Modern Foreign Languages

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At Ivanhoe we believe that learning a language doesn’t limit your choices- it extends them!

❝If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.❞ ‒Nelson Mandela

Learning languages will not only help you communicate with others, but also understand other cultures and your own better. 

It also has great benefits for your brain: Memory improvement, longer attention span, and a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline, are just a few of the known positive effects of speaking two or more languages.



Our aims include:

  • enabling our students to use foreign languages effectively for practical communication
  • enabling all students to achieve their full potential
  • enabling our students to understand the structure of languages and how they work.
  • creating an environment where our students enjoy learning a foreign language.
  • promoting awareness and understanding of different culture.


Curriculum and Assessment

The main language taught at Ivanhoe is French, and in year 9 our students have the opportunity to learn German as well. Our schemes of work are based on the Studio course and students are also able to use the ICT facilities ( Ipads and IT suites) to access Linguascope and other language learning software and websites.

At Ivanhoe College, in languages lessons, students develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills to express themselves and respond with confidence. Students also focus on language learning skills which will help them to learn other languages in the future. They also develop awareness and understanding of other countries and cultures.

In languages lessons, students will:

  • Read and listen to spoken and written forms of the language in the classroom and beyond drawn from a range of materials including some from authentic sources.
  • Communicate in the target language individually, in pairs and in groups, expressing themselves and responding in various situations and on a variety of topics.
  • Learn and use a range of vocabulary and apply grammatical structures of the target language.
  • Compare their own experiences and cultural habits and views with those of people in other countries and communities where other languages are spoken.

The vast majority of our students go on to Ashby School where they study at least one language to GCSE, and a substantial number of learners choose to study two languages. We ensure that students are well prepared for the demands of GCSE and liaise with Ashby School regularly.

We are in close contact with our feeder primary schools who have embraced the teaching of MFL at Key Stage 2. This ensures that our students have a smooth transition into Language learning at Ivanhoe College.

Students are continually assessed within languages lessons, using both formative and summative assessments and students regularly use self and peer assessment in class. Summative assessments usually take place at the end of each unit of work. We regularly give detailed feedback to students regarding their achievement and communicate to students what they need to do to make further progress in their learning.

Learning outside the Classroom

Every year, some of our most able Year 9 linguists are also offered the opportunity to attend Master classes with some students from Ibstock Community College at Ashby School.


Learning at Home

We would encourage all students to practise their vocabulary at home, both orally and in writing.

  • When memorising vocabulary, students may find the following strategies helpful:
  • Look, say, cover, write, check
  • Sticky notes: write new words and stick them around your bedroom where you will see them regularly. “A little and often” is better than “a lot only once”.
  • Language links: make links in your mind when you are learning a new word. Is it like the English? Does it remind you of another word?
  • Vocabulary ranking: list new vocabulary from the easy ones to the most difficult. Don’t spend too much time on easy words!


You can support your child by helping them to revise vocabulary or grammar rules, check their spellings, asking them questions in French or in English for them to reply to in French. The material they need is mainly in their vocabulary book that students always bring home, or in their exercise books or worksheets they occasionally are asked to take home, so do not worry if you do not feel confident in using French or German. Helping students to practise their pronunciation of individual words or a dialogue will also help boost their confidence.

At home, access to a bilingual dictionary or an online dictionary is helpful for students to complete reading and writing tasks.

The MFL department also uses “Moodle”, a virtual leaning environment, and each year group and teacher have their own room for each module . All students can access these rooms and share the contents with their parents.

Here are also some useful websites: ( The College pays for an annual subscription- ask your teacher for details)


Year 7 Topics

In Year 7 all students in French are taught in mixed ability groups.

  • Myself: Greetings, numbers, age, birthday, family, pets
  • Colours, classroom objects and instructions
  • Likes/dislikes
  • Describing myself and others
  • School/school subjects, time, canteen/food
  • Leisure time: computer/phone, sport and activities
  • Places in town, what I can do in my town and where I go on the weekend
  • Buying things at the café/ food and drink/prices


Year 8 Topics

In Year 8 students are taught in mixed ability groups.

  • Talking about films, music and discovering some French and Francophone artists
  • Paris: monuments, activities, what I did/visited, means of transport
  • Myself: personality and friendships
  • My house: describing area where I live, describing my house, comparing rooms in the house
  • Food and Drink: meals, quantities, recipes

Year 9 Topics

In Year 9 all students in French are taught in mixed ability groups.

  • Describing others and giving opinions
  • Organising going out: accepting/refusing, saying how it went
  • Healthy Lifestyle: food and drink, sport and activities, resolutions to keep healthy
  • Holidays: destinations/countries, weather, activities, dream holidays, issues on holidays.


How does Modern Foreign Languages embed cross curriculum literacy?

  • Learning spelling, punctuation and making links to the English language as a strategy for better learning and understanding. 
  • Literacy green pen marking and FUT (to copy out/ correct, redraft etc)
  • Grammar learning-making links and comparisons with English grammar.
  • Reading exercises-looking for cognates, key words, linking to English


How does Modern Foreign Languages embed cross curriculum numeracy?

  • Writing date every lesson
  • Using mathematical exercises while learning numbers (doing subtraction and addition etc…)
  • Teaching time, prices, quantities, measurement


How does Modern Foreign Languages link with SMSC and PLTS?

PLTS reference is used every day in lessons in order to help students identify their weakness and strength so that they can make the best progress. In lessons, through the various activities we plan, we refer to PLTS to teach students to be creative, reflective and independent.

The natural focus of Modern Foreign Languages is SMSC: people, their relationships and interactions with others, cultural immersion.
SMSC links are used where appropriate to make cultural links with every topic through comparing statistics, looking at differences in the style of life (food, school system, sport, family, multimedia….), learning about holidays/countries/ nationalities, etc..
Students are encouraged to discover, discuss, debate unfamiliar lifestyles, and to give their own understanding of the world around them.
SMSC is aimed at breaking down stereotypes and looking at similarities ( eg: through festivals, …)







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