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Modern Foreign Languages


At Ribblesdale, Modern Foreign Language lessons are taught by subject-specialist teachers passionate about languages. The department delivers a rich and varied curriculum for French and Spanish, with the key aim of broadening pupils’ horizons and introducing them to different cultures. Here, pupils learn not only to communicate for practical purposes but also to express their ideas and opinions. In addition, pupils are encouraged to learn new ways of thinking and to read a variety of texts to deepen their experience of language learning. It is the hope of our Modern Foreign Languages teachers that language lessons at Ribblesdale will encourage pupils to learn other languages, to interact with cultures other than their own and to travel, study and even work in other countries in the future.


In Year 7, pupils learn both French and Spanish for an hour a week in order to develop key skills and knowledge in both languages, foster curiosity and to provide them with the tools to make an educated decision as to which language they would like to pursue in Year 8 and beyond for two hours a week.

Throughout their language journey at Key Stage 3, pupils develop the skills necessary to introduce themselves, express their likes and dislikes on a range of topics as well as develop their grammatical skills around three time frames. Pupils do not only focus on communication skills at Key Stage 3. They also deepen their cultural awareness of French and Spanish-speaking around the world with a range of activities, topics and celebrations organised throughout their time at Ribblesdale School.

Their learning is mapped around four key skills – Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing as these are key to making each pupil a well-rounded linguist. These skills are periodically assessed via both formative and summative means.


Language learning beyond Key Stage 3 is strongly encouraged at Ribblesdale as it is part of the eBacc. The intake for both French and Spanish at GCSE level has been steadily increasing each year since 2016. In Year 10, pupils study French or Spanish for two hours a week with an increase to three hours a week in Year 11.

Pupils complete the AQA GCSE examination for both French and Spanish and lessons are tailored around the Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills as they are the skills they will be assessed on in their GCSE examinations.

Throughout their learning of French or Spanish, pupils deepen their understanding on three main themes –

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local, national, international, and global areas of interest
  3. Current and future studies and employment

Each theme offers opportunities for pupils to develop their communication skills and critical thinking. There is also a cultural emphasis on each theme, building upon pupils’ prior knowledge from Key Stage 3.

Personal Development Opportunities

At Ribblesdale, we understand that Modern Foreign Languages go beyond the classroom and beyond the teaching of French or Spanish. This is why we welcome, encourage and support pupils who speak any additional language to complete an additional GCSE in their chosen language. We have historically entered pupils for German, Mandarin, Greek, Arabic, Polish and Urdu, to name a few. Results are always phenomenal!

A wide range of events and activities are organised at Ribblesdale School in order to celebrate languages. The European Day of Languages, for example where all European languages are celebrated for a week at whole school level. Our very popular Paris or Barcelona trips also offer the opportunity for pupils to deepen their cultural knowledge of these emblematic cities, whilst also allowing them to practise their communication skills in an authentic setting. However, going abroad is not the only way for pupils to be immersed in such a setting. Indeed, with visits to L’Alliance Française for French and El Instituto Cervantes for Spanish, teachers at Ribblesdale School ensure that all pupils have the opportunity to widen their horizons.

We have also created and fostered links with Burnley College where Key Stage 4 pupils have the opportunity to experience what it would be like to study a language at A-Level.

Details of the following content for the subject of MFL can be viewed below: