A very warm welcome from the Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) department at Richmond Park Academy, a department that continues to go from strength to strength and that is attracting more interest than ever before at Key Stage 4.

Current government thinking suggests that future university entrance will demand a modern foreign language as a mandatory GCSE and with the introduction of the new English Baccalaureate qualification, the importance of studying a language to GCSE level is even more at the forefront of our students’ minds. We offer French, German, Spanish and Latin and are hoping to offer Russian in an extracurricular club from September 2016.

We look forward to inspiring the next sizeable and enthusiastic cohort of budding linguists. The department consists of:

Ms Schmitt - Head of Department - teaches French to KS5 and Spanish to KS3
Mrs Savvari - teacher of Spanish to KS5 and French to KS4
Mr Gareta - teacher of Spanish to KS5 and French to KS3
Mr Frend - teacher of French to KS5, German to KS3 and Russian
Mrs Robert-Nicoud - teacher of Latin to KS4 and also speaks Russian

Key Stage 3

Link button to the Latin page
Year 7
From Year 7 students learn either French or Spanish and more able students also learn Latin. We have three periods a week for the main languages which will continue through into Year 8 and beyond.

In the autumn term, students learn how to describe themselves, as well as how to express opinions and ask simple questions. They will go on to describe family members, pets and their favourite celebrities. In the spring term, students learn how to talk about their hometown and geography, and in the summer term, they learn how to talk about their school and their school day, linking into their future plans.

They should, therefore, be able to confidently use two tenses by the end of Year 7.

We currently do a one-day trip to a German Christmas market in Aachen, and a one-day trip to Boulogne in France in the summer.

Year 8
Students in Year 8 continue with the language they started in Year 7. In the autumn term, they will consolidate their future tense learning by discussing their weekend plans and they will also study the sub-topics of cinema, TV and music under the overarching topic of media.

In the spring term, they study the topic of food and drink as well as shopping for food and then go on to look at the cultural aspects of different festivals in the countries of the language they’re studying. In the summer term, we start the challenging but crucial grammatical area of past tenses using the topic of holidays to steer us through.

We have existing German penfriends which we start in Year 8 and we will be starting Spanish penfriends from September 2016, with the hope of organising an exchange with students from a school in Madrid. We hope to set up similar penfriend exchanges with French schools - watch this space.

Year 8 students are also welcome on the Aachen and Boulogne trips - the more, the merrier!

Year 9
In Year 9, students learn, in more detail, about town and this topic now also incorporates local environment. They will also study the topics of jobs and future careers.

During the spring term, they learn about the dangers of and reasons for and against smoking, drugs and the consequences of both, and go on to look at healthy lifestyles. From 2016 they are also going to study the topic of social media.

In the summer term, students have the opportunity of learning about the French Revolution, the Spanish Civil War and German Reunification ~ looking at the ideologies, politics, economic consequences and repercussions on society.

Following on from that, in the final half-term of Key Stage 3, Year 9 students at RPA do a film project on Les Choristes, Voces Inocentes, or Goodbye Lenin! before starting their GCSEs in Year 10.

We plan cross-curricular trips for Year 9s and hope to get a Spain trip organised with the Religious Studies department in 2017 that benefits students from a linguistic as well as a cultural and religious point of view.

We are hoping also to get cultural exchanges going with our link school in Mirasur from 2016.

Key Stage 4

Year 10 from September 2016: This will be the first year of the new GCSEs.
In French and Spanish, studies come under three broad themes:
  • Identity and culture
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment
These themes cover a wide range of topics, the majority of which students will have touched upon in their Key Stage 3 language lessons, allowing them to study them at Key Stage 4 in greater depth and with more confidence. We will also study new areas such as social and global issues following the AQA exam board.

Assessment is at the end of the two years and will involve listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation (both from the Target Language into English, and vice versa).

Year 11 from September 2016: This will be the final year of the ‘legacy’ GCSEs.
In French, German and Spanish, this means they will be completing their four pieces of controlled assessment (two in Speaking, two in Writing - worth 60% of the overall GCSE). Topics covered in detail are:
  • Lifestyle
  • Leisure
  • Home and the environment
  • Work and education
We follow the AQA exam board.

Key Stage 5

Year 12 AS - September 2016 will be the start of the new AS.
Core content for the new AS comes under three core themes:
  • Social issues and trends
  • Artistic culture
  • Grammar with the further topic of Works: where we will study either a literary text or a film. In French, we have chosen the film La Haine and in Spanish El Laberinto del Fauno.
We follow the AQA exam board. We expect the students to continue into A Level and are ensuring that students in Year 12 are able to move seamlessly into A Level in Year 13.

Year 13 A2 - September 2016 will be the final year of the current A2 course in Modern Foreign Languages.
French A2 students will start with the cultural topic of Guerre d'Algerie and Spanish will be covering La Guerra Civil. The A2 course covers three wide-reaching topics:
  • The Environment
  • Multicultural Society
  • Contemporary Social Problems
Under the Cultural Topic, students will also be studying La Casa de Bernarda by Federico García Lorca and Un Secret by Philippe Grimbert.


Extracurricular Activities

  • Trips to France, Germany, Spain and Italy
  • Foreign Film Club
  • Russian Club
  • Foreign Karaoke Club