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Clare Mount SpecialistSports College

Role Models and Catalysts for Change

Modern Foreign Languages

Clare Mount Specialist Sports College


All pupils learn French, following a pathway that enables them the opportunity to study for a French GCSE in KS4.




At CMSC, all pupils have the right to a creative language curriculum that enthuses the learner and ignites a curiosity about the world.


Language learning is a crucial discipline for developing the whole child. Whilst enhancing cultural awareness and tolerance, learning a modern language improves cognitive function. It improves verbal and linguistic understanding, develops logical thinking and an awareness of patterns, and improves creative thought and memory function.

We want all pupils at Clare Mount Specialist Sports College to develop a tolerance for the world beyond the UK and a curiosity and desire to understand it further. We enable this through exploring the cultural traditions of our closest non-English speaking neighbour and discovering their linguistic and cultural global influence. At CMSC we foster positive can-do attitudes and we promote a 'languages for all' principle, one in which we believe all children can achieve in Languages. 

We aim for all pupils to:

- appreciate the cultural similarities and differences of the country.

- develop in confidence to communicate verbally with others

- have the ability to replicate the phonics and pronunciation of the spoken language

- acquire a sound knowledge of key high frequency vocabulary which can be used in a variety of contexts



French Trip

Every other year, the MFL department runs a very successful residential trip to Paris, France. This is open to KS4 pupils have previously typically included  visits to Disneyland Paris, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and a river cruise down the Seine. 



Teaching and Learning Pedagogy


Pupils are taught a balance of vocabulary and basic grammar in context, ensuring secure and deep understanding through manageable steps and multisensory approaches. At KS3 there is an emphasis on Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, proportionately appropriate to the ability of the child. Each unit focuses on topic vocabulary and a revisiting, consolidation and extension of high frequency opinions, justifications and connectives. At KS4, discrete phonics learning is introduced to complement the other skills of grammar and vocabulary acquisition and there is more emphasis on building use of tenses and time phrases to build upon the learning at KS3. Mispronunciation, mistakes  and misconceptions are an essential part of learning and scaffolded challenge and regular spaced learning of vocabulary and structures is used to ensure progress that is commensurate with the individual child’s potential.


Curriculum Outline


Year 7

Unit 1 (Term 1a) 


An emphasis on transition, building confidence and fostering sound relationships, where errors can be made, create the foundations of successful and engaged language learners later on. Pupils begin by acquiring a basic awareness of France, learning about the country and sharing their knowledge and experience. They are introduced to the communicative style of teaching and are encouraged to participate in MFL games and songs.


Unit 2 (Term 1b)

En Famille

The 2nd half term continues with a consolidation of basic vocabulary, including family members, colours and pets. There is an emphasis on revisiting and recapping the basic vocabulary: greetings, numbers and classroom language. In December, pupils learn about French culture, studying Christmas in France; the differences and similarities between the two countries’ traditions are highlighted. The priority continues to be one of growing confidence, low stakes activities and building rapport.


Unit 3 (Term 2a/b)

Les Descriptions

The unit focuses on family members and descriptions of people, both real and imaginary. Colours are consolidated, extra adjectives are learnt and adjectival agreement is referenced in a low stakes, incidental way. At the end of the unit, pupils will be assessed on their comprehension of a written or spoken description ( dependent on literacy skills) and will then have a choice of creating a wanted poster with a description of an imaginary criminal or simply describing a person.


Unit 4 (Term 2b/3a)

Les Vêtements

This unit focuses on a consolidation of colours and adjectives, within the context of clothes and school uniforms. Pupils will look at descriptions of uniforms and of outfits appropriate for other social situations. They will learn to express simple opinions. The unit culminates in a fashion show, where spoken descriptions of outfits, using correctly positioned adjectives, are used. Easter traditions in French speaking countries are explored.




Unit 5 (Term 3a/b)

Kirikou et la Sorcière

All learning from the year is consolidated to embed retention of key vocabulary and grammatical structures. Pupils will revisit personal introductions, numbers and adjectives.

Pupils will complete a unit of work based around the award winning animated film ‘Kirikou et la Sorcière’ . The film is the vehicle for an introduction to ‘ La Francophonie’ as it is set in French speaking West Africa. The film is very linguistically repetitive and has English subtitles that are short and use simple language. Its culturally authentic style challenges the Disney/Pixar style of animation and introduces the pupils to world cinema. Adjectives are consolidated throughout the film and are used in the memorable songs that are sung.Pupils will express their opinions of the characters and the film.



Year 8

Unit 1 Term 1a/1b

Au collège

The year begins with a consolidation of the vocabulary and grammatical structures learned in year 7. The theme is ‘School’ and begins with learning how to say what I have and don’t have in my pencil case. Pupils progress onto school subjects and expressing opinions of them. The unit moves on to revise clothes vocabulary and pupils describe their school uniforms and/or an ideal uniform. Adjectives and opinions are consolidated and extended.


Unit 2 Term 1b/2a

Les sports et les Passetemps

This unit introduces students to the idea of cognates and near cognates in language decoding. They express and justify their opinions about sports. Some pupils will extend their ideas and use connectives.

Christmas traditions in France are again studied and pupils engage in Christmas themed activities

After Christmas pupils consolidate on the sport section and there is an introduction to the use of infinitive verbs with hobbies. They will learn how to express an opinion with a verb and then justify it, potentially extending into a paragraph using connectives.

The cultural activity for the half term is Mardi gras and looking at Carnaval. Pupils will create masks and sample beignets.



Unit 3 Term 2b

Mon Corps

In this unit, pupils will learn parts of the body and how to express that it hurts, using the verb avoir. They will consider the etymology of English words

Easter traditions will be further explored in the last week of the term.


Unit 4 Term 3a

Au café!

Pupils will learn the vocabulary for food and drink and will practise the vocabulary using transactional role play café conversations. They will use the simple conditional tense in ‘je voudrais’ and will have the opportunity to taste French foods, expressing their likes and dislikes.


Unit 5 Term 3b

La France

In this unit, pupils will explore the country of France and la Francophonie, understanding the global importance of the language. They will complete a project on either the geography, history or global reach of France/French.

There will be a cultural lesson about la Fête Nationale in the week of 14th July.


Year 9

Unit 1 Term 1a

Où j’habite

After an introductory few weeks of consolidation of basic vocabulary, opinion words and justifications, pupils will learn vocabulary required to describe where they live. The unit will culminate in a description of an ideal house, using a range of expression from simple il y a labelling to a descriptive paragraph in the conditional tense, which uses adjectives and connectives.


Unit 2 Term 1b

Les transports

Pupils will learn different means of transport and how to express their opinions of them, giving transport specific reasons and using connectives.

Before the end of term, there is further cultural input on the traditions of French speaking countries at Christmas.


Unit 3 Term 2a

En ville

Pupils will consider their town, learning the vocabulary for key places. They will say what there is and isn’t in their own town/area using il y a and the negative form, il n’y a pas de.

Pupils will further use either the present or the conditional tense to create and describe their own town.


Unit 4 Term 2b

Au travail

Pupils will learn vocabulary for common job titles, expressing their future plans consolidating the simple conditional tense je voudrais with a range of justifications that they will be verbally assessed on.


Unit 5 Term 3a

La Nourriture

This unit is a consolidation and extension of the Y8 café topic. Pupils will revisit vocabulary for food and drink and will express justifications for their preferences, using connectives to give opposing opinions. Pupils will revisit café transactional conversations and French food tasting as part of the cultural aspect of the course.


Unit 6 Term 3b

Le Temps

Pupils will learn weather phrases to be able to understand simple French weather forecasts. They will think about forecasts around the French speaking world to further embed their understanding of La Francophonie. Pupils will create their own forecasts and use the verbal structures il y a and il fait. Appropriate time phrases will be learnt to render the phrases more authentic.




Key Stage 4

Pupils in KS4 currently follow the AQA GCSE syllabus.

Throughout KS4, there is an emphasis on pronunciation and phonics. Pupils learn how to express themselves in different tenses using topics as a context. As with KS3, spaced learning is key and frequent revisiting of high frequency words and phrases ( eg, connectives, intensifiers, time phrases, opinions and justifications) are interleaved throughout the topics and tenses.

Pupils work through a series of topic based questions that they can use as a revision tool for both their speaking and writing exam.

 In 2024-26 pupils will begin the new French GCSE course and will follow an EDEXCEL qualification.