Modern Foreign Languages


At Alderman White, our students can study French, German and Mandarin at KS3 before opting for any of these languages for their GCSEs and A levels. We are a team of dedicated, specialist teachers who are passionate about enabling young people to broaden their horizons and communicate in another language.

MFL Vision:

We consider learning a modern foreign language to be a life skill which provides an opening to other cultures. All students will develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves ‘global citizens’ who belong to a multicultural, mutually respectful world. Students increase their cultural capital by building knowledge of other countries, their languages and cultures and as a result are more open to new experiences and have a more profound understanding of their own language and culture. Our ambition is to use our languages lessons and teaching to help our students become confident and excellent communicators in both their communities and the wider world. Our students are able to express themselves in a number of different ways using more than one language and a wide range of multi-media. Our students aspire to produce their best work with excellent spelling, punctuation and grammar. They are independent learners with the ability to transfer their skills to a number of different contexts. Students have been given many opportunities to gain an insight into the lives of others through participation in the numerous school trips to France, Germany and China. Students also have a unique opportunity to participate in the long-standing German exchange. We hope to reinstate these trips as soon as possible.


As a result of our MFL curriculum, Alderman White students will be inspired to:

  • Become confident, proficient and passionate linguists who have developed the skills to communicate in languages other than their own. They will be curious learners who will gain an insight into the culture or cultures of the countries where these languages are spoken.


In order to realise our vision, our curriculum will provide students with the opportunities to:

  • Experience exciting and engaging lessons
  • Appreciate how language learning can be both challenging and fun
  • Develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of an additional language, allowing them to practise and hone their skills in a range of contexts
  • See the relevance of learning languages to their lives beyond Alderman White
  • Engage in independent study and work alongside staff committed to ensuring they acquire the knowledge and skills that see them fulfil their potential and help raise their aspirations
  • Engage in extra-curricular activities which offer opportunities to interact with other students, visit other countries (when possible again) and embrace other cultures


The impact of our curriculum will be evidenced in:

  • Our students’ enthusiasm for the subject which is displayed both in and out of the classroom
  • Our students’ work and their progress as evidenced in their books, work submitted on Google Classroom, Google quizzes, online learning games (Quizlet, Duolingo, Textivate, Padlet)
  • The increased number of students taking MFL at KS4, KS5 and beyond (clear link to careers and future pathways)
  • The progress and attainment of students in external exams

Above all, our students will have a passion for language learning. They will appreciate the value of learning an additional language and the opportunities that this can afford them in a global world.

At the end of KS3, students will be able to:

Call upon and access a sound foundation of core grammar and vocabulary to allow them to understand and communicate personal and factual information. They will be able to develop and justify points of view in speech and writing with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy. They will have had opportunities to develop their skills in identifying key messages and detail in written and spoken texts. They will have developed an arsenal of skills and strategies to tackle more challenging work. They will have been given suitable preparation for continued study at KS4.

At the end of KS4, students will be able to:

Communicate confidently and coherently in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say with increasing accuracy, spontaneity and fluency. They will be able to initiate and develop conversations and discussion, producing extended sequences of speech, with accurate use of a variety of vocabulary and grammatical structures, including some more complex forms. They will produce clear and coherent text of extended length to present facts and express ideas and opinions appropriately for different purposes and in different settings. They will be able to follow and understand clear standard speech using familiar language across a range of specified contexts. They will be able to deduce meaning from a range of spoken texts, including some complex language and more abstract materials. They will have developed new ways of seeing the world, including an awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the countries and communities where they language is spoken. They will be able to call upon a range of language learning skills for immediate use and to prepare them for further language study and use in school, higher education or in employment.

At Alderman White, we use Pearson Edexcel for our GCSE exams.


(French, German, Mandarin)

Exam Board:


Assessment structure:

Four externally examined papers based on the following skills:
listening, speaking, reading and writing (25% each)

Topics covered in this course include:

There are 5 themes:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local area, holiday, travel
  • School
  • Future aspirations, study and work
  • International and global dimension

Curriculum Sequencing Rationale – French

Our French curriculum is designed to create confident, enthusiastic and inspired linguists who are able to give descriptions, information, opinions and narration in a wide range of contexts through teaching across different topic areas. From the start of Year 7, students learn and practise key skills, vocabulary and grammatical structures which form the foundation of their knowledge for communication and comprehension in the subject. This is continually built upon through regular revisiting and retrieval of language as well as exposing/adding/using a constantly-developing bank of vocabulary and tense work until the end of Year 11. French lessons are engaging, enjoyable and dynamic through a range of activities including competition, games and role play which are supported by various online resources to help to create independent and self-regulated learners. Students’ Cultural Capital is developed through studying cultural differences and norms in Francophone countries and through the exploration of films, music, YouTube videos, food tasting and through our annual residential trip to Paris. Our teachers form strong relationships based on praise, encouragement and mutual respect and create a supportive and nurturing environment in which students feel confident to have a go and make mistakes, helping them to build confidence and resilience for the real world.

Curriculum Sequencing Rationale– German

KS3: Communication-skills are central to the curriculum in German and provide the rationale for learning the language and the curriculum-structure. From the very start of Year 7, learners are encouraged to interact in the target language. The ability to give opinions, pass comment as well as agree and disagree with others underpins the curriculum. These core communication skills permeate all the topics which in themselves enable learners to provide a narrative about themselves and their interests but equally to step outside the confines of their own lives and embrace the culture and perspectives of other countries either through engaging with their cultural capital or through the virtual world of role-play. Whether the unit of work focuses on preferences with regard to music or ordering food and drink, the communicative skills remain paramount with opportunities in both topics for leaners to express opinions and preferences, therefore continually retrieving, embedding and also extending their learning. The constant dynamic of recycling, retrieval and adaptation to new contexts increases both learner confidence and success in using the language. The communication strand becomes indelibly entwined with the development of other key skills such as the ability to narrate, explain, quantify, specify and debate. As learners progress, there is also a focus on developing their technical skills: helping them to recognise, understand and re-use language structures; explore verb patterns and the formation of different tenses; appreciate the rules of syntax which impact on accuracy. The core language specified for each unit allows learners to recycle and extend their language knowledge and each unit gives them a range of opportunities to practise and improve their pronunciation and spellings of key words and phrases.

KS4: The GCSE German course is underpinned by the same linguistic priorities as the courses in KS3. The key objective is to promote and further communication in the language, recognising that the main reason for learning a language is to be able to use it. Students must be given every opportunity to interact in the language, so the resources will focus on stimulating and developing verbal communication. At the same time, the more formal aspects of the language required by the GCSE, will be embedded in the linguistic classroom interaction, from a range of different sentence structures to a variety of tenses, to ensure that they become part of the learners’ natural linguistic response to both spoken and written tasks, enabling them to adapt them to a wide range of contexts. The same applies to the ability to express opinions as well as react to the opinions of others. The constant repetition of these linguistic devices, the interleaving of key structures throughout the course, will ensure that students rely far more on their ability to interact naturally in the language, adapting and applying familiar structures to a range of different linguistic contexts. The emphasis is on student engagement whether it be in the form of discussion, debate or role-play. In the area of comprehension, whether it is listening or reading, there is an emphasis on using authentic up-to-date material to develop students’ skills and stimulate discussion.