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St Mary's Catholic High School

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)

Spanish classroom

Subject Leader - Ms Veronica Arocas

Vision Statement

Languages are for life. We want our students to appreciate that Modern Foreign Language is an important part of our students’ education as 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.

We aim to ensure that all language learners develop the skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’ who belong in a multicultural, mutually respectful world. 


The department aims to continually improve standards through an engaging and challenging curriculum which values the strengths of all and celebrates success. Competency in a foreign language unlocks the technological, enterprise and vocational abilities which enhance the employability skills of our students. We aim to promote cultural awareness and develop our young people into global citizens of the 21st century.

We aim to teach our students to appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people, along with their ability to understand that to communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.

Curriculum Overview

At St Mary’s Catholic High School, two languages, Spanish and French, are taught by the Modern Foreign Languages Department. We also offer support for students who are entered for the GCSE in Community Languages.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 most students focus on studying one foreign language. In Year 7 students are taught half a year of Spanish and French. In Years 8 & 9 students are able to focus on one of the two languages.

Students cover a range of every day topics and practise their skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing and translation we use a variety of authentic learning resources, all of which prepare students for studying a language at GCSE and for using language in real-life situations.

Spanish - Year 7 Curriculum Map

French  -  Year 7 Curriculum Map

Spanish - Year 8 Curriculum Map

French  -  Year 8 Curriculum Map

Spanish - Year 9 Curriculum Map

French  -  Year 9 Curriculum Map

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 students follow, as an optional GCSE subject, one or both of the following subjects.

  • AQA GCSE (9–1) Spanish (8698)
  • AQA GCSE (9–1) French (8658) 

The structure and assessment procedures of both courses are identical. Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.

  • Theme 1: Identity and culture
  • Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Spanish - Year 10 Curriculum Map

French  -  Year 10 Curriculum Map

Spanish - Year 11 Curriculum Map

French  -  Year 11 Curriculum Map

AQA Spanish - Specification

AQA French  -  Specification


Community Languages

Recognising the full potential of our students, including celebrating the diverse nature of our multi-lingual community, St Mary’s is keen to support students who are able to speak another language(s) in addition to English.

If a student is suitably proficient in another language, and would like to be considered for entry for a GCSE qualification (where it is available), St Mary’s will support those students with the entry procedures.

Students will need to study independently for the exam. The school will supply past papers for students to practise and will pay the exam entry fees, but we are unable to offer any tuition in the language. Students will need to make a commitment to studying independently for the exams.

Like taught languages, the GCSE courses all include a requirement to be able to speak, listen, read and write in your community language to the same standard as other GCSE languages. Our school will endeavour to assist students accessing support for the speaking and listening elements of the GCSE assessment. However, for some languages this may not be possible.

Please note: Not all community languages are available at GCSE level. Please ask the Subject Leader for Modern Foreign Languages for more information if you are interested in being entered for a GCSE in a community language.