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Modern Foreign Languages

Curriculum Intent

Broadening the minds of pupils is exactly what the Modern Foreign Languages department aims to do. Learning a language at Corpus Christi helps pupils to develop the skills and confidence required to understand and communicate effectively in our multicultural society. We aim to promote resilience and a life-long love of language learning through engaging, yet challenging lessons, which help to give pupils a profound understanding of language. Learning about the mechanics of language, such as grammatical structures and a broad range of vocabulary, simultaneously supports their understanding of the English language, as well as developing knowledge about how people live and use language on a day-to-day basis. All pupils are taught German throughout Years 7, 8 and 9, and have the option to then continue their studies through to GCSE. The top two sets also study French in Years 8 and 9, allowing the option to choose French or German, or indeed both at GCSE. We are currently following the Pearson/Edexcel syllabus for both French and German. The school also makes provision for pupils who speak another language at home, to gain examination credit for these as well, providing that no additional support is required to develop this language. The department is also very pleased to be able to offer a host of extra-curricular opportunities to pupils, including an additional two year Spanish course that pupils can attend after school, in order to access a third language at GCSE, should they choose to pursue their Spanish. We have hosted a variety of cultural events and clubs as well, such as cross curricular extended learning days with a focus on “El día de los muertos” and after school French, German and Spanish film events. Pupils are also well supported in their learning, via revision classes and intervention sessions to improve their understanding and enable pupils to feel confident in their learning. Aside from the day to day language acquisition opportunities, we are also proud to host the biennial visit to Berlin, which always proves very popular with the pupils, and will be aiming to introduce a trip to France in the alternate year in the foreseeable future. We are very keen to facilitate travel and the opportunity to explore other cultures outside of the four walls of the classroom.


The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation
  • can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied.

Subject Content KS3 Modern Foreign Languages

Teaching may be of any modern foreign language and should build on the foundations of language learning laid at key stage 2, whether pupils continue with the same language or take up a new one. Teaching should focus on developing the breadth and depth of pupils’ competence in listening, speaking, reading and writing, based on a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary. It should enable pupils to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy. It should provide suitable preparation for further study.
Pupils should be taught to:

Grammar and vocabulary
  • identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present, past, and future
    as appropriate to the language being studied
  • use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including voices and moods, as appropriate
  • develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their
  • immediate needs and interests, allowing them to give and justify opinions and take part
  • in discussion about wider issues
  • use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Linguistic competence
  • listen to a variety of forms of spoken language to obtain information and respond appropriately
  • transcribe words and short sentences that they hear with increasing accuracy
  • initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address
  • express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing
  • speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation
  • read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details, and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material
  • read literary texts in the language [such as stories, songs, poems and letters], to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture
  • write prose using an increasingly wide range of grammar and vocabulary, write creatively to express their own ideas and opinions, and translate short written text accurately into the foreign language.

KS3 Overview

YearAutumn TermSpring TermSummer Term
7Greetings / Family
In the first half of the term, pupils learn about how to introduce themselves and exchange key personal information with someone in a German-Speaking Country. In the second half, they begin to look at discussing their family and friends, including descriptions (both physical and personality).
Family and Friends / School
The term begins by finishing the previous topic, looking at describing relationships in further detail and talking about pets. Pupils then learn to talk about their school; giving opinions about subjects and teachers, with justification; describing their school day; discussing school rules and saying what their plans are for the future.
Free Time and and future tense
The final topic of the first year of their language studies sees pupils learn how to talk about what they do in their free time.They learn how to give detailed opinions using a variety of adjectives and connectives and to be able to explain what they and other people normally do in their spare time. Alongside this topic, pupils will explore the formation of the future tense, to further develop their linguistic skills, allowing them to discuss their hobbies in two time frames, expressing their plans for the weekend for example.
8House and Home / Local area
The first term of this year sees pupils learn to talk about where they live. From room to house, house to town, town to region, pupils are asked to describe, give opinions and justify them. They talk about the various places which they have and do not have where they live and where they might like to live in the future.
Environment / Holidays
Following on from discussing where they live, this interlinked second topic sees them discuss basic vocabulary for important environmental issues. They learn to recognise and discuss what is good and bad for the environment as a way of extending their opinion of their local area. After this brief extension of topic one, pupils will move into their new topic, which will be to discuss holidays.
Holidays/ Shopping and perfect tense
In this third and final term, pupils will extend their work on holidays, by focusing on how to go shopping in a German-speaking country, including making complaints if there are problems with their purchases or their accommodation. A large proportion of this term will then be spent introducing the perfect tense in full, allowing pupils to finish the year by talking about a previous holiday that they have been on in detail.
9Daily Routine
The first half-term of this year sees the pupils learn how to describe what they do every day (whether a school day or not) in great detail, giving times, places and opinions. They learn to be able to do so in a variety of different tenses, allowing them to opportunity to reinforce and build on their work on future and perfect tenses from years 7 and 8.
Health and Fitness
The next major topic of this year sees pupils learn how to discuss their lifestyle and whether it is one designed for a healthy life. They will discuss different foods and food groups, with a focus on a balanced diet. They compare previous habits with what they do now and also what they would like to achieve moving forward. At this point in Year 9, pupils will be better prepared to practise transactional vocabulary, and so will focus here on a café/restaurant-based role-play. Similarly pupils will build the necessary vocabulary for talking about illness and injury, including body parts and how they would communicate in a pharmacy/hospital in Germany if they were to feel unwell or get injured.
The Young Person in Society / Ambitions
The final topic of the year sees pupils investigate base-line vocabulary for a variety of different social and moral issues which face young people today. They also look at how they can contribute to society by completing voluntary or charitable work. They will close their KS3 curriculum by discussing their ambitions for the future. This will provide them with the opportunity to use the conditional tense to look forward with their study, career and life ambitions.

Year 7

Introductions / Personal information

All pupils will:

  1. Understand the most common verb forms used in German.
  2. Understand and respond to basic German greetings.
  3. Understand and respond to questions enquiring about their personal information, including name, age, birthday and where they live.

All pupils will:

  1. Understand and respond to questions enquiring about their family.
  2. Be able to talk about their pets.
  3. Be able to describe their physical appearance and personal characteristics, as well as those of other people in their family.

All pupils will:

  1. Describe their school, giving their opinion.
  2. Say what is in their school bag/pencil case, with a focus on the gender of nouns in German.
  3. Understand and discuss school subjects that they study, as well as give their opinions of them.
  4. Be able to tell the time in German, in relation to the school day.
  5. Talk about their school uniform.

All pupils will:

  1. Understand and discuss sporting activities.
  2. Understand and discuss a variety of hobbies.
  3. Be encouraged to use adverbs of frequency to say how often they participate in various activities.
  4. Be encouraged to include qualifiers when expressing their opinions on different sports and hobbies.
  5. Understand and discuss online activities and how they use technology in their free time.
  6. Be able to use the future tense to discuss what activities they will do at the weekend.

Year 8

Talking about your local area

All pupils will:

  1. Categorise and describe the place where they live, using a range of adjectives
  2. Describe what there is to do and see in their town, using the accusative case.
  3. Be able to form negative structures, to say what there isn’t in their town.
Talking about your house

All pupils will:

  1. Understand how to describe their house, talking about what rooms they have and don’t have, focusing on negatives.
  2. Look at adjectival agreements, and how these are dependent on the gender of the noun they are describing.
  3. Understand how to use prepositions to describe their bedrooms and furniture.
  4. Be able to use key verbs in the imperfect tense to describe what their bedroom used to be like and what Preston used to be like.
  5. Use the key verb “Ich möchte” to talk about what rooms they would like to have or to describe their dream house.
Your local environment

All pupils will:

  1. Understand common environmental problems that affect our society.

All pupils will:

  1. Understand and be able to say a variety of countries in German, that they visit, visited or would like to visit for their holidays.
  2. Be introduced to the perfect tense, allowing them to say where they went on holiday last year and how they travelled. Pupils may be challenged with extended sentences here, as they discover the “Time, Manner, Place” rule in German.
  3. Understand how to use ‘weil’ clauses successfully, with the correct word order (this will be used in a variety of contexts throughout this year).
  4. Re-visit free time vocabulary from Year 7, but applying the perfect tense to say what activities they did on holiday.
  5. Re-visit the future tense established in Year 7, to express where they will go on holiday next year.

Year 9

Daily Routine

All pupils will:

  1. Understand how to discuss someone’s daily routine.
  2. Re-visit telling the time from Year 7, allowing them to including times and other important details.
  3. Understand how to discuss what they have done and what they are going to do yesterday and tomorrow, using a variety of different tenses.
Illness and injury

All pupils will:

  1. Understand the German for parts of the body, and how to describe a number of different illnesses and injuries related to them.
  2. Understand how to explain how you got ill or injured, and take part in a role-play style conversation with a doctor who will offer appropriate treatment.
Healthy living

All pupils will:

  1. Be able to say what they eat and drink and how often, and whether it is healthy or not, and why.
  2. Discuss how healthy their  lifestyle is, has been and will be, and what you could do to have a healthier lifestyle.
  3. Be able to compare their lifestyle now, to what it was like in the past.
  4. Have an understanding of key vocabulary referring to the consumption of drugs, alcohol and smoking.

All pupils will:

  1. Be introduced to “Ich würde” and “ich möchte” as a way of referring to the conditional tense.
  2. Consider a part-time job that they might like to do, reinforcing “weil” clauses to add a reason why.
  3. Pupils could further extend this work, by using “um…zu…” clauses, as well as conjuctions, “wenn, denn and obwohl.”

KS4 Overview

YearAutumn TermSpring TermSummer Term
10School / Cultural Life
Building on the work already done in Key Stage 3, GCSE pupils begin by looking at School in greater detail. In particular, they look to be able to compare the German and English systems and make informed decisions for their future. The second topic expands pupils’ vocabulary and grammar about their free time activity and in particular encourages them to discuss events they have been to and cultural festivals from around the world.
Who am I / Daily Life
Family and Friends are the focus at the start of the second term, and in particular looking to describe the variety of different relationships which exist. We then take the role of an exchange student visiting a German-speaking home, looking at house rules and daily routine.
Travel and Tourism
The third topic of the first year builds on the work done talking about holidays, but goes into much further detail. Pupils are encouraged to research and present more detailed information about their destinations and what they do there.
11Town, region and country / Ambitions and Work
Following on from the work on tourism, this first topic of the final year sees pupils look to describe where they live in greater detail and in particular look at the issues which are most important for those who live there. Following that, and linked to the School topic, pupils begin to look at life beyond GCSE and what they and their peers might choose to do in the future.
Environment / Bringing the World together
As we bring the GCSE syllabus towards a close, we look at issues which affect the whole world we live in. Firstly we look at the physical effects as we investigate in further detail our environment and the effect we have and can have upon it. Finally, we look at how we can make a difference in this world, and investigate the myriad of social projects undertaken by young people in German-speaking countries.
Revision / GCSE Exams
The Speaking exam takes place at the start of May, immediately before the main examination period. Pupils then undertake examinations in Listening, Reading and Writing during the main examination period.


At Corpus Christi we believe that all pupils should be equipped with and supported in developing a high level of reading and literacy capability, as is required by each subject discipline. In MFL this looks quite different to other subject areas across the curriculum. Clear expectations as to how we demonstrate our knowledge and understanding through oracy and literacy are however shared with pupils, as to what this looks like in our German and French lessons. In MFL we work with four skills on a lesson by lesson basis, including listening, speaking, reading and writing. Literacy forms the basis for everything that we do. All four skills, yet particularly speaking and writing, are modelled by the teacher and continually reinforced. Often this will take the form of pronunciation and phonics practice, the use of sentence builders, model answers and structure strips for example, to ensure that pupils are improving their accuracy and including literacy features that will enhance their spoken and written work.


At Corpus Christi, we believe that high quality summative assessment must primarily enable pupils to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding acquired throughout the delivery of the curriculum. Subsequently, this will allow teachers to measure the progress made by pupils, in relation to learning outcomes set out in schemes of work. In measuring the extent to which pupils have acquired knowledge and a secure understanding, teachers will be able to identify gaps in learning, to inform future teaching and planned interventions.

All assessments are suitably challenging whilst meeting the needs of all pupils. Appropriate points for summative assessment are chosen by the Head of Department, ensuring that they are embedded into the planned curriculum. Assessments are differentiated, in MFL this is often by outcome, to ensure that all academic groups can demonstrate their understanding and have the opportunity to make outstanding progress across the curriculum. It is the responsibility of each individual teacher to ensure that their classes are suitably prepared for assessments, and that all content has been covered thoroughly, considering the needs of all pupils.

In MFL there is a clear, shared rationale and assessments are checked and verified with the line manager. There is also consistency across the department when it comes to awarding progress grades. This will incorporate the use of formative assessment, whilst also enabling teachers to use their daily feedback through questioning and marking, to inform their decisions.

Curriculum Impact

The impact of our MFL curriculum is evident from the in-depth knowledge gained by our pupils, and the level of grammatical mastery acquired over the duration of their German and/or French studies. This quality of language skill culminated in our best ever set of GCSE results with our most recent cohort in German.

Performance has increased significantly, from 50% 9-4 in 2019 to 79% 9-4 in 2022, in GCSE German.

We continue to have high option numbers for GCSE, particularly since our introduction of French. This is testament to the engaging delivery of a well-sequenced and relevant curriculum.

Alongside curriculum time, we also have a large number of pupils attending an additional Spanish class after school each week, offering some of our students up to three modern foreign languages at Corpus Christi. Our biannual Berlin trip also boasts the largest uptake of pupils in the school, providing pupils with the opportunity to really experience the culture and language of the country they are studying.

For further information regarding our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum please contact:
Mrs Black, email: or telephone school reception: (01772) 716912.

Together In One Body
Corpus Christi Catholic High School
St. Vincent’s Road, Fulwood, Preston PR2 8QY
Telephone: 01772 716912 Fax: 01772 718779 Email: