Modern Foreign Languages

Subject Overview

Languages are an excellent choice at GCSE! Having a GCSE in languages is extremely well-regarded by employers and universities alike. Here is some information about how important languages are:

  • Starting in 2018, soldiers in the British Army will not be eligible to apply for any post beyond that of captain without basic capabilities in a foreign language
  • The World Health Organisation demands that all its employees have proficiency in a second language
  • It is estimated that learning a language can add between 10-15% to your wage
  • Languages bring people closer; they build bridges, dispel prejudice, encourage peace and communication

We offer a GCSE in all three languages, French, German and Spanish. Come and learn how just a little bit of language knowledge can go a long way!

Syllabuses (Course Outline and Structure)

We follow the AQA GCSE Specification:

Students in Year 10 and Year 11 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

All exams will be sat at the end of the course and will be assessed in the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing with each skill having an equal weighting of 25% towards the overall GCSE grade.

GCSE languages have a Foundation Tier (grades 1-5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4-9). All four question papers are taken at the same tier. Please note that tiers cannot be mixed as has been the case in the past.


    • Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)
    • 40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)
    • 25% of GCSE
    • Role-play: 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)
    • Photo card: 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)
    • General conversation: 30 marks (3-5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5-7 minutes at Higher Tier)
    • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
    • 25% of GCSE
    • Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
    • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
    • 25% of GCSE
    • Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)
    • 50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier
    • 25% of GCSE

More Information available on the AQA Wesbite:

Entry Requirements and Prohibited Options

We offer a GCSE in all three languages; French, German and Spanish. For you to progress and succeed at GCSE you need to choose languages already studied in Year 9.

Activities and Trips

We have in the past run a hugely successful German Exchange trip which has been open to all students in Years 9 and 10 including those not studying German.  The Exchange has been an excellent cultural trip, which has allowed students to enhance their language skills.  Students stay with host families first with the German students coming over to England after.

Expected Costs

We have subscribed to an excellent language learning software package called The Language Gym and we also ask if parents and carers are able to make a £1 contribution to the subscription of this website on ParentPay please.

Complementary Subject Combinations and Enrichment Activities

Languages have a solid reputation with universities and employers alike. At GCSE, a MFL is one of the five subjects needed to gain the EBac. At A-Level, a MFL will compliment and enhance many other A-Level subjects, whether you are orientated towards Maths/Science, or to English, Law, Business or Art.

Subject Resources

Schemes of Work

The AQA Website for each language can be found here:

The AQA Specimen Papers, Mark Schemes & Specifications for each language can be found here:

Exam Support

We run a Parental Explanation Evening in late September each year to inform both parents/carers and students about what resources we have to support the students’ learning, study tips and additional information.

We have online resource packs which contain practice exam tasks, chunks of language and key vocabulary for students at GCSE available on the following link below on the school’s shared area.  Please ask your teacher as these are only available by logging in from school or through the portal from home.

Multimedia links

Websites that we would recommend to support learning languages are:

Other apps which we would recommend are: