Department: Modern Foreign Languages

Head of Department: Mrs Garcia de Veas

If you wish to learn more about the curriculum, please contact the head of Department by email: ­­­­

Languages are an integral part of the curriculum at Oaklands. Learning foreign languages provides learners with essential knowledge, transferable skills and cultural capital, opening up life and employment opportunities in other countries. We aim to develop a curiosity and enjoyment of languages that leads students to understand and value other cultures and ways of life, enabling them to see the world from a different perspective, promoting tolerance, empathy and respect, values and virtues that we promote as a school.

Our students learn both French and Spanish in year 7, and then specialise in one of these from year 8, following their personal preference. A number of students continue their language studies in the Sixth form and at University level. In addition, we are proud to support students who request to take examinations in heritage languages.

We provide leadership opportunities for our students. For example, Year 12 French and Spanish students coach year 11 students to help them develop their speaking skills.

Our Modern Foreign Languages curriculum is ambitious because:

  • We start with the premise that as many students as possible should  develop a love of languages and continue with a  modern foreign languages to the end of key stage 4
  • Our curriculum goes beyond what is taught in lessons, whilst we want students to achieve the very best examination results possible, we believe our curriculum goes beyond what is examinable. All our students are offered a rich variety of extra curricular activities.
  • Our curriculum provides a conduit to develop the values and virtues that not only support the school ethos but also will provide a moral compass for students later in life.
  • We actively encourage our students to connect with native speakers.
  • We aim to enable pupils to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy to provide suitable preparation for further study.
  • Our curriculum is designed to provide learners with the necessary knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and phonics for further study of the language beyond GCSE.
  • Topics and grammar are sequenced to allow students to revisit and deepen their knowledge at different points of the learning journey, making connections and applying new structures to previous topics.
  • Our expert staff share their passion for languages and prepare varied, enjoyable and effective lessons where students actively use the language.
  • Teachers use the target language in lessons in a stage-appropriate way and create opportunities for learners to use the target language.
  • We use authentic resources, particularly through the Internet to offer immediacy and authenticity to the MFL learning experience. Study of foreign language films, music, YouTube videos and texts are all commonplace in the MFL classroom.
  • Cultural knowledge is integrated in the curriculum and students develop an awareness of the countries where the languages are spoken by learning about the geography, festivals, food, arts and historical heritage of these countries.

It is our intention to build on the experience students have in local primary schools which can be wide and varied. We liaise with our main feeder schools and are aware of their programs of study. Students arrive in year 7 with different amounts of previous knowledge. They have clearly gained enthusiasm and curiosity for foreign languages at primary school. We are able to build on their knowledge of basic vocabulary and incipient awareness of grammar and phonics. We celebrate this knowledge and the rich range of cultural, ethnic and language backgrounds that our students bring.

We are very clear from the outset that we teach grammatical structures, syntax and vocabulary; using the correct terminology and making explicit links to English and other foreign languages’ grammatical structures and vocabulary.


Updated July 22