Modern Languages

Bienvenue! ¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to the Modern Foreign Languages department!


The course is designed to enable students to communicate in real life situations in which they might realistically find themselves whilst in France, Spain, Latin America or when speaking with people from any French or Spanish speaking countries. Students will also develop skills in working with others collaboratively, problem solving, memory techniques, creativity and communicating effectively as well as developing their understanding of other cultures.


Students have the opportunity to learn French or Spanish up to GCSE level, as well as enjoying online language learning resources including Linguascope and Memrise.

In Year 7 all students have five hours of MFL lessons per fortnight. Pupils will be allocated a language (French or Spanish) before starting at Thamesmead, parents will be given the opportunity to express a preference before September and we will always try to take this preference into consideration when allocating a language. All pupils will study their allocated language throughout years 7-9 and will then have the opportunity to continue to GCSE level. Throughout these three years, students will be encouraged to explore their language through a wide variety of topics which will help them to develop the four key linguistic skills; listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Many students in Years 7-9 also have the chance to develop their spoken French and Spanish by working with foreign language assistants.

Where a student has a high proficiency (native or near-native level) in a language, under certain circumstances it may be possible to sit a GCSE early. This can be discussed with the Head of Department.

What will I study in KS3? (Year 7, 8, 9)

Pupils develop the four skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking through a wide variety of activities including role play, running dictation, cloze grammar exercises, decoding, translation, language games, videos, song and team challenges. Students are encouraged to use as much target language as possible in classroom interactions and are encouraged to increase their intercultural understanding through the study of the culture and celebrations of the Francophone and Hispanic countries.

Year 7

The focus is on using the foreign language as much as possible in class for authentic communication. The topics covered alongside this are:

  • Meeting people and introducing yourself (spelling your name, expressing ages and birthdays)
  • Describing where you live and your ideal home
  • Talking about favourite hobbies and sports
  • Describing your family and pets
  • Discussing daily routine with time
  • Present and near future tenses

Year 8

The focus is on developing more advanced use of the foreign language as much as possible in class for authentic communication. The topics covered alongside this are:

  • Expressing illnesses, visiting the doctor, at the pharmacy and advice on healthy living
  • Talking about a good friend in detail (use of third person in 2 tenses) and inviting someone to go out
  • Food and drink, eating habits and visiting a restaurant
  • Clothing, problems with items and shopping
  • The preterite tense, developing the near future tense and recognising the imperfect

Year 9

Students begin to get an insight into what the GCSE will be like as they continue to develop the four skills while covering the following topics:

  • The role of the media for young people (TV, film, music and reading preferences)
  • Discussing plans for the future including jobs, ambitions, hope and dreams
  • Describing a holiday abroad in detail
  • Reflecting on when you were younger using imperfect tense
  • Use of direct object pronouns, developing the use of multiple tenses in passive and productive work


Are there any enrichment opportunities, visits or trips?

We have run trips to Barcelona and Paris to allow students the opportunity to really practice their language skills and we also invite companies to perform a play in the target language for KS3 students.

There are weekly revision sessions for Year 11 students to support them in reaching their target grade.

What careers might this lead to?

Achieving a grade C or above in GCSE French or Spanish will enable you to continue your studies of at AS and A2 levels. For those hoping for a career in travel and tourism, the media, journalism, MI5, sales and marketing, customer support, education or translating and interpreting, the knowledge of a foreign language would be a distinct advantage. Some universities and colleges may require an MFL as a condition of entry.

Useful website links:


Please ask your teacher for the username and password A fantastic vocabulary learning website Excellent exercises on both topics and grammar that are automatically corrected   A whole host of MFL games