Key Stage 3 Modern Foreign Languages

Learning a foreign language is an essential skill for the modern world and workplace. In an increasingly internationally competitive marketplace, it is vital that young people learn other foreign languages and have an appreciation of different ways of life. Language learning opens up many opportunities to travel, meet new people and experience other cultures, which ultimately enhances and enriches our own lives and perspectives.

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.  If you talk to him in his own language that goes to his heart" - Nelson Mandela

Language skills are not only highly sought after by employers, they have been proven to improve cognitive and creative abilities, such as problem solving, prioritising and multitasking. Recent research has even shown that learning a foreign language can delay the onset of dementia!

Other key language facts from

  • Only 6% of the world’s population speak English as a first language
  • 75% of the world’s population don’t speak any English at all
  • 74% of employers are looking to employ people with conversational language skills
  • Studying a foreign language improves your oral and written skills in English too, and also helps develop key communication skills that are crucial in the workplace
  • One in five exporting companies say they are losing trade because of language and cultural barriers.
  • 49% of employers are disappointed with graduates’ foreign language skills.

Course description

At Archbishop Holgate’s School we offer the opportunity for pupils to develop their language skills and abilities thoroughly, which then means that pupils can apply their language skills to learning other foreign languages later in life, whether for business or pleasure. In KS3 pupils study relevant and interesting topics, such as hobbies and free-time activities, healthy living and home and environment. Pupils also learn vital grammatical skills, including how to use a dictionary, express different opinions, conjugate verbs and use a variety of different tenses. All pupils study either German or French throughout Year 7 and Year 8.

Lessons are varied and make use of a variety of different resources that allow pupils to practise and develop the four language skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Homework can include vocabulary learning, research, preparing presentations and role-plays and writing paragraphs building on the learning in lessons. All pupils would benefit from access to a good quality dictionary for completing work at home, and should avoid using online translators, which often inhibit understanding and result in producing inaccurate work. Pupils are regularly assessed in all four skill areas and frequently use peer and self-assessment in lessons.

The Languages Department at Archbishop Holgate’s School is committed to supporting pupils in their learning and offer a variety of extra-curricular activities, including trips abroad, support classes and European Day of Languages events.


Bienvenue! French is a useful asset for anyone interested in international business. It is an official language of the European Union and of its three political centres, Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxemburg City. 67.8 Million people speak French as their main language and it is spoken in 60 counties around the world. Most native speakers live in France, however, there are also a high number living in Quebec, Switzerland, Belgium and a number of African countries.

 In a recent skills survey, French was highlighted along with German as being the language that is most sought after in Britain by companies specifically looking for people with language skills. French is the third most common language on the internet after English and German and one of the romance languages along with Spanish, Italian, Portugese and Romanian – so learning these after learning French is much easier!


Willkommen! German is the most widely spoken language in the European Union and the second most frequently used language on the internet after English. There are currently 90.3 Million people who speak German as their first language and it is spoken in 43 countries world-wide. In a recent skills survey, German was highlighted along with French as being the language that is most sought after in Britain by companies specifically looking for people with language skills.

The German economy is the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world, so learning German is great for future business opportunities. German is still a leading language of science, literature, art, philosophy and history. Not only that, Germany, Austria and Switzerland are fantastic countries to visit on holiday, with vibrant cities such as Berlin, the Oktoberfest in Munich and the cultural sights of Vienna to investigate.

Y7 French/German

All pupils develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. They learn vocabulary such as numbers, colours, opinions and classroom phrases. Pupils develop their understanding of grammar, including gender, plurals, regular verb endings and adjectival agreement. They are able to give short spoken presentations, and understand others talking about themselves, their family and friends. They can also write short paragraphs expressing personal opinions and can use bilingual dictionaries to look up new words. Topics covered include: personal identity, school, hobbies and local area.

Y8 French/German

Pupils learn how to form different tenses and are increase the range of vocabulary and structures that they can use and the complexity of their language. Their grammatical understanding is deepening and they are able to write longer texts and speak from memory on a variety of different topics, expressing their likes and dislikes accurately. Topics include media and free time activities, home and local area, holidays and travel.


Pupils are assessed formatively in one of the four skill areas (listening, speaking, writing and reading) at the end of every half term and are assessed summatively in all skill areas at the end of the year. Assessments emulate the GCSE examination format and involve a variety of tasks including role-play, translation, letter writing, gap fills and multiple choice.

Ways to help my child succeed

  • Ensure that they have access to a dictionary, study guide and grammar guide for use at home
  • Pack a dictionary on the days that they have languages
  • Do not let them use online translators
  • Be positive about foreign language learning and other cultures
  • Practise with them for tests and assessments

Useful websites

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