Bienvenue, Bienvenidos, Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages department at St. Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy!

“Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.” Roger Bacon


We believe that learning a language is an essential skill that all students should have in an increasingly globalised economy. Learning a foreign language enhances future job prospects and provides an enriching experience that improves intercultural understanding, communication skills and broadens horizons. That is why we believe that all pupils should leave school having a sound knowledge of a second language.

Our aims are to communicate our enthusiasm and passion for languages to pupils, to help them to realise their potential, gain access to other cultures and ways of life and enjoy their language learning experience. To achieve these goals we offer language lessons that are lively, interactive and fun to give our students the best opportunity to become independent language learners.

Initially building on content and skills developed in Key Stage 2 language learning, we journey through a curriculum which develops independent thinkers and prepares our students for further education.  We believe it is essential to study the culture of Hispanic and Francophone countries in order to successfully develop well-rounded, broad-minded and understanding global citizens.

Through our taught curriculum, we aim to pursue excellence while demonstrating our Mercy tradition and ethos:

  • To ensure that pupils can communicate in French and/or Spanish by the time they complete their MFL studies.
  • To develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and also appreciate how these skills are interconnected.
  • To help students understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
  • To enable students to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
  • To ensure students write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
  • To allow students to develop a sound grammatical knowledge, so that they invent structures for themselves and communicate in a range of different tenses.
  • To develop confident, independent and reflective language learners.
  • To raise pupils’ awareness of different cultures, giving them a broader perspective on the world.
  • To highlight the career and enrichment opportunities available to students who can communicate in another language.

“Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things but learning another way to think about things.” ? Flora Lewis


Pupils are assigned a language in Year 7 and they will continue to study this language all the way through to GCSE.  This allows each pupil to truly develop, secure and master this language.  Please refer to the French and Spanish website pages to explore the taught curriculum in each language.

Learning a language is an essential skill, and equips pupils with the skills for working in an increasingly globalised economy as well as for travelling to a huge number of destinations. Throughout each year group we focus on correct grammar and language structure, and we encourage pupils to practise these new skills independently.

Our taught MFL curriculum is a cyclical one.  We teach the pillars of vocabulary, grammar and phonics through a series of topics allowing us the opportunity to regularly revisit key vocabulary and structures throughout the 5-7 year journey with us, constantly building upon knowledge gained previously, including at Key Stage 2.  This ensures that students can both consolidate course content, but also communicate at a level that is appropriate for their expertise.

Key Stage 3 language learning begins in earnest in Year 7 at St Anthony’s, and the vast majority of pupils in the school go on to complete at least one modern foreign language at GCSE. The course content focuses on building pupils’ knowledge and experience in using the language and developing their correct use of grammar and range of language. Some of the themes in Key Stage 3 are the world of work and school, home and family life, free time activities and health.

In Key Stage 4, the course content focuses on extending pupils’ existing knowledge and experience, developing more complex correct use of grammar and range of language. As students gain maturity, they develop communication skills on a range of more complex topics including tourism, healthy living, technology, popular culture, citizenship, school, the world of work and environmental issues.  In Year 11, pupils are afforded the opportunity to revisit content from throughout their learning history at St Anthony’s, in order to prepare fully for their examinations.

The Key Stage 5 course develops the students’ listening and reading comprehension of authentic materials, fluency in both spoken and written work and competence in more advanced structures. Pupils are required to organise ideas, facts and opinions and to transfer meaning from one language to another. The content of the course is extremely varied and topics studied include the cultural heritage, modern social values, influence of role models and a film in A level year 1, and the multicultural society and politics, along with a novel in year 2. Discussion in French / Spanish will be an essential part of the course and students will be encouraged to express their personal response to material studied. Pupils will also be required to prepare an Independent Research Project on a topic of their choice related to a Hispanic / Francophone country, which will make up a large part of their speaking exam. In addition to the work studied in class, students will be required to develop their listening and reading skills through independent study undertaken in their own time.

We assess progress by tracking students’ ability in listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, for each of the topics studied. Our assessments are both formative and summative. Our staff make use of mini plenaries, consistent retrieval practice and low stake testing to ensure we are embedding and building upon the knowledge and understanding of key concepts.  Assessments measure how students have achieved against the following assessment objectives.

  • AO1: Listening – understand and respond to different types of spoken language.
  • AO2: Speaking – communicate and interact effectively in speech.
  • AO3: Reading – understand and respond to different types of written language.
  • AO4: Writing – communicate in writing.

The MFL Department offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities to support students as they further practise their language skills outside of our classrooms.  Activities such as language competitions, celebrations of cultural events such as European Day of Languages, lunch time clubs such as Culture Club, and residential study visits are all used to support our students in developing their skills, confidence and cultural understanding. Students also have the opportunity to learn Mandarin through weekly after-school lessons with Newcastle University’s Confucius Institute.

KS4 Option Choice Language

“One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.” ? Frank Smith

We truly value the learning of foreign languages at St. Anthony’s Girls’ Catholic Academy and therefore we encourage all who are able to take a second foreign language as part of their option choices at GCSE.

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.” ? Rita Mae Brown

Year 7 – 11 French Curriculum Map

Year 7 – 11 Spanish Curriculum Map

Year 12 – 13 Spanish Curriculum Map

Year 12- 13 French Curriculum Map

Year 7 – 13 Spanish Progression Model

Year 7 – 13 French Progression Model


We know from all those who internally, and externally, review the work of our school that our pupils are cheerful, creative, conscientious and confident.  Employers regularly tell us that our students are professional and act with honesty and integrity.  Our school has been very successful with numerous external accreditations, including full accreditation of International School Status, acknowledging the importance of our international work, for the community and the individuals within it, over many decades.  Our staff and students very much feel part of our Mercy community.

Our MFL curriculum helps our pupils to develop the detailed knowledge and skills required to progress to the next stage of education, employment or training.  Our excellent teaching and learning programmes support all of our students to know, understand and remember more MFL content and linguistic knowledge and to achieve subject fluency, enabling them to grow and develop as students of Modern Foreign Languages. Throughout their course, our pupils receive regular oral and written feedback to ensure all students are aware of their position on the learning journey, their strengths and targets, which they consider when taking their next steps.

We believe that the MFL curriculum provision at St. Anthony’s Catholic Academy leads to a mastery in key content knowledge and grammar acquisition as well as skills relating to listening, speaking, reading and writing in the foreign language studied. We believe pupils are also able to develop their cultural knowledge and understanding, allowing them a heightened cultural awareness of the globalised world in which they live.  Through the MFL course provision, pupils are able to develop their confidence in communicating in the foreign language studied, with fluency and spontaneity across all four language-learning skills.

Staff in the MFL department support subject specific literacy and numeracy for all our pupils to help them succeed in their studies and they aim to develop holistically the gifts and talents of each individual within a caring, compassionate, charitable and challenging Christian environment.

Our impactful MFL curriculum develops students with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding to have a positive impact within family, friendship groups, school/college, university, the workplace and the wider community.  Our wide-ranging and broad-based curriculum offer, and varied extended curricular opportunities within MFL, provide an opportunity for everyone to develop their abilities in listening, speaking, reading and writing tasks. Our pupils make high gains in their knowledge and understanding of both linguistic structures and cultural diversity.

“A different language is a different vision of life.” ? Federico Fellini