Intent: why do we teach what we teach?

Our MFL mission at King Solomon Academy is to ensure:

“Pupils are able to manipulate the language accurately and confidently. Pupils are curious and feel passionately about the importance and relevance of languages and want to pursue them further.”

We believe that language learning goes much deeper than the language itself. All year groups are not only exposed to the target language but also to the culture, history, literature and politics that surround the language itself. We provide a deep understanding of another language to improve pupils’ native tongue, communication, empathy and understanding skills. The MFL department is committed to broadening pupils’ understanding of the world and developing strong, long-life linguistic skills. Along with learning new topics, we give pupils plenty of opportunity to practice and therefore remember key vocabulary. This is the first step towards becoming independent as a language learner and therefore creative with the target language.

Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own. ‒Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Curriculum design:

Our curriculum is designed around what we believe makes a pupil successful in languages, that is, for pupils to be able to manipulate language accurately and confidently and for pupils to be curious and feel passionately about the importance and relevance of languages. We believe in depth before breadth when teaching language and grammar principles to our pupils to ensure language mastery. In each year of MFL teaching, pupils are exposed to authentic target language texts, learn about the history and culture behind the target language and re-use high frequency vocabulary and grammar within different contexts. We expose our pupils to the wider world through their language learning, for example in year 8 we have a module on the First World War taught through the French perspective, whilst year 8s study First World War poetry in English. In summary, rather than teaching to the exams, we teach to develop, master and create curiosity, which results in excellent linguists.

We keep our curriculum updated in a variety of different ways driven by robust academic research. Our language gurus include Rachel Hawkes, GianFranco Conti and Steve Smith. All of the above have contributed significantly to the best practice behind the teaching of MFL. We believe in the constant cycle of improvement and make changes to our curriculum after each academic year, after reflecting on the successes and weaknesses of curriculum implementation and after a thorough analysis of pupils’ results throughout the academic year. Department meetings are driven by academic literature and department results, there is an overarching focus each year, for example, this year it is as follows: phonics, micro listening, rote learn verbs use of target language and rigorous assessments. Department meetings aim to give a shared understanding of the rationale behind the chosen focus and build the skills of staff in these areas.

We prioritise depth of knowledge in one language, knowing that the skills that are acquired are transferrable across the board. We begin the French curriculum in year 5 and as such we are able to map a single coherent path from year 5 to year 13. Our KS2 and KS3 topics are loosely linked to KS4 topics (GCSE topics) and grammar is taught in a constant loop of recycling through each topic. For example, in year 5, pupils how to learn where they live, a topic that is then developed further through extending vocabulary and grammatical structures throughout Key Stage 3 in preparation for their GCSE, pupils master the topic, “Where I live”.

Spanish is offered ab-initio from Year 10. We have a strong uptake of pupils each year who are inspired to further develop their language skills alongside their French GCSE.

We follow the Edexcel GCSE course in both French (1FR0) and Spanish (1SP0).

The GCSE topics are:

  • Identity and culture,
  • Local area, holiday and travel,
  • School,
  • Future aspirations, study and work, and
  • International and global dimension.

We make sure these topics are started in KS2 and interleaved over the course of KS3 to provide pupils with a strong starting point in year 10.

We have a small but committed Key Stage 5 cohort in both French and Spanish, including internal candidates as well as external Year 12 and 13s.


Theme 1: Les changements dans la société française.

Theme 2: La culture politique et artistique dans les pays francophones.

Theme 3: L’immigration et la société multiculturelle française.

Theme 4: L’Occupation et la Résistance


Theme 1: La evolución de la sociedad española

Theme 2: La cultura política y artística en el mundo hispanohablante

Theme 3: La inmigración y la sociedad multicultural española

Theme 4: La dictadura franquista y la transición a la democracia

Additional Qualifications

For the first time this year, we are proud to offer our pupils the opportunity to sit GCSE Arabic at King Solomon Academy, working in partnership with a native speaker examiner. We hope to expand the popularity of this offer in the future.

Implementation: how do we teach what we teach?



Curriculum hours per week

Organisation of pupil work

Year 5

3 x 30 mins

Oral focus: 2 x speaking lessons; 1 x listening

Year 6

3 x 30 mins

Books introduced in year 6

1 x speaking lesson

1 x listening

1 x writing lesson

Year 7

2 x 55mins

Work completed in books across four skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking)

Year 8

3 x 55 mins    (Yr 7 / 8)

Year 9

2 x 55 mins    (Yr 9)


3 x 55 mins   


5 x 55 mins

Work completed in folders/own textbooks



Curriculum hours per week

Organisation of pupil work


3 x 55 mins   

Work completed in books across four skills (reading, listening, writing, speaking)


5 x 55 mins

Work completed in folders/own textbooks

On the basis of research, we believe language acquisition between the ages of 9-11 is best supported by oracy, hence why we prioritise this skill in KS2. As you move through the curriculum, the other skills (writing, listening and reading) are built in and we carefully think about when and where they appear.

Our teachers:

We are proud to say that all MFL teachers have their PGCE in languages. All teachers have spent considerable time abroad studying, living and working in their target language country.

Lesson Design

All MFL lessons begin with a Do Now, an opportunity to review prior learning. Teachers consistently deliver new learning using an I, We, You cycle. All pupils practice learning independently in each lesson, leading to an Exit Ticket which solidifies the content covered in the lesson.

Support in MFL:

We are ambitious for all pupils in MFL. We plan for and expect all pupils to take a GCSE in French; in our current year 11 cohort 93% of pupils are on track to do this, as are 96% of year 10. To ensure access for pupils who have low prior attainment we frequently use models, scaffolds and knowledge organisers, often in the form of sentence builders, inspired by the work of Conti. Teachers gather data in their lessons through Intentional Monitoring and Checks for Understanding and use this to intervene live in lessons.

All pupils across the school read the same texts as their peers - we have the same expectations of all of our learners to be able to master challenging target language texts and we use Inside, Outside, Beyond to support pupils to do this in lessons and, over time, independently.

Monitoring the implementation:

Half termly mid-term plan evaluations happen at the beginning of each half term with the Head of Department to check for logical lesson sequences, rigorous activities and appropriate levels of challenge. Pupils receive a knowledge organiser at the beginning of each unit work taught. Furthermore, in Y11, pupils have access to the Edexcel GCSE vocabulary lists for each module of work and Y12/13 have access to the GCE vocabulary lists developed by the textbook used.

Over time, we are interested in building routines around online homework, where pupils are able to practice vocabulary and grammar to secure mastery and to be able to practice exam style listenings and readings. Remote learning has inspired us to make more use of online platforms and all year groups in KS3 and KS4 have been using Seneca to practice vocab, grammar and reading and listening comprehensions as well as SpARK booklets provided by the ARK Network.

Impact: how do we teach what we teach?


The end of year grade that our pupils receive are a culmination of all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) that have been tested at least once throughout the academic year. Additionally, our termly formative grade is never just based on one skill. Moreover, our checkpoints work on a termly theme, where we focus on at least two particular skills, such as listening and writing or reading and speaking.

Below is the break-down of how we assess our pupils through ‘Checkpoints’:


After each checkpoint, there is a re-teach lesson where teachers re-visit content that pupils have not mastered. This ensures that pupils are given every possible opportunity to get things right and correct any misconceptions that might have arisen.

Formal termly assessments and grade boundaries

Each year, teachers reflect on the above assessments (all data has been saved in the teacher mark book throughout the year) and make plans on how to adapt the curriculum for the next year.

In the past 3 years we have been adapting the KS3 curriculum in the light of the progress that pupils make in KS2.

In KS2 we assess 2 skills per term. We rank the pupils from the data and record their raw marks in our markbooks. Pupils are RAGed (Red, Amber, Green) by performance based on our own internal understanding of where pupils need to be. Sadly, there is no national framework for primary languages, so we base our judgements on attainment in relation to what we believe is a good starting point for KS3.



In both KS3 and KS4 pupils are provided with a piece of written feedback every 5-6 lessons. Teachers use WWW (what went well) and EBI (even better if) in order for pupils to make maximum progress. These can reflect the GCSE examination criteria in both content and language accuracy.

Pupils also receive various other forms of feedback throughout their lessons. These include but are not limited to: oral feedback from your teacher individually or as a class, whole class feedback peer assessment, questioning in class, exit tickets and end of term assessments.

Revision and Independent Learning

Pupils are provided with knowledge organisers. They are also given a wealth of revision materials every term and are encouraged to attend revision sessions after school for extra support. Intervention sessions run for year 11 pupils.

Pupils should use revision strategies such as look, cover, write, check; revision cards; recording themselves talking (eg; online websites (eg and; revision mindmaps; and knowledge organisers to name a few. Pupils are also encouraged to use these techniques before the end of term assessments.

Pupils receive dedicated revision sessions before the exams and look at exam technique and exemplar exam questions to aid with their revision.


In the past 10 years KSA has consistently achieved results that fall in the top three schools in the ARK network, more often than not, achieving the best grades in the network. Each year, we produce strong results in KS3, GCSEs and A-Levels.

At the end of the academic year 2018-19 we had our first ever pupils in KSA pupils go on to study languages at university. In the year 2019-20 2 out of 3 of our A-Level pupils are applying to study languages at university. Our aim is to attract more pupils into studying a language at KS5.  Each year more pupils choose Spanish as a GCSE with more than a third of the year group choosing it as an option in year 10. Those pupils that pick Spanish in Y10 and languages are KS5 are highly dedicated to the subject and are passionate.

What we are proud of in MFL at King Solomon Academy

1) Increasing engagement in languages in KS5 and at university

2) Attainment at KS4

3) KS4 Ab-initio Spanish course shows rapid progress across 2 years

4) Fully integrated 9 year curriculum

5) The strength of the MFL teaching team, strong teaching, dedicated with meticulous planning and feedback.

6) Our provision at Primary