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MFL (French and Spanish) Key Stage 3


Developing confident and competent communicators who demonstrate increasing intercultural awareness and are not afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.  

Curriculum Overview

By the end of KS3, we want students to be able to give justified opinions and communicate in 3 tenses. Through creative and cultural projects, we also intend for our students to have an increased awareness and knowledge of other cultures and customs.  

In MFL we are aiming for all students to be resilient communicators who have developed a basic proficiency in both the receptive (reading and listening) and productive (writing and speaking) skills. By the end of Key Stage 3, we want all students to: 

  • Have developed reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills so that they can communicate confidently in 3 tenses.  

  • Be able to give and understand opinions and justifications on a range of topics relevant to them 

  • Use and understand core functional language to help them cope in real-life situations 

  • Know and apply their phonetic knowledge to new language 

  • Have broad cultural knowledge from the Francophone/Hispanic world 

Students study the same language all the way through Key Stage 3 and begin to learn an additional language in Year 9. See the grid below for more details: 

Year 7 8 9
2023-24  French Spanish French (with Spanish)
2024-25  Spanish French Spanish (with French)
2025-26  French Spanish French (with Spanish)

Click to view the Curriculum Overview

Sequencing, Setting and Support

Students are taught content following the EPI model (Extensive Processing Instruction). Each year there are a series of different communicative functions taught e.g. Expressing feelings and opinions. The EPI model (sometimes referred to as MARSEARS) means that communicative functions are taught in this sequence: 

  1. Modelling and raising awareness of phonics 

  1. Receptive processing (listening and reading with support) 

  1. Structured production (writing and speaking with support) 

  1. Expansion (explicit grammar teaching and deliberate practice) 

  1. Automaticity and Routinization (listening, reading, writing, speaking without support) 

  1. Spontaneity (writing and speaking without support 

By following this sequence, students are over-exposed to key vocabulary, phonics and grammar through listening and reading with plenty of support, before having to produce any language themselves. In each year of Key Stage 3, key vocabulary, grammar, and phonics are recycled and built upon from the previous year


In Year 7 students are taught in their tutor groups, so mixed ability groups. In Year 8 and Year 9, all groups are mixed ability apart from a Set 1 on each side of the year group. The rationale for having a Set 1 is that some students are native speakers in the language or have the language in their family so are at an advanced level already. It allows for better adaptive teaching in all groups. All groups are taught core and challenge vocabulary, so nobody’s depth of learning or progress is restricted. The Set1 groups may experience more of the lesson taught in the target language and may spend longer completing deliberate practice on the challenge vocabulary and grammar. 


Teachers know their students well and differentiate learning so every student can succeed to the best of their ability. All students are provided with a Sentence Builder booklet. This contains vocabulary grids for each unit of work which helps students to build sentences accurately. It provides model answers that act as a scaffold for students throughout the sequence. The MARSEARS sequence allows plenty of repetition and recycling and students can remove the support when they feel they are ready. Some tasks in class are differentiated e.g. Bronze, Silver, Gold and students can choose which level they would like to attempt. Some students will work with an LSA at certain times in the sequence to practise recall of key structures in small groups. All students have a login for vocabulary learning websites. This website enables them to access their Sentence Builders at home and practise  listening, reading, and writing skills in a supportive way. 

Alive Themes in French and Spanish

In MFL our ALIVE theme is We can communicate. We develop this throughout Key Stage 3 by teaching students how to understand listening and reading material across a range of different topics. We also give plenty of opportunity for students to develop and practise their writing and speaking skills through individual tasks, pair work, group work, and whole class activities. There are many other ALIVE themes threaded throughout our curriculum. Please see the ALIVE audit for more details.  

Click to view the Alive Values Overview

Assessment in French and Spanish

We use fluency writing tasks, vocabulary learning homework tasks, and summative assessments in the four skill areas (listening, reading, writing, speaking) to award students a grade in their reports home.  

A Secure student in Year 7 should be able to understand and produce an accurate description of themselves and others, give justified opinions, describe a place, and make comparisons.  

A Secure student in Year 8 should be able to do all of the above, and describe past events.  

A Secure student in Year 9 should be able to do all of the above, and describe future events.  

Click to view the Assessment Overview

Homework and how Parents/Carers Support Learning

All homework is set on Bromcom which is an app and website available to students and parents/carers. Further information is available on our Homework page.

These are the principles which underpin our homework.

Homework overview graphic

Weekly vocabulary learning homework assignments are set on All students will be provided with individual login details at the beginning of the school year and will be sent an email with these details (which they should refer to throughout the year if they forget their account details). This homework is a form of reviewing current learning and retrieving previous learning.  

Creative homework projects are also set a few times a year to help students reflect on the culture of the target language country and/or to help students link what they have learnt to an ALIVE skill.  

Sometimes students may also be asked to improve their work based on teacher feedback for homework.  

Parents can support their child with MFL homework by making a note of their vocabulary login details ( and Quizlet) at the beginning of the year and encouraging them to check Bromcom regularly so that they meet all deadlines. Parents can test their child on vocabulary after they have completed the vocabulary learning homework and they can also listen to them practise their speaking questions and answers.  Student will also need support from parents in organising their time when they are given a creative project task so that it is not left until the last minute

Useful French and Spanish Resources

All resources to support learning can be found on the relevant year’s Moodle page. We will also send out information about purchasing a CGP Key Stage 3 Revision workbook for MFL. The following websites are used by students for vocabulary learning: 

Sentence Builders  


There are also free websites to help students practise grammar and listening skills: 


Lyrics Training  

Contact us

St. Mary Redcliffe and Temple School
Somerset Square, Bristol, BS1 6RT

0117 3772100