Modern Foreign Languages

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to a man in his language, that goes to his heart”

Nelson Mandela


Yannick Berland – Head of Faculty (MFL/Humanities)
Suzanne Henderson – Teacher of French and German
Lindsay Carroll – Assistant Principal/Teacher of French
Richard Miller – Associate Director of MFL (OGAT)


The French department
The Modern Languages Department at Outwood Academy at Ripon is an enthusiastic and committed team. We believe that Modern Languages are a vital skill in today’s world and that all students benefit from the study of languages. We have a well-resourced teaching base, with access to ICT facilities to enhance and enrich students’ learning.

Departmental aims
The aims of the French Department are:
• to develop students’ ability to use language to communicate well.
• to stimulate student interest and enjoyment in learning a language.
• to encourage students to achieve their language potential.
• to develop an awareness, understanding and tolerance of others and other cultures.
• to acquire life skills, such as social skills, analysing, expressing ideas, memorising, drawing inferences.
• to develop self-reliance through independent work and team skills through group and pair work.
• to provide opportunities for contact with other cultures.
Did you know…?
• 75% of the world’s population do not speak English.
• 60% of British trade is with non-English speaking countries.
• “In general, having languages on your CV can move your career along quicker – 2 years ahead of the crowd” British Chambers of Commerce.
• Having a language qualification makes you far more attractive to employers of all kinds and gives you a unique selling point making you, not just more employable but also giving you more job security.
• People who speak more than one language can earn on average an extra £3000-9000 a year.
• Europe and the USA are prioritising national competence in languages.

“Many employers nowadays expect to recruit people who have practical skills in understanding and in speaking and writing foreign languages”

The Guide to Languages and Careers

French at Key Stage 3
In Year 7 Outwood Academy at Ripon students are introduced to France and the wider French-speaking world. They learn to speak about themselves, their families and their likes and dislikes, and to use the language for real purposes of communication. Through a number of topic areas students have the opportunity to develop the passive skills of listening to and reading authentic texts, and the active skills of speaking and writing in the foreign language. As well as giving and requesting information, students start to learn how to give their own opinions. They are introduced to the basic language patterns and grammatical features which give them an understanding of how the language works. We use an exciting, brand new course ‘Studio’, which is based on the MFL Framework for KS3.
In Year 8 students are encouraged to be more independent in their language use. Through the study of a number of topics they explore more advanced grammatical concepts, according to the ability of the set they are working in, and learn how to make their productive language more interesting by using a greater variety of vocabulary and sentence structure, and by using “connectives”. By Year 9 students are expected to use the language more creatively. They learn to write longer, more sophisticated texts, and to understand material which contains more unfamiliar language. By the end of the year students should be capable of communicating information about their everyday life, as well as past events and future plans, using the correct tense, giving them a firm foundation for study at GCSE.

French at Key Stage 4
GCSE French is a popular option choice at Outwood Academy at Ripon, and students follow the one-year Edexcel GCSE French course, either in Year 10 or in Year 11. The course consists of nine modules, each of which focuses on one or more aspects of the themes and common topic areas in the table below.


Much of the language needed for GCSE French will already be familiar to students, and most units contain activities to practise all four skills:
Listening – to practise understanding spoken French in a variety of different contexts.
Speaking – to practise communicating with French speakers, both at home and abroad.
Reading – to practise understanding a wide range of texts in French, such as magazine articles and information found on the internet.
Writing – to practise producing your own texts in clear and accurate French


Useful Links
The following links are excellent additional resources to support the learning of our students.
GCSE Bitesize
Languages Online
Wild French*
*Students require a username and password to access these websites.