Key Stage 3:  French

Curriculum Intent

French teaching at Murray Park School aims to prepare students for the globalised world in which we live. Learning French provides an opening into other cultures and a liberation from insularity. We hope to foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world through high-quality teaching. We wish to enable students to be able to express their ideas and thoughts in French and understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. It is hoped that our students will leave school with broadened horizons and opportunities that may not have been available to previous generations of their family.

Our French curriculum will give students an insight into what it is like to live in a French-speaking (Francophone) country and allow them to compare their lives with the lives of their Francophone peers. We aim to incorporate authentic literary texts and authentic sound and video clips into our curriculum in order to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of French language and Francophone culture.

We believe that all students can benefit from learning a language and that all students should have the opportunity to learn a language as part of their broad and balanced education at Murray Park School. We hope that the study of languages can lead students to recognise that diversity is a matter for respect and celebration in a world of multiple cultures and languages.


The national curriculum for languages aims to ensure that all students:

  • 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;
  • can 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.

Curriculum Overview

Course outline and structure

Each Year group covers a new unit of work each half term and the students’ learning is regularly assessed.

In key stage 3 students are taught to:

Grammar and vocabulary

  • identify and use tenses or other structures which convey the present, past, and future as appropriate to the language being studied;
  • use and manipulate a variety of key grammatical structures and patterns, including voices and moods, as appropriate;
  • develop and use a wide-ranging and deepening vocabulary that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, allowing them to give and justify opinions and take part in discussion about wider issues;
  • use accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Linguistic competence

  • listen to a variety of forms of spoken language to obtain information and respond appropriately;
  • transcribe words and short sentences that they hear with increasing accuracy
  • initiate and develop conversations, coping with unfamiliar language and unexpected responses, making use of important social conventions such as formal modes of address;
  • express and develop ideas clearly and with increasing accuracy, both orally and in writing;
  • speak coherently and confidently, with increasingly accurate pronunciation and intonation;
  • read and show comprehension of original and adapted materials from a range of different sources, understanding the purpose, important ideas and details and provide an accurate English translation of short, suitable material;
  • read literary texts in the language [such as stories, songs, poems and letters], to stimulate ideas, develop creative expression and expand understanding of the language and culture;
  • write prose using an increasingly wide range of grammar and vocabulary;
  • write creatively to express their own ideas and opinions
  • translate short written text accurately into the foreign language.

An outline of what students will study during their time at Murray Park throughout key stage 3 is set out in the table below:

Homework in French takes into account that success in the subject is largely based on the retention of vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students are set vocabulary lists and are given differentiated targets for how many words to learn over a half-term. As the word lists directly relate to vocabulary covered in class, this takes the form of flipped learning. Students are required to review their learning on a regular basis and their knowledge of key vocabulary and grammatical structures is assessed on a half-termly basis.

Extra-curricular activities

We aim to convince students that language learning should stretch beyond the timetabled lessons. We offer the following opportunities for enrichment in languages:

  • A wide range of international trips to Europe (including Paris / Disneyland and Normandy) and beyond, with a partner school in China
  • Language taster sessions for the European Day of Languages and in preparation for trips abroad
  • Language ambassadors who arrange fun-filled events inside and outside Murray Park School, including visits to local primary schools to run taster sessions
  • Film screenings of foreign language films to complement study in lessons on cinema
  • Outside visitors, including students extolling the virtues of language study at university and living abroad.