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Shenley Brook End School

Shenley Brook End School

Modern Foreign Languages


The languages taught at Shenley Brook End as part of the curriculum are French, German and Spanish.  In addition, we can help students to prepare for sitting a GCSE or A level exam in other languages, e.g. for native speakers or for students who have lived abroad and wish to gain a formal qualification in a language not studied at school.

The Team/Facilities

There are six language teachers in the MFL team and the department is based in five classrooms in Phase 3 of the school. Each classroom is equipped with a digital projector and interactive whiteboard. We use a variety of resources in the delivery of language lessons, including audio and video material, online resources and a selection of games as well as being well-resourced with text books and dictionaries to support students in their learning. there are many free language websites to encourage students to practise their language skills and, in addition, we subscribe to the following websites:

Both of these websites offer activities in French, German and Spanish and students are given a username and password so that they can access the materials at home as well as in school.  The Modern Foreign Languages team also develop their own resources to support delivery of the curriculum, including topic based material, revision activities and grammar explanations and exercises.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 most students study a language for three lessons of 50 minutes per week. On entry to the school students are able to express a preference for which language they would like to study, although it is not possible for all students to be allocated their first choice. Students are taught in broadly mixed ability groups in Years 7 and 8.  The Key Stage 3 course aims to develop the skills of speaking and listening and to allow students to express and understand the basic language necessary for a visit to French, German or Spanish speaking countries. Reading skills focus on relevant materials with writing tasks designed to reinforce the other three skills. In addition, the course allows students to expand their vocabulary as well as build up their knowledge of grammar in the foreign language and to learn to apply it in a range of situations.  The topics covered also enable students to gain a cultural insight into life in French, German and Spanish speaking countries.

Key Stage 4

In Years 9, 10 and 11 students who continue studying French, German or Spanish follow the Edexcel specification and have six lessons of 50 minutes over two weeks.  We strongly recommend continuing with a language to those students who have shown an aptitude for languages and who are likely to be successful in the GCSE examination.  The study of a language at GCSE complements other subjects in the curriculum, equipping students with the ability to communicate, to collaborate and to solve problems – highly desirable transferable skills. 

Students sitting GCSE MFL examinations follow the GCSE 2016 specification.  All papers are set by the awarding body.  The qualification comprises four components (listening, speaking, reading and writing) and each component is worth 25%.  There is a choice of Higher or Foundation tier (all papers must be entered at the same tier).

For more information visit

Sixth Form

French and Spanish are offered at AS and A Level and students follow the AQA syllabus. Our numbers at A Level are small but students benefit from more individual attention in both Years 12 and 13. Students develop independent learning skills, but primarily learn to communicate at a higher level in French or Spanish, and also learn more about a wide range of aspects of societies across the world in which French or Spanish is spoken.  A significant emphasis is also placed on cultural topics, including literature and film.  

For more information about the A Level syllabus visit

Extended Learning

In Year 7 students participate in a cross-curricular project with maths and drama.  In Year 8 we run a successful residential to Spain and there is a visit to France for KS3 students.  There is also a small group of language leaders, who plan and deliver activities to pupils in local primary schools. In Years 12 and 13, language students have the opportunity to attend Masterclass sessions with linguists from other local secondary schools to develop their speaking skills, but also to find out information on using languages in the future and networking with other language students.