Modern Foreign Languages


Head of Department: Heather Oddy

Staff Contact Details:

The Modern Foreign Languages department at Christ’s School aims to inspire a love of language learning and an awareness and acceptance of different cultures. We understand the importance of communication in an increasingly globalised world and the majority of our students study at least one foreign language to GCSE level. Our results are outstanding in both languages.

In Year 7 students study both French and Spanish until the October half term. They then choose which language they would like to continue to study. From then on, they have five lessons a fortnight of their chosen language.

The languages department has four large classrooms and one smaller break out room. Each classroom is fitted with an interactive white board.

The department is well-equipped with the latest text books and subscriptions to a number of online language sites. The department often makes use of the library and computer rooms to support the students’ learning




  • Module 1
    Topics: Physical appearance, personality, opinion words, school equipment

Grammar: être and avoir.

  • Module 2
    Topics: School subjects, opinions and justifications, days of the week, telling the time, lunchtime food
    Grammar: Definite and indefinite articles

  • Module 3
    Topics: Sports, hobbies, technology
    Grammar: Present tense of faire, aimer followed by the infinitive

  • Module 4
    Topics: Places in town, directions, opinions and justifications on your town
    Grammar: Pouvoir and vouloir

  • Module 5
    Topics: French-speaking countries



  • Module 1
    Topics: TV, film, reading, internet, opinions and justifications
    Grammar: Regular -er verbs in the perfect tense

  • Module 2
    Topics: A holiday in Paris, tourist information, modes of transport, opinions and justifications
    Grammar: Irregular verbs in the perfect tense, verbs with être in the past tense

  • Module 3
    Topics: My character, relationships, music, clothes, personal style
    Grammar: Near future tense, reflexive verbs, adjectival agreements

  • Module 4
    Topics: Where you live, rooms of the house, furniture, prepositions, breakfast and evening meals, food shopping
    Grammar: Adjectival agreements, the partitive article

  • Module 5
    Topics: A talent competition, giving instructions and advice, dreams and ambitions
    Grammar: Comparatives and superlatives, the imperative, modal verbs

  • Module 6
    Topics: Geography of France, overseas departments, the French revolution


Year 9: STUDIO 3

  • Module 1
    Topics: Internet and social media, inviting a friend to go out, describing an outing, musical genres
    Grammar: Adjectival agreements and contractions, direct object pronouns, present, perfect and near future tenses

  • Module 2
    Topics: Parts of the body, healthy eating, sport and fitness, resolutions to be more healthy
    Grammar: Simple future tense, il faut followed by the infinitive

  • Module 3
    Topics: Jobs, skills and interests, future plans, using languages at work
    Grammar: imperfect, present and future tenses, modal verbs

  • Module 4
    Topics: Holidays, what you need to take with you, adventurous activities, information on tourist attractions, things going wrong abroad
    Grammar: Conditional tense, emphatic pronouns, the pronoun y

  • Module 5
    Topics: What you’re allowed and not allowed to do at home, human rights, ethics, what makes you happy
    Grammar: Using avoir with different expressions, using si with complex structures



  • Module 1
    Topics: Introducing yourself, age and birthdays, personality, brothers and sisters, pets
    Grammar: Tener, masculine and feminine, agreements

  • Module 2
    Topics: What you do in your spare time, weather, favourite things to do
    Grammar: Using –ar verbs in the present tense, me gusta followed by the infinitive

  • Module 3
    Topics: Describing your school, subjects, opinions, break time
    Grammar: Using –ar, -er and –ir verbs in the present tense, gustar, definite and indefinite articles

  • Module 4
    Topics: Describing your family, physical descriptions, where you live
    Grammar: Possessive adjectives, ser and tener, using estar for locations

  • Module 5
    Topics: Describing your town or village, opinions on where you live, activities you are going to do there, ordering in a café  
    Grammar: Using the near future tense, ir, ‘some’ and ‘many’

  • Module 6
    Topics: Spanish countries and cities



  • Module 1
    Topics: Describing a holiday in the past, activities that you did there, asking someone else about their holiday
    Grammar: Preterite tense

  • Module 2
    Topics: Mobile phones, which genres of music you like, opinions and justifications, television
    Grammar: Present and preterite tenses, comparatives

  • Module 3
    Topics: What food you like and dislike, different mealtimes, eating in a restaurant, buying food for a party
    Grammar: Past and future tenses, using usted, verbs in the infinitive

  • Module 4
    Topics: Arranging to go out in town, giving excuses, getting ready to go out, clothes, fancy dress
    Grammar: Comparatives and superlatives, this/these, me gustaría

  • Module 5
    Topics: Describing a holiday home, places in town and things you can do there, asking for and giving directions, holiday camps, world destinations
    Grammar: Using the imperative to give directions, formal and informal speech, combining tenses



  • Module 1
    Topics: Things you like, your week, films, a special birthday, life as a celebrity
    Grammar: Present and preterite tenses, expressions of frequency

  • Module 2
    Topics: Types of jobs, hopes for future careers, describing your job, talking about the future
    Grammar: Past, present and future tenses, impersonal se, tener que

  • Module 3
    Topics: Diet, active lifestyles, getting fit, parts of the body
    Grammar: Using the imperative, se debe, direct objects

  • Module 4
    Topics: Children’s rights, fair trade, recycling, fundraising, how a town has changed
    Grammar: Using poder and se debería, para followed by the infinitive, the imperfect tense

  • Module 5
    Topics: Meeting and greeting people, places in town, buying souvenirs, what you’re going to do tomorrow
    Grammar: Expressions with tener, comparatives and superlatives, se puede/n

Key Stage 4 - GCSE


Years 10 and 11: Studio Edexcel

  • Module 1
    Topics: Family and friends, what makes a good friend, relationships, physical descriptions, personality, role models, talking about childhood

Grammar: Present tense regular verbs, être and avoir in the present tense, reflexive verbs, imperfect and near future tenses

  • Module 2
    Topics: Sport, music, reading, film and television, technology
    Grammar: Using depuis followed by a time frame, faire in the present tense, present and imperfect tenses

  • Module 3
    Topics: Festivals and celebrations in France, food, clothing, daily life
    Grammar: Definite and indefinite articles, modal verbs, regular and irregular verbs in the present tense

  • Module 4
    Topics: Where you live, transport, places in town, weather, ideal towns, taking action to improve where you live
    Grammar: Conditional, perfect, present and simple future tenses

  • Module 5
    Topics: Countries, past, future and ideal holidays, hotels and restaurants
    Grammar: Imperfect, future, simple future and conditional tenses, faire de and jouer à

  • Module 6
    Topics: Describing your school, subjects, comparing education in France and in England, school rules, making the most of education
    Grammar: Modal verbs, the imperative

  • Module 7
    Topics: Jobs, career paths, ambitions, using languages in a career, interviews
    Grammar: Agreements, the imperative, the perfect, imperfect, simple future and conditional tenses

  • Module 8
    Topics: The planet, protecting the environment, concerns, volunteering, global ethics
    Grammar: Comparatives and superlatives, regular and irregular verbs in the present tense, complex structures



Years 10 and 11: Viva Edexcel

  • Module 1
    Topics: Holidays in the past, where you stayed, what you did, weather, booking accommodation and dealing with problems
    Grammar: Present, preterite and imperfect tenses, negatives, verbs with usted

  • Module 2
    Topics: Describing the school day, school uniform, opinions on different subjects and teachers, rules and problems, organising and exchange
    Grammar: Comparatives and superlatives, negatives, phrases followed by the infinitive, direct object pronouns

  • Module 3
    Topics: Friends and family, describing people, social networks, making arrangements, reading preferences
    Grammar: Using ser and estar, present continuous, stem changing verbs in the present tense

  • Module 4
    Topic: Free time activities, TV and film, sports, what’s trending, what inspires you
    Grammar: Using soler followed by the infinitive, regular and irregular verbs in the imperfect tense, using a range of past tenses

  • Module 5
    Topics: Places in town, features of a region, planning what to do, shopping for clothes and presents, problems in a town, a visit in the past
    Grammar: Negatives, se puede/n, usted, si + present/future, demonstrative articles, the conditional tense

  • Module 6
    Topics: Mealtimes, typical foods, ordering in a restaurant, festivals, illnesses and injuries  
    Grammar: Reflexive verbs, hay que and tener que, the passive, expressions followed by the infinitive

  • Module 7

Topics: Different jobs, how you earn money, work experience, summer jobs, gap years, plans for the future, the importance of using languages

Grammar: Saber, conocer and soler, indirect object pronouns, the conditional, past and present tenses, the subjunctive with cuando

  • Module 8

Topics: Environmental and global issues, local actions, healthy lifestyles, international events, natural disasters

Grammar: Using se debería, present subjunctive, combining a range of tenses, pluperfect and imperfect continuous

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form

Studying a language to A level helps students to develop a deeper understanding not only of the linguistics, but also the history and culture of the countries that speak the language. Students will develop critical thinking, creativity, independence and skills of analysis.


Over the two year course, students focus on 4 main themes:

  • Changes in French society

  • Political and artistic culture in francophone countries

  • Immigration and multicultural French society

  • Occupation and Resistance

Students also study one film (Intouchables, 2011) and one novel (No et moi, Delphine de Vigan).

At the end of your second year, students take three exams:

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation (French to English). 40% of the total marks available.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation (English to French). This paper requires two essays, each about 275-350 words (one about the film studied and one about the book). 30% of the total marks available.

Paper 3: Speaking. This consists of two tasks; task 1 is a discussion on a sub-theme studied and task 2 is a presentation of independent research, follow by a discussion. 30% of the total marks available


The themes are: 

Puente: Introduction to Spain and the Hispanic World.

Theme 1: (Set in the context of Spain only). The society of modern Spain: changes in family structure, the world of work and the impact of tourism.
La evolución de la sociedad Española.

Theme 2: (Set in the context of Spanish-speaking countries and communities). Music, festivals and traditions in Spain and Latin America.                                                      La cultura política y artística en el mundo de habla española. 

Theme 3: (Set in the context of Spain only). Impacts of immigration on Spanish society, public reaction and social impact.
La inmigración y la sociedad multicultural española.

Theme 4: (Set in the context of Spain only). Civil war and the rise of Francoism, dictatorship and the transition to democracy. 
La dictadura franquista y la transición a la democracia.

Literature and Film

In addition to the four themes, students will study a book and a film. Our book is ‘Bodas de Sangre’ (Blood Wedding) by Lorca and the film ‘Mar Adentro’ (The Sea Inside) by Alejandro Almenábar. Students will develop a detailed understanding and appreciation of both works and, in their assessment, are expected to provide a critical and analytical response by selecting relevant material from the works, presenting and justifying points of view, developing arguments, drawing conclusions based on understanding and evaluating issues, themes and cultural and social contexts.

Independent Research Project

Part of the oral examination provides the students with the opportunity to show their individuality by selecting, researching, presenting and discussing a topic of their choice. The research may be based on one of the themes or on the student’s own subject of interest related to society and culture of the Spanish language.

Exam Overview

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation.
Written examination: 2 hours, 40% of the qualification, 80 marks. 
This paper draws on vocabulary and structures across all four themes.

Assessment overview:
Students are not permitted access to a dictionary during the examination. 
The examination is made up of: 

  Section A: Listening (30 marks) A listening assessment based on a recording, featuring male and female Spanish speakers. Students will respond to comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources. 
  Section B: Reading (30 marks) A reading assessment based on a variety of text types and genres where students will have to respond to comprehension questions. 
  Section C: Translation into English (20 marks) An unseen passage to be translated from Spanish to English.

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation
Written examination: 2 hours and 40 minutes, 30% of the qualification, 120 marks
This paper draws on the study of two discrete Spanish works: a literary text and a film.

Assessment overview:
This paper includes a translation exercise and two essays on either two literary texts, or one literary text and one film (students must not answer questions on two films). 
Students are not permitted access to a dictionary or any documentation relating to the works during the examination.

  Section A: Translation (20 marks) Students translate an unseen passage from English into Spanish. 
  Section B: Written response to works (literary texts) (50 marks) Students must write an extended response the chosen literary texts (Bodas de Sangre). Students select one question from a choice of two.
  Section C: Written response to works (films) (50 marks. Students select one question from a choice of two for their chosen film (Mar adentro).

Paper 3: Speaking
Internally conducted and externally assessed Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time, 30% of the qualification, 72 marks.

Assessment overview:
Students complete two tasks. Task 1 is worth 30 marks and Task 2 is worth 42 marks.

  Task 1 (discussion on a Theme) Students discuss one Theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing two different statements. 
  Task 2, Part 1 (independent research presentation) Students present a summary of at least two of the written sources they have used for their research and give a personal response to what they have read.
  Task 2, Part 2 (discussion on independent research) Students answer questions on their presentation and then have a wider discussion on their research.   


The Modern Foreign Languages department organises a number trips to France and Spain each year.

In Year 7 there is a five night residential trip for both languages. Those doing French go to La Grand’ Ferme in Normandy. Whilst there, our students are immersed in the French language. Every activity is delivered in French by the centre’s highly trained staff. The students enjoy a range of fun activities such as making bread, shopping in a market and exploring the Mont Saint Michel. The staff at the centre are native French speakers.

The Year 7 Spanish trip goes to Murcia in Spain. The centre is run by Spanish native speakers and all activities are delivered in Spanish. These activities include games on the beach, a visit to the local town, shopping in a market, site seeing in Cartagena and preparing Spanish food.

Students in Years 8, 9 & 10 and 12 take part in our very popular exchange trips to Cassis and Madrid. These trips each last a week. During the exchanges, our students stay at their French or Spanish penfriend's house. During the day, Christ’s teachers take them on a range of trips and visits. Later in the academic year the exchange partners come on the return visit to Richmond.

We also take students on trips in this country such as to the British Airways languages centre at Heathrow, the French Institute in Kensington and university-led courses.

All the trips we organise are very popular with our students and have a positive impact on their learning.

We are also fortunate enough to have a number of native French and Spanish speakers as parents, governors and friends of the school. A large number of them have volunteered to act as language assistants, meaning students are given regular 1:1 oral practice during lesson time.


It is possible to study modern languages either as a single honours degree or alongside another subject as a joint honours degree. Common joint honours choices often remain within the humanities, including subjects such as politics, history and literature, but modern languages can also be combined with subjects such as chemistry or mathematics for those wishing to keep their options as broad as possible.

A language degree can qualify graduates to work in education, translation, interpretation, tourism, trade, PR, communications and management. Many government jobs require language skills, particularly in the sectors of immigration and diplomacy. Languages are an invaluable skill to have.

Studies show that having a language can increase your salary by 20% and give you a head start on other potential employees as - by speaking another language – you are vital to any company that does international business. Furthermore, a language is also a prerequisite for many university courses.

Exam board


Exam Board: Edexcel
Course Code: 1FRO


Past papers:

Exam Board: Edexcel
Course Code: 9FR0


Past papers:


Exam Board: Edexcel
Course Code: 1SPO


Past papers:

Exam Board: Edexcel


Past papers:

Textbooks and Revision RESOURCES

Textbooks and revision guides


Studio 1/2/3 Workbook

Viva 1/2/3 Workbook



Studio Edexcel GCSE French grammar and translation workbook

Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French Revision Workbook

Viva Edexcel GCSE Spanish grammar and translation workbook

Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Spanish Revision Workbook


KS5 Spanish

Text books: 

New book: Pearson Edexcel A level Spanish (includes AS), Mike Thacker, Simon Barefoot, David Mee, Mónica Morcillo Laiz.

Old book: Edexcel Spanish for A Level Student's Book, Mike Thacker, Monica Morcillo Laiz, Monica Morcillo.

Compulsory Literary text book: 

Bodas de sangre, by Federico Garcia Lorca.

Compulsory Film:
Mar adentro, 2004 by Alejandro Amenábar.

Grammar workbook:
Ánimo grammar workbook: Spanish AS and A2. 

Websites for Grammar:

List of websites:

The following websites are suggestions for possible research, or for authentic reading or listening materials.

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