Modern Foreign Languages

At St. Mary’s Catholic School, students study either French or Spanish at Key Stage 3. The opportunity to study Italian may also be available. Topics covered are in the curriculum maps. Pupils are encouraged to work independently at home using their devices to help engage with their learning. Pupils are also encouraged to develop their memory retrieval skills by regularly revisiting vocabulary covered throughout the course.

Assessments take place termly across the four skills or listening, speaking, reading and writing. 

Curriculum Map

The link below allows you to see when topics may be covered; this is a guide for information only and has the potential to change as the year progresses.

French Curriculum Map 

Spanish Curriculum Map

Italian Curriculum Map

 

Key Stage 4

GCSE Modern Foreign Languages – French/ Italian/Spanish

Assessment methods 

There are 4 exams for GCSE French.

Each exam is worth 25% of your final grade.

The exams can be taken at Higher or Foundation Level. 

 

Foundation

Higher

Listening

40 minutes

Section A answers in English

Section B answers in French

50 minutes

Section A answers in English

Section B answers in French

Speaking

Role play card

Photo card

General conversation 3-5 minutes

Role play card

Photo card

General conversation 5-7 minutes

Reading

45 minutes

Section A answers in English

Section B answers in French

1 hour

Section A answers in English

Section B answers in French

Writing

1 hour

Q1 photo description

Q2 40 words

Q3 5 sentences translation

Q4 90 words

1 hour 15 minutes

Q1 90 words

Q2 150 words

Q3 paragraph translation

NB: students who are fortunate to speak languages other than those on offer at St Mary’s can also be given the opportunity to sit a GCSE and the MFL Department will help them achieve this.

 

GCSE French, Spanish and Italian cover 3 themes.

Theme 1 Identity and Culture

Theme 2 Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3 Current and future study and employment

 

The AQA GCSE French specification including vocabulary list is available here:

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658

The AQA GCSE Italian specification including vocabulary list is available here:

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/italian-8633

The AQA GCSE Spanish specification including vocabulary list is available here:

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/spanish-8698

 

Key Stage 5

At A Level, students develop their awareness of the culture and society of French, Spanish or Italian speaking countries. All students are actively encouraged to develop their language skills through the use of a variety of media. Languages complement many subjects at university and the skills learnt through languages are easily transferable to other A Levels and further study. Knowing a foreign language will help to improve your cultural awareness, increase your adaptability and make you a more confident and effective communicator. 

A Level French covers a wide range of topics which are covered over four themes. 

Theme 1 : Changes in French society

Family, education, world of work. 

Theme 2: Culture in the French-speaking world

Music, media, festivals and traditions. 

Theme 3: Immigration and multi-cultural society in France

The positive impact of immigration and the extreme right in France. 

Theme 4: The occupation and role of the resistance in France during the Second World War.

Occupied France, the Vichy regime and the resistance movement. 

 

The film Les Choristes and book Thérèse Desqueyroux you study link to the topics, giving you further insight into French culture and History. As part of the speaking examination you will need to complete an Independent Research Project based on your own area of interest related to the society and culture of the French-speaking world. 

 

A Level Italian covers a wide range of topics which are covered over four themes. 

Theme 1: Changes in Italian society

Family, education, world of work.

Theme 2: Culture in Italy

Music, media, festivals and traditions. 

Theme 3: Immigration and multi-cultural society in Italy

The positive impact of immigration, the challenges of migration to Italian society, the North/ South divide. 

Theme 4: History

 

The rise of Mussolini, fascism in the Second World War, the move from dictatorship to democracy in Italy.

Students are also required to study and critically analyse two Italian novels, as well as practising their translation and essay writing skills. The books Io non ho paura and Volevo i pantaloni link to the topics, giving you further insight into Italian culture. As part of the speaking examination you will need to complete an Independent Research Project based on your own area of interest related to the society and culture of the Italian-speaking world.

 

A Level Spanish covers a wide range of topics which are covered over four themes. 

Theme 1: Changes in Spanish society

Family, education, world of work. 

Theme 2: Culture in the French-speaking world

Music, media, festivals and traditions. 

Theme 3: Immigration and multi-cultural society in Spain

Immigration in Spain and the Civil War

Theme 4: History

 

Franco’s dictatorship and the transition from the dictatorship to the democracy 

The books Como Agua para Chocolate and Crónica de una Muerte Anunciadathat you will study, link to the topics, giving you further insight into Spanish culture and history. As part of the speaking examination you will need to complete an Independent Research Project based on your own area of interest related to the society and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.

 

Method of Assessment:

All MFL subjects follow the Edexcel course. You will sit the A Level exam at the end of Year 13. It consists of three papers:

Paper

Skills

Marks

Timing

Proportion of A Level

1

Listening, reading and translation into English

80

2 hours

40%

2

Written response to film and text, translation into French

120

2 hours 40 minutes

30%

3

Speaking

72

21-23 minutes

30%

 

 

 

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