students with this enthusiasm. Amongst the staff in the department we come from very different paths into teaching languages with a range of experiences that we draw from as a department and share with our students. There are native speakers and non-native teachers of French and Spanish and other languages spoken including German, Portuguese and Italian.

KS3 Languages

In KS3 Languages our Schemes of Learning and resources allow pupils to explore diverse topics at KS3. Lessons are taught using a communicative approach, with a variety of interactive tools and activities. Students are encouraged to communicate through interactive lessons ensuring that we cover all four language learning skills (Listening/Speaking/Reading/Writing). Students are encouraged to practise the language they are learning outside of the classroom and to use recommended websites to enhance their learning.

We subscribe to the following language learning websites and username and passwords are available from your MFL teacher. We encourage students to be learning vocab from the topic they are currently studying from the excellent vocab testing website and a wide range of vocab covering all the topics at KS3 and 4 can be learnt through fun and games at Vocabexpress also consolidates grammar learnt in the classroom and is available as an app. A great on-line dictionary can be found at and is great for verb tables in Spanish, whilst for French you should visit

We ask that parents watch out for students using translator websites such as google translate as they do not help with language learning and cause many problems!


All Y7 students whether they study French or Spanish are offered the opportunity to go on a day trip to Boulogne, France in the summer term. We go to Boulogne as it is possible to do this in a day and is an affordable way to offer students a trip abroad. These trips are very popular and students and staff always have a great time (see images from previous trips). 

KS4 Languages

At KS4 we follow the AQA syllabus for Spanish and French GCSE. Students are externally examined in listening and reading and internally examined in writing and speaking. The current Y10 have started a new syllabus in which they will be externally examined in all four skills. A password and username will be provided for which will give students access to the text book and other activities set.


Last year we had a Spanish Y10/11 trip to Barcelona (please see link and pictures below). This year Y10 Spanish GCSE students will be visiting Andalucia in the south of Spain. They will be staying on the beach in the town of Torremolinos and visiting the nearby cities of Málaga, Sevilla and Granada, as well as some of the ‘pueblos blancos’ (famous ‘white-washed’ villages).

KS5 Languages

French and Spanish are offered at KS5, for more information please visit the LaSWAP website