Curriculum Intent

We aim to be an outstanding department which strives to create enthusiastic language learners across the key stages and ability ranges, equipping pupils with life-long understanding and appreciation of other languages and cultures and a thirst to find out more. This is achieved by increased target language use, excellent modelling and independent language work creating more responsible learners as well as enrichment trips and a focus on ‘real communication for real purposes’, as exemplified in the new GCSE specification.

Students feel supported in their learning and have a range of tools (minimum models, enticing displays, consistent strategies across the department) to draw upon in order for them to progress and feel confident in their learning. By the end of KS3, they should have a good understanding of the three time frames and key structures and will have had the opportunity to study both French and Spanish. By the end of KS4, they will have consolidated their understanding of the tense system and be able to express themselves on the themes included in the GCSE syllabi. They will be more confident at speaking the language the study, as well as proficient writers of it.


Students will be taught to:

  • understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources
  • 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
  • write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt
  • discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied

Key concepts/skills

  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Contextualisation
  • Translation

Links to Key Stage 2

We note that there are huge differences in student’s Key Stage 2 curriculum diet.

In Bristol, some feeders have language assistants and volunteers and in others there is very little language coverage. At Becket Keys School, one feeder school delivers languages particularly well in contrast to the others and there is no delivery of mandarin in the local area at Key Stage 2. In Brighton, some students arrive with Spanish GCSE. They are put in a separate class and study French in Year 7. Other students arrive with limited language knowledge.  In Barnet, primary schools generally teach Spanish with some teaching French. Native speakers at all RET schools have access to authentic resources but do not necessarily have the grounding in spelling, grammar and writing that is required for qualifications in languages.

This means that all of our schools have to have a differentiated approach but must start with the basics of languages in order to ensure Year 7 are on a level playing field before they move on to Year 8.

Relationship to the wider Key Stage 3 Curriculum

There are links in the Key Stage 3 curriculum across our schools with subjects such as history, English, geography, food, music and art. At Becket Keys School there is a ‘Mandarin Day’ which links food, art, languages and science. At Bristol Free School and King’s School there are or are planned trips to Spain combining the study of art and language.

Links to KS4

All of the skills practiced at KS3, are represented,  assessed and developed in Key Stage 4. KS4 is a natural progression. All schools have online programmes of study that build on knowledge and skills in each consecutive year. Bristol Free School have a powerpoint display of the learning journey across Key Stages which has been shared with the rest of the schools in the Trust. St. Andrew the Apostle school offers Greek at Key Stage 4. Although Greek isn’t taught explicitly at Key Stage 3 the students use similar grammar to other languages studied.

Extra Curricular Experience

Irrespective of background we encourage all students to take part in our extra-curricular languages offer. This includes groups that meet before and after school and during lunch times. Examples of our offer include:

  • Drop in 'clinics' for support
  • MFL Film Club