Modern Foreign Languages

Mrs. E. Elliott

Head of Department

Here at Ferndown Upper School we are passionate about learning languages.  We wholeheartedly share the sentiments of the Psycholinguist Frank Smith.

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

When you learn another language, you extend your linguistic and cultural knowledge, expand your worldview and broaden your horizons.  You recognise differences in values and beliefs and discover new ways of doing things, not to mention strengthen your understanding of your own cultural and linguistic background. Our aim if for all students at Ferndown Upper School to find their MFL lessons interesting, engaging and challenging.

Subject Leader

Emma Elliott – Head of Modern Languages, Director of Learning for Communications


Year 9 French – Social Media, describing an outing or event, sport, health and well-being, jobs and job preferences, future plans, holiday preferences, dream holidays and disastrous trips.  Start GCSE course – Family relationships and qualities of a good friend. 

Year 10 French – Describing what you were like when you were younger, role models, music, TV and cinema, food, drink and eating out, celebrations and festivals, describing your local area, places of interest, weather and climate, finding your way around a town and community projects.  Holiday plans and experiences.

Year 11 French – School life and plans for the future, applying for a job and work experience, social inequality, rights and responsibilities, environmental issues, man-made and natural disasters. Revision for the GCSE exams.

Year 12 & 13 French – Aspects of French-speaking society: Current trends 

Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

Aspects of French-speaking society: Current issues

Individual research project. 

Year 9 Spanish – Introducing yourself and basic classroom vocabulary, school life, traditions in Spain, family and pets, physical appearance, home and local area, daily routine, free time activities.  Start GCSE course – Holiday preferences, planning a trip and describing the weather.

Year 10 Spanish – Booking accommodation and saying what you did on holiday, free time, making arrangements to meet up, social media, TV, film and sports.  School and plans for the future, describing your area, role models, festivals and celebrations. 

Year 11 Spanish – Diet and healthy living, global issues, natural disasters, the value of international sporting events and being a volunteer, jobs, career choices, work experience and ambitions, taking a gap year.  Revision for the GCSE exams. 

Year 12 & 13 Spanish – Aspects of Hispanic-speaking society: Current trends.

Artistic culture in the Hispanic world.

Multiculturalism in Hispanic society.

Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world.

Individual research project.


GCSE – AQA – Assessed through 4 final exams in Year 11 – listening, reading, speaking and writing – all worth 25%.

A level – AQA – Assessed through 3 final exams in Year 13 – listening, reading and writing (50%), writing (20%) and speaking (30%).

Facilities and equipment

The department boasts a computer room where students can access a wide range of online programmes and resources to develop their linguistic skills and listen independently to sound files and watch video clips.

A level students have access to Kerboodle (for Spanish) and Dynamic Learning (for French) which is an interactive research with a wealth of material to practise all skill areas.  

We have an extensive library of films in Spanish and French for students to borrow to enrich their learning.


Exchange trip to Valencia

Pen pal links with our partner school in Valencia

Revision classes for GCSE French (Week 1 Friday 2:40-3:40pm)

Revision classes for GCSE Spanish (Week 2 Thursday 2:40-3:40pm)


• CGP GCSE AQA French/Spanish – The Revision Guide and other workbooks: Exam Practice and Translations Skills

• Revise GCSE Spanish/French Pearson – Revision guide and Revision workbook 

• GCSE Bite size – Listening and Reading exercises

• – Vocabulary practice; games and exercises.  There is also some grammar practice

• Atantot – Vocabulary practice; games. 

• Languages – Interactive reading exercises and grammar practice

• Word – online dictionary

• Duolingo & Quizlet – vocab building and practice apps