Modern Foreign Languages

Head of Department: Mrs H Mulloy

At the Oldershaw Academy, the MFL curriculum provides the opportunity for all students to achieve, develop confidence and enjoy learning a foreign language. The department firmly believes that all students should experience learning a modern foreign language and that languages are for life.

We see the study of a modern foreign language as an important part of students’ education as languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Through the study of a foreign language students learn to understand and appreciate different countries, cultures, communities and people. The ability to understand and communicate in another language is a lifelong skill for education, employment and leisure in this country and throughout the world.

All learners at the Academy are taught how to understand and respond to spoken and written language, speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, write at varying lengths whilst gaining knowledge of a variety of grammatical structures and topics in line with the national curriculum.

The MFL Department aims to:

  • provide an engaging and appropriately challenging curriculum which values the strengths of all and celebrates success
  • provide enjoyable lessons which encourage active engagement to ensure that students develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards language learning which will remain with them into adulthood.
  • provide opportunities to enhance students’ cultural capital
  • provide a caring and supportive learning environment in which students are encouraged to take great pride in their work.

We believe that our carefully planned, broad and balanced curriculum provides learners with opportunities to understand and respond to different types of spoken and written language across a range of topics and at differing levels of difficulty to ensure progression. Pupils are also taught how to communicate and interact effectively in speech and communicate effectively in writing for a variety of purposes and across a range of topics. Grammar is introduced gradually and is made explicit to pupils – enabling students to become independent linguists. Alongside language acquisition, students also gain valuable cultural insight in to French (and German) speaking parts of the world.

The MFL curriculum is ambitious for all our students and has been designed to give every pupil the opportunity to understand that success is achievable by all students, regardless of ability. Students are provided with a wide range of opportunities to develop and extend their knowledge of French in all key stages. The schemes of work / learning blocks ensure that the objectives set out in the National Curriculum are fully met.

Our curriculum is implemented by ensuring that:

  • the expertise of teachers within the department provides opportunity for students to develop students skills and confidence in speaking, listening, reading and writing through individual learning, paired work, group work and whole class teaching.
  • all teachers in the department have high expectations of all students.
  • teaching is tailored to the needs and ability of students.
  • purposeful homework is set on a regular basis.
  • most (if not all) students have access to the FLA.
  • marking and feedback is used to drive improvement and embed key skills.

Cultural Capital

At Oldershaw the MFL department strives to provide a caring and supportive learning environment in which students are encouraged to take great pride in their work. The department routinely celebrates progress and achievements. Through Q & A, pair work, games and group work, pupils show kindness to one another by showing respect and being patient. Pupils have to be particularly resilient when faced with difficult texts and when learning grammatical concepts.


Various Aim Higher visits to The University of Liverpool for Year 8 and 10 students

Residential Visit to Berlin – November 2019 for Year 11 students

Erasmus Project – including residential visits to France, Italy and Denmark – year 8 and 9 students

All Learning Blocks in MFL incorporate cultural elements of the Target Language countries and we endeavour to instil in our pupils a ‘global’ and ‘outward thinking’ view of the world. For example:

Year of StudyUnit of studyCultural Capital
Year 7Meeting and greeting people Getting to know France (Germany) Food and Eating out Nationalities and countriesQuiz Research leading to a presentation – a famous French (German) person French breakfast
Year 8School including schools in France / other French speaking countries  We learn about schools in French (German) speaking parts of the world, allowing students to make comparisons and consider the advantages and disadvantages of each system
Year 9Relationships with family and friends Marriage and partnership   France (Germany) and Customs Festivals in French (German) – speaking countries  We discuss different types of families and relationships, allowing pupils to develop their understanding of wider society.   We discuss different festivals in different countries around the World, including religious ones, allowing students to develop understanding and tolerance to different religions.
Year 10Food and Eating outWe discuss different foods and habits, allowing pupils to develop their understanding of wider society.
Year 11Global issues – environment Global issues – poverty and Homelessness  We discuss the human impact on the environment and possible solutions, allowing students to think about their moral purpose in improving the environment.
Year 12/13Aspects of French (German) speaking society: current trends Aspects of French (German) speaking society: current issues Artistic culture in the French (German) speaking world Aspects of political life in the French (German) speaking world. Study of a film or book (TBC) Individual research projectWe discuss immigration, racism, the EU, promoting tolerance for all.   We discuss different types of families, allowing students to further develop their understanding of wider society.   Students must identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to them, relating to a country where French (German) is spoken.

Our MFL curriculum has enabled our learners to:

  • achieve AQA FCSE French (German), AQA GCSE French (German) and AQA AS/A’ Level French (German)
  • enter further and higher education at various colleges and universities, including most recently Bangor University to study German
  • attain good grades.

For example: In June 2019 68.4% achieved grades 9 – 4 in French. French was the highest performing department in the academy with a positive SPI of 2.5, an average point score of 4.53 and an average GCSE grade of 5. In June 2018 80% of Oldershaw students achieved grades 9 – 4 in German.

The Oldershaw School
Valkyrie Road, Wallasey
Wirral CH45 4RJ
T: 0151 638 2800 E: Principal: Mr J Bush