Those who know no foreign language know nothing of their mother tongue.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The MFL department believes that languages are part of the cultural richness of our community, society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, a sense of global citizenship and personal fulfilment. All students at Acland Burghley learn either Spanish or French in KS3, and are encouraged to continue studying a language to the end of KS4.

We are a multilingual school and encourage all students who speak and write in another language at home to take public examinations in their native language. This has included Turkish, Bengali, Portuguese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Russian, Polish, Farsi, Persian and Italian. Students perform excellently and we are very proud of them.

Through studying a Modern Foreign Language, students learn to appreciate the different countries, cultures and communities locally and further afield. The MFL department is a mix of native and non-native speakers of French and Spanish, of whom some speak German and Italian. We are all enthusiastic about the languages we teach and use our range of experiences to enthuse our students.

In addition to developing skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, students have the opportunity to explore the language and culture outside the classroom.

The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure. It increases confidence, independence and creativity and crucially supports the development of literacy skills overall.

We are working closely with the Latin teacher to strengthen links for children between their study of Latin and MFL. Please see more information in the Latin section.

Head of Faculty

Katty Jacob | 

Second in charge 

Bethan Williams |



Lawrence Deacon |

Jenica Harper | 

Stella James | 

Laura Miguel |  

Katherine Smith | 

Eleni Sanida | (Classics and Latin)

Teaching assistants

Eloisa Garcia Salvador | (Spanish Language Assistant)


Curriculum Intent and Map 

Our curriculum map below shows students’ learning journey through KS3, 4 and 5. Throughout the key stages, students explore the similarities and differences between other languages and English, learning how language can be manipulated and applied in different ways.

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Y7 students are taught in mixed ability classes in either French or Spanish and are then set until the end of Y9, according to their ability. Depending on our cohort, we regularly review our sets.

We aim to build on the prior knowledge and understanding students have of the language that they have encountered in Key Stage 2 as well as making links with other home languages spoken.

Our Schemes of Learning and resources in Key Stage 3 are carefully designed with the demands of the new GCSE in mind.  Key vocabulary and grammatical structures are introduced and revisited across a range of topic areas. These are then built on and further developed in Key Stage four.

Keen linguists in Y9 have the chance to study a second language (either French or Spanish) alongside the language currently being studied. This allows them to choose 2 modern languages for GCSE.

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.

This is what your child will study in French at KS3

Y7 French        

Autumn term:  

  • Greetings, names & feelings
  • European Day of Languages and Language awareness
  • Classroom language
  • The alphabet
  • Numbers, age & dates
  • Description of self, character adjectives
  • Colours and agreement
  • Classroom equipment

Spring term:

  • Description of family members
  • Talking about your siblings
  • Description of oneself as well as others: physical and personality
  • French comics
  • Talk about your friends and how long you’ve known them
  • Description of pets    

Summer term:

  • Where you live, what languages you speak & your nationality
  • A study of the map of France
  • Description of your local area
  • Description of your house including types of house and floors
  • Description of the rooms and their positions
  • Talking about the furniture and where they are positioned

Y7 French medium term plans

Y8 French        

Autumn term:

  • Giving opinions of food and drink
  • Eating and drinking habits
  • Meals in France and French-speaking countries
  • Talking about a past meal
  • Discuss healthy and unhealthy eating
  • Discuss what it is to be in shape or not
  • French cuisine
  • Understand recipes in French
  • Shopping for food and quantities

Spring term:

  • Talk about sports and games you play and do
  • Talk about extreme sports
  • French sportsmen/women
  • The Olympics and Paralympics
  • Discuss musical instruments
  • Cultural awareness about French singers and French chansons
  • Talk about your leisure activities
  • Talk about your future holiday activities

Summer term:

  • Give opinion about school subjects
  • Use the 24-hour clock and the 12-hour clock
  • Talk about your timetable
  • French schools in the past
  • Use simple reflexive verbs
  • Describe your daily routine

Y8 French medium term plans

Y9 French        

Autumn term:

  • Describe what you're wearing
  • Express your opinion of outfits
  • Describe outfits from the past and contrast with the present
  • Describe what you're going to wear for a party
  • Learn about higher numbers and the euro currency
  • Shops and shopping
  • Shopping for clothes
  • Inviting people out and reacting

Spring term:

  • Pathway launch – Languages at KS4
  • Discuss what you watch and like watching on TV as well as others
  • Discuss TV programs
  • Discuss cinema and film review
  • Inviting someone out to the cinema and other events

Summer term:

  • Countries, nationalities and languages
  • Talk about ideal destinations
  • Talk about your holiday
  • Talk about holiday preferences
  • The perfect tense in French
  • Describe a past holiday

Y9 French medium term plans

Y9 French fast track medium term plans
This is what your child will study in Spanish at KS3

Y7 Spanish      

Autumn term:  

  • Greetings, names and feelings
  • Classroom language
  • Cultural awareness of the Spanish speaking world
  • European Day of Languages and Language awareness
  • The Spanish alphabet and phonics
  • Numbers, age & dates
  • Day of the dead celebrations in Mexico
  • Colours and agreement
  • Classroom items and school equipment
  • Christmas celebrations in Spain

Spring term:

  • New year's resolutions
  • Countries, nationalities and languages spoken
  • Family
  • Physical descriptions
  • Character descriptions
  • Pets and animals

Summer term:

  • Talking about school subjects/teachers and giving opinions
  • Telling the time and describing a timetable in a Spanish school
  • Mealtimes and what you eat and drink food and drink
  • Means of transport and preferences
  • Describing your school environment

Y7 Spanish medium term plans

Y8 Spanish      

Autumn term:

  • Sports and extreme sports
  • Leisure activities
  • Music and cultural awareness about Spanish music
  • TV and film
  • Christmas celebrations in Spanish speaking countries

Spring term:

  • New year's resolutions
  • Technology
  • Shopping and clothes
  • Online shopping advantages and disadvantages
  • Talk about daily routine
  • Household chores

Summer term:

  • Making invitations and excuses
  • Different types of areas to live
  • Compass points and cultural awareness of the regions of Spain
  • Description of housing
  • Bedroom and furniture

Y8 Spanish medium term plans

Y9 Spanish      

Autumn term:

  • Describe your city and local area 
  • Where you would like to live in the future
  • Asking and giving directions
  • Talking about the weather in the present
  • Food and drink
  • Meals in Spain and Spanish-speaking countries
  • Shopping for food
  • Ordering tapas
  • Understanding recipes in Spanish

Spring term:

  • Healthy living and New year's resolutions
  • Parts of the body, illnesses and remedies
  • Going to the pharmacy
  • Pathway launch - Languages at KS4
  • Holiday destinations and preferences
  • Cultural awareness of Spanish speaking countries as holiday destinations
  • Transport and comparing different forms of transport
  • The weather
  • Holiday 

Summer term:

  • Future holiday plans
  • Past holiday descriptions
  • Weather across three tenses

Y9 Spanish medium term plans

Y9 Spanish fast medium track term plans

Enrichment opportunities

Spanish cooking club: Tuesday 3.20pm in TE4
French cooking club: Tuesday 3.20pm in TE4

HW club: French: Tuesday 1.30pm in CS3
HW club Spanish: Tuesday 1.30pm in CS2

KS3 Extra Curricular Activities


At KS4, our objective is to enable students of all abilities to develop their French/Spanish language skills to their full potential, equipping them with the knowledge to communicate in a variety of contexts with confidence, whether or not students decide to continue studying languages at A level.

Our curriculum follows the AQA syllabus and aims to consolidate the learning, knowledge and skills that students have gained at KS3.

Some of the topics are an extension of the topics covered at KS3 (eg: family, school, homes, holidays). In addition, our KS4 curriculum aims to introduce students to new topics such as Social issues, global issues, new Technology, Post-16 studies and future employment, which are more appropriate to their age range. They deepen their knowledge about how language works and enrich their vocabulary across topics to increase their independent use of language.

Students will develop a knowledge of social and cultural background such as How Eid is celebrated in Algeria or about Las Fallas in Valencia. Thus, students are encouraged to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world. Furthermore, we endeavour to promote cross-curricular links with other subjects. For example, in the topic of global environment, students draw knowledge from their studies of science. Students are expected to use the information gained to incorporate into their own work and express their own opinions with detailed reasons.

The study of French/Spanish is intrinsically linked to the knowledge of English grammar. They are encouraged to compare and contrast grammatical points. This in turn enhances their knowledge of their own mother tongue language. At a higher-level tier, students learn more complex grammar such as the use of the subjunctive, the pluperfect and the passive voice, which will prepare them for future A level language studies.

The skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing that were introduced to students at KS3 are still paramount in the KS4 syllabus, as students are required to sit a paper in each of the four skills. Students are explicitly taught meta-cognitive strategies in how to approach each skill.

We have a strong uptake in languages at KS4 and our results have been consistently good.

Y10 French and Spanish         

Autumn term: Theme 1- Identity and culture

  • Unit 1: me, my family and friends 
  • Unit 2: Technology in everyday life (social media, mobile technology)

Spring term: Theme 1: Identity & culture        

  • Unit 3: free time activities (music, TV, cinema/food & eating out/ sport)
  • Unit 6: healthy & unhealthy living
  • Unit 4: Customs & festivals

Summer term: Theme 2: Local, national, international & global areas of interest

  • Unit 5: home, town, neighbourhood & region
  • Mock exam preparation

Y10 French medium term plans

Y10 Spanish medium term plans


Y11 French and Spanish                   

Autumn term: Theme 2: Local, national, international & global areas of interest 

  • Unit 7: Global issues (environment, poverty & homelessness)
  • Unit 6: Social issues (charity & voluntary work)
  • Unit 8: Travel & tourism (holidays, travel, regions of France)

Spring term: Theme 3: Current & future study & employment

  • Unit 9: my studies
  • Unit 10: life at school & college
  • Unit 11: education post-16
  • Unit 12: jobs, career choices & ambitions

Summer term: 

Revision of the GCSE course content and exam preparation

Y11 French medium term plans

Y11 Spanish medium term plans

 Y11 Spanish 



GCSE Subject Specification

Please click through to the links to view more information on the AQA website.

French - AQA Exam Board

Spanish - AQA Exam Board

Enrichment opportunities

Y11 intervention Spanish: Monday 3.30pm in R3B

Y11 intervention French: Monday 3.30pm in R3C

Y10 intervention Spanish: Thursday 3.20pm in R2D

Y10 intervention French: Thursday 3.20pm in R2C

KS4 - Trips and Residentials




As part of the wider LaSWAP consortium, Acland Burghley offers the following A Levels.

In French, students learn about how French-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of French-speaking countries. In the second year, we focus on life for those on the margins of French-speaking society as well as the positive influences that diversity brings, which links directly to the inclusive culture of our school. Students also study aspects of the social and political landscape of different French-speaking countries, such as immigration, crime and the justice system, trade union power and young people’s involvement in politics.

In Spanish, our approach is focused on technological and social change, looking at the multicultural nature of Hispanic society. In the first year, students learn about current and past trends in Hispanic society as well as Hispanic artistic culture. In the second year, students learn about multiculturalism in addition to aspects of the political landscape in the Spanish speaking world, such as monarchies and dictatorships and the function and influence of social movements.

Students further develop their understanding of the themes covered in the course through the study of a film/play and a book. For example, life for the marginalised and aspects of politics and immigration are reflected in the book L’Etranger and in the film La Haine for French. In Spanish, the study of the play La Casa de Bernarda Alba further their understanding of traditional Spanish values in the context of the early 20th century rural society. In addition, the film El Laberinto Del Fauno allows students to develop their awareness of post-civil war Spanish society and the traumas of war.  In this way students acquire the cinematographic, literary language and concepts and analytical skills associated with films and book studies.

In their second year, students will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on a topic of their choice related to the Francophone/Hispanic world. The aim of the research project is to develop research skills, analysing and summarising their findings and then presenting them and debating them.

Please click through to the links to view more information on the LaSWAP website.

Enrichment opportunities

Y12 intervention

Spanish: Wednesday 3.20pm in R3B

French: Wednesday 3.20pm in R3D


Independent studies at all key stages