Why are Modern Foreign Languages important?

Studying a modern foreign language opens students’ minds to other cultures. This makes them better citizens who understand and respect differences between people, as learning how to interact with speakers of other languages can help you see things from a range of perspectives and enables people to operate cross-culturally. Technology, globalisation and ease of international travel are bringing more of the world within our reach, and in speaking a modern foreign language we are able to engage with this more fully. Learning a language develops your problem-solving skills, and makes you more adaptable, resourceful, and creative.

What is the aim of the Modern Foreign Languages curriculum at Oaklands?

The modern foreign languages curriculum at Oaklands School aims to ensure that students are able to express themselves and communicate in a variety of contexts, situations, and timeframes. We believe that language learning is empowering, and we strive to help students become great communicators, skilled linguists, and truly global citizens. 

Specifically, these are the skills we want our students to acquire:

-         To understand and respond to spoken and written language

-         To speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say - including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation

-          To be able to write at varying lengths, for different purposes and audiences, using a variety of grammatical structures 

-         To eventually discover and develop an appreciation of a range of literature in the language studied

-         To develop strategies to work with texts they do not fully understand

Students will develop:

  • A lasting appreciation of a modern foreign language and learning.
  • The ability to understand a language in a range of contexts.
  • The ability to communicate readily and for a variety of purposes.
  • A useful knowledge of and insights into other cultures, both contemporary and historic.
  • Valuable skills for foreign travel, further education and employment. 

How is the curriculum in Modern Foreign Languages structured?

The modern foreign languages curriculum at Oaklands is structured around reading, writing, speaking and listening. so as to enable students to understand and respond to spoken and written language, to speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity; to be able to write at varying lengths, for different purposes and audiences, using a variety of grammatical structures; to eventually discover and develop an appreciation of a range of literature in the language studied and to develop strategies to work with texts they do not fully understand. 

Topics covered in Year 7:

Introducing and describing yourself 



Free time (what you do and what you are going to do)

Topics covered in Year 8:

Going out (what you do/ what you would like to do / what you can do)

Describing holidays (present / past / future)

Films, TV shows, and music

Topics covered in Year 9:

Speak in detail about yourself, your family, your partner, and your friends

The benefits and harms of technology, including social media

Free time activities, including eating out and sport

Spanish and Latin American customs and culture


Topics covered in Year 10:

Your house and local area

Charity work

The environment

Holidays and Tourism in Spain

Topics covered in Year 11:

School (rules, uniform, subjects, studying, etc.)

What to do after school

Work and University

KS4 Qualification title: GCSE

KS5 Qualification title: A Levels 

The course aims to enable students to study historical, political, cultural and social change, looking at the diversity of modern societies. They will study highlights of art and culture, including a focus on the different regional identities and the cultural heritage of past civilizations. They will also learn about aspects of the diverse political landscapes of different countries. 

Students will explore the influence of the past on present-day communities. Students will study texts and films and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice. Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. 

Aspects of Hispanic society

  • Traditional and modern values
  • Cyberspace
  • Equal rights 

Artistic culture in the Hispanic world 

  • Modern day idols 
  • Spanish regional identity 
  • Cultural heritage 

 Multiculturalism in Hispanic society

    • Immigration 
    • Racism 
  • Integration 

Aspects of political life in the Hispanic world

  • Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens 
  • Monarchies and dictatorships 
  • Popular movements (Movimientos populares)

Literary texts and films

Students study one text and one film


  • Federico García Lorca - La casa de Bernarda Alba


  • Volver - Pedro Almodóvar (2006)


Individual research project

Students must identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to them and which relates to a country or countries where Spanish is spoken. They must select relevant information in Spanish from a range of sources. The aim of the research project is to develop research skills. Students will demonstrate their ability to initiate and conduct individual research by analysing and summarising their findings, in order to present and discuss them in the speaking assessment.

MFL Curriculum Maps

Additional learning resources:



Practical tips / activities for parents to support learning at home


We highly recommend taking a family approach to language learning, particularly if you have multiple children studying at Oaklands. One option is to download the application “Duolingo” onto every family member’s phone or tablet, and then “follow” each other. Duolingo tracks work done, or “XP”, rather than ability, so it means that older students with multiple years of study can still compete with those who have just begun studying a language, or have no experience at all! It is also possible for different people to use Duolingo for different languages and still compare the number of points they accrue in a day, so if one child is doing French, and another Spanish, their performance can still be compared. We highly recommend parents and carers joining in with this, to foster an environment of friendly competition and language learning in the home. And of course, it’s completely free!


We also highly recommend checking over your children’s homework and asking them to explain it to you. We give frequent homework in the languages department, so you will have many opportunities to check in on their work. If you feel they are not doing enough work, we also have “Quizlet” and “Kerboodle” in the student area, so students can practice language learning anywhere with an internet connection, day or night.