Modern Languages


The MFL department is very much based on a desire to engage students in languages and promote a love of language learning. We believe that engagement is at the core of Outstanding lessons: that is, if students are engaged in their lesson, they will be focused and able to make the progress they are capable of. We aim to develop young people that enjoy, understand and appreciate the study of languages and linguistics, and consequently have excellent transferable skills to take with them to the wider world.

Our curriculum is designed to allow students to experience two key European languages in Year Seven. Students study two of the following three languages; French, German, Spanish, dependent on the half year they are in, students can then select to continue studying one or both of their languages from Year Nine onwards, for GCSE. Students develop essential key speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, whilst studying a breadth of topics. KS3 Homework is set to consolidate work in class and improve vocabulary across all topics. Homework at Key Stage 4 and 5 has a greater focus on independent learning, whilst still concentrating on vocabulary, exam skills and research into the target-language countries.

Should you want any further information about the MFL

Department at Southam College then please do not hesitate to contact us – we’d be very happy to talk through any questions you may have.


Mrs S French – Joint Head of MFL, Co-ordinator for French

Mr J Johnson – Joint Head of MFL, Co-ordinator for Spanish

Mrs L Mulligan – Co-ordinator for German

Miss L Galvin – Co-ordinator for French

Mrs L Spencer – Teacher of French and Spanish

Miss N Brereton – Teacher of Spanish and French

Mrs L Newland – Teacher of French and Spanish

In addition to teaching staff the department benefits each year from a Foreign language assistant.


Students have the opportunity to learn two modern foreign languages in Year 7. Their languages will be allocated from French, German and Spanish, based on the half year bands. Students practise all four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing in the areas of experience outlined in the National Curriculum. These are: everyday activities, personal and social life and the world around us. Throughout the teaching of languages students make progress in: acquiring knowledge and understanding of the target language, developing language skills, developing language-learning skills and developing cultural awareness.


In Years 9, 10 and 11 students may choose to study French, German or Spanish or may opt to continue with two languages. Students follow the AQA Specification A in French, German and Spanish. There are practical tasks in the four skills throughout the course as well as end of course examination in listening, speaking, writing and reading skills. The course builds upon existing skills and understanding of the language. The topics and situations relate to everyday life at home and in the foreign country.

These include:

self, family and personal relationships; free time and social activities; home life and college; food, health and fitness; home town and local area; careers and employment; tourism at home and abroad.


Features of both the AS and A level courses include: use of up to date authentic texts from a variety of sources - magazines, newspaper and internet articles, adverts and videos. There is gradual development of grammatical structures; discussion of stimulating topics such as the environment, advertising and sport; opportunities for personal interests; research of topics, working independently on coursework; individual help, support and encouragement throughout the course.

A wide range of thought provoking topics is explored. These include:

AS – Media, youth culture, family and relationships, free time activities, art and architecture, cinema and music, culture and festivals. Students also study a language film.

A2 - social issues; the environment; law and order; technological advances; education; human interest news items. Students also study a language literary work in Year 13.


In Year 8 we offer a trip to Rhineland Germany and Salou in Spain.

In Year 9 and 10 we offer a trip to Normandy France.


In Year 7, all students have the opportunity to compete in the National Foreign Languages Spelling Bee! This is an exciting competition for students to practise and improve their vocabulary, spelling and memory skills in any of our three foreign languages (French, German, or Spanish). They have to translate the words from English and spell them in the target language.

The competition has 4 stages:

Class competition (Autumn Term)

School Competition (first half of Spring Term)

Regional Final (usually end of Spring Term)

National Final (end of Summer Term)

In previous years, we have been successful enough to take students to the National Finals, and are very hopeful for future years. Click below to find out more about the competition or read through the student experience’s below


In Y9-12, we offer the opportunity to German students to take part in our very successful German Exchange week with the Holderlin Gymnasium in Lauffen am Necker, Germany. Each year, this unforgettable experience builds lasting friendships between English and German students, boosts students’ speaking and listening skills for their GCSE exams in a way which simply cannot be achieved in the classroom, and increases confidence in our students, not only in German but within their personal development too.


When does the Exchange take place?

Typically, English students travel to Germany in March-April, and German students travel to England in October/November. Students spend a week in each country.