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Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School

Modern Foreign Languages

Lead Teacher: Mrs E Holman.

Teachers: Mrs L Beamish, Ms M Castano, Mrs E Holman, Mrs S Wendzina.


“A high-quality modern foreign languages education to broaden students’ intellectual horizons, deepen and mature their understanding of the world, and provide unique openings to other cultures and career opportunities.”

.....Willkommen, bienvenue, bienvenidos - welcome! .....

Fluency in Modern Languages is an increasingly important accomplishment in the global 21st century.  Competition for jobs often means that applicants with additional skills are advantaged.  Linguists are considered as possessing both sharp and all-round capabilities: confident communicators, with well-trained, independent, flexible minds.  Wide cultural awareness and a willingness to take on a challenge characterise the able linguists of today – for whom excellent scholastic and career opportunities exist.


French, German and Spanish are all taught in lively and engaging ways.  We combine a thorough approach to vocabulary and grammar knowledge with as many opportunities as possible to practise communication meaningfully and adventurously.  We find out and cater for the particular needs of individual students, and offer support and extension sessions.  With the dedicated support of native speakers in lessons, teachers also run a range of visits, activities and events for students to develop and extend their language skills.


Modern Foreign Languages enable students to gain high-level technical communication skills together with mature and insightful ways of evaluating the cultures and societies of Europe and the wider world.  There is undoubtedly something very distinctive, special and highly marketable about this field of scholarship.

GCSE French

This course builds on the foundations laid during Key Stage 3 with the emphasis firmly on all four language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Topics of study are Home and Leisure Pursuits, Travel and Tourism, School, and Future Plans.  There are 4 examinations at the end of Year 11 in the four language skills, each worth 25%.

Students learn the language required for situations such as holiday visits or exchanges, and gain the knowledge of grammatical structures and language skills necessary for progression to Advanced Level French Studies.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Exam Board:  AQA

Year 10 Year 11
Leisure and Free Time (Theme 1) Current and Future Studies (Theme 3)
Festivals, Traditions and Customs (Theme 1) Jobs (Theme 3)
Home, Town, Neighbourhood and Region (Theme 2) Social issues and Volunteering (Theme 2)

Travel and Tourism (Theme 2)

Global issues: Environment and Poverty (Theme 2)
Healthy and Unhealthy lifestyle choices (Theme 2)  
Present Tense Revision Reinforcing multiple time frames + present participles
Perfect Tense Revision Si clauses with multiple tenses
Future Tense and Near Future revision Passive use and strategies to avoid it
Conditional Tense Pluperfect Tense
Imperfect Tense Subjunctive
Si clauses with multiple tenses Revision and exam skills, complex structures for top grades
Modal verbs & ‘Il faut + infinitive’ revision Developing spontaneity and translation skills
Demonstrative Pronouns  
Infinitive verb constructions  


A Level French

French A Level takes students on an adventure into the language of food, romance, great literature, diplomacy, and culture.  Undoubtedly one of the world’s most important and influential languages, the AQA French course trains students to be skilful and confident communicators, and constitutes a versatile qualification giving access to many deeply enriching and highly marketable university degrees and employment opportunities.

The four language skills, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, are examined in written and oral modules in the summer of year 13.  Students study topics rooted in the culture and heritage of France and contemporary French society, covering in Year 12 the Family, the Digital World, Leisure, Popular Culture and Relationships; and then in Year 13 the Environment, Immigration, Culture and Social Issues.

The emphasis is on developing students’ independent research and thought.  Lessons are conducted largely in the target language to teach and embed a wide variety of language structures and communication skills.  The opinions that they form are displayed in animated dialogues and essays. 

Studying French complements many other subjects at both A Level and at University, because of the broad and deep level of skills developed by proficient linguists.  As well as language degrees, students can, for example, combine French with International Relations, Law, History, Politics, and Medicine.

Key Stage 5 French – A Level: AQA

Year 12 Year 13
The Changing Nature of the Family Politics and Immigration
The Digital World Youth Engagement in Politics and the Right to Vote
The Voluntary Sector Crime and Punishment
Cultural Heritage Protest and Strikes
Francophone Music Marginalised groups in French Society
Cinema Multicultural society
Film:  La Haine Set text:  Kiffe Kiffe Demain
Grammar – thorough review of all key grammar points and tenses Independent Research Project

GCSE German

The emphasis of this topic-based course is on acquiring skills to deal with a range of situations, including holidaying or visiting a German friend. Topics include Buying and Ordering Food, Shopping, Discussing Healthy Lifestyles, Describing the Local Area and Reading Tourist Information. Students are introduced to the distinctive characteristics of German society and culture.


The examination covers the four language skills: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, demonstrating and testing the students’ ability to communicate and interact effectively in real-life situations and experiences. Students gain a sound grounding in German grammar in preparation for potential A Level study.


German Key Stage 4 – GCSE Exam Board:  AQA

Year 10 Year 11
Leisure and Free Time Holiday – accommodation, weather, style of holiday, describing a past holiday, holiday plans
Family and Relationships Town – shopping, travel, directions, problems
Home life – food, daily routine, health, technology Global issues – Environment, Charities, Social Issues
School and Education Using a range of tenses
Jobs and Future Plans um … zu
Revision of past, present, future and conditional tenses Prepositions with cases
Reflexive verbs Recognising the passive
Subordinate clauses Exam preparation
Comparative and superlative Pluperfect tense
Genitive case with prepositions Ways to express the future
Imperfect tense Revision of the course (Year 10 – Year 11
Infinitive construction with “zu”  


GCSE Spanish

As with French and German, all four skill areas are developed, covering the topics of Self and Family, Home and Environment, Leisure and Tourism, Education and Employment.

Fluent communication and an understanding of grammar are the key aims of the course, to prepare students for A Level study and for real-life encounters with Spanish speakers.

Spanish Key Stage 4 – GCSE Exam Board:  AQA

Year 10 Year 11

Travel and Tourism

Education and Employment

Leisure and Free Time, Technology

Social and Environmental Issues

Hometown and Local Area

The passive


The conditional

Perfect tense

The Subjunctive
Preterite and imperfect Object pronouns

Near future

Imperfect subjunctive

Simple future


Present continuous

Ser and Estar  


A Level Spanish

Students learn about a variety of topics relating to the modern world in Spanish-speaking countries, with the emphasis on developing independent research and thought.  Lessons are conducted largely in the target language to teach and embed a wide variety of language and communication skills.

The cultural focus of year 13 gives students insights into more complex topics of society and culture.  The opinions that they form are displayed in animated dialogues and essays.

Study of Spanish complements many other subjects at both A Level and at University, because of the broad range of skills developed by proficient linguists.  As well as language degrees, students can combine Spanish with International Relations, Law, History, Politics, and Medicine, for example.

Spanish Key Stage 5 – A Level: Exam Board: AQA

Year 12 Year 13
Traditional and Modern Values
Politics and Immigration
Changing Nature of the Family The Spanish Monarchy
Cyberspace Latin-American Dictatorships
Regional Identity Social Movements and Strikes, Trade Unions and Protests
Cultural Heritage
Study of a play / novel  -  Como agua para chocolate
Study of a film – Pan’s Labyrinth Essay writing skills
Start of IRP (independent research project) Translation and summarising skills
Research skills Completion of IRP (independent research project)

Extra-Curricular and Cultural Enrichment

Students are given the opportunity to go abroad whilst at Ribston with trips to France and Germany in Year 8 during the Summer Term, and then in Year 9 with extra-curricular visits to the European Christmas Markets.  In Year 10 and 11 students are able to travel to Spain, Germany, Poland and France.  The foreign trips always prove popular, with over 150 students each year taking the opportunity to experience first-hand all aspects of culture, language, food, geography and history.

In addition to this we have participated for many years in a highly successful German exchange to Göttingen, and are continuing to develop this link.

In January, we run the Languages and the World of Work module for all Year 9 students to help them decide on their options for Key Stage 4, putting language learning into context for the modern, international world. We invite speakers from a range of fields and professions, GCHQ being a popular example, to bring to life how Modern Foreign Languages can be both fascinating subjects and highly valuable to their future careers.

Years 7-9

·         Linguavision

·         Theatre Production

·         MFL Bake-off

·         Lille Christmas Market

·         Enrichment trips to France, Germany and Spain

Years 10-11

·         MFL Language Ambassadors

·         German Exchange – Göttingen

·         Enrichment trips to France and Spain

Years 12-13

·         European Parliament Euroscola

·         Overseas Work Experience

·         Association for Language Learning A-Level Lectures

·         University Summer School and MFL Open Days

Additional Languages 

We value the cultural and linguistic diversity of our bilingual pupils and provide support to those who wish to extend their knowledge of their first language or gain qualifications in another language. Unfortunately, we are not able to offer other additional language qualifications other than those stated below.

  • We are able to offer qualifications which do not include a speaking test, for example, iGCSE Tamil;
  • We are able to offer qualifications where a Ribston teacher speaks the language - currently, this is Japanese;
  • We may be able to offer GCSE Polish if St Peter’s High School are able to accommodate our students for the speaking test.

It must be understood that for students to sit a qualification, they will need to demonstrate to the Lead teacher for MFL that they have reached the required standard. It must also be recognised that charge will be invoked for a student taking these examinations.

If you have any queries in regard to additional languages, please contact MFL Lead teacher, Mrs E Holman (