Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy

Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy



French is the language currently taught at Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy, and it is a compulsory subject for the first two years. It is then compulsory for students on the Aspire pathway to continue studying French at GCSE level in Y9, 10 and 11, and is an option for the rest of the students. 

The focus of the MFL department is on developing ability to communicate in French, so that our students are able to express what they want to say, both orally and in writing, using the language confidently, independently and creatively. All students are encouraged to develop an appreciation of French culture and the benefits of language learning, through fun activities and events. 


I - KS3

Pupils follow the national curriculum for KS3 supported by the Pearson Studio scheme of work. The specific topics in year 7 and 8 are:

Year 7: Myself, my family, my school, where I live, my hobbies and holidays.

Year 8: the medias (TV, cinema, books and new technologies), a week in Paris, personality and relationships, music, fashion, food and drinks, my house, my talents.



This qualification is designed to show how language is used in real life. Cultural and authentic content have been embedded, giving students a sense of purpose to language learning.

The Edexcel GCSE in French consists of four externally examined papers based on the following skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Students must complete their speaking assessment in April/May and all other assessments in May of Year 11.

Each paper is available at Foundation tier or Higher tier, and is worth 25% of the final grade.


  • Ø Theme 1: Identity and culture
    Relationships with family and friends, socialising, personal interests, food and drink; shopping, social media and technology; celebrations and festivals; reading; music; sport; film and television
  • Ø Theme 2: Local area, holiday and travel
    Holidays; travel and accommodation; directions; eating out; shopping; weather; places to see; things to do
  • Ø Theme 3: School
    School day; subjects; rules and pressures; celebrating success, school trips, events and exchanges
  • Ø Theme 4: Future aspirations, study and work
    Forming relationships; travel; employment; further study; volunteering; training; jobs, careers and professions
  • Ø Theme 5: International and global dimension
    Sports events; music events; campaigns and good causes; environmental issues.



Students studying French will be given the opportunity to travel to France and be immersed in the culture and language of France whilst also having the opportunity to visit historical landmarks.

You can find more detailed information about the course, on the following link:

Edexcel GCSE French Specification



As a department we also endeavour to offer our EAL students to sit the GCSE in their native language. The languages we can currently cater for are: Polish, Russian, Persian, Chinese, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Arabic, Greek, Urdu and Panjabi.

III - Language learning
The department uses a wide range of resources to deliver the French curriculum, including new technology, text books, and websites to help ensure pupils develop the skills and knowledge they need to become independent language learners. There are opportunities for students to engage in exciting real-life situations, and the department offers extra-curricular activities designed to extend students’ language skills and enrich their knowledge of French culture.

Groups of learners are encouraged to speak with good intonation and pronunciation, and to develop a strong awareness of the culture of the countries where French is spoken, through routine use of French in class and exposure to authentic French materials.


French - GCSE

Useful links to support progress in French


BBC Bitesize
Youtube Channel: Easy Languages


To purchase for GCSE students:

Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French Revision Guide (£5.89)
Revise Edexcel GCSE (9-1) French Revision Workbook (£5.99)

If purchased at the school, it will only cost you £5 for both. Please ask a member of the MFL department for more information.


IV - Homework

In French, homework is vital to ensure that students make necessary progress and learn a wide range of vocabulary that they can then reuse in their own work.

The MFL department follows the school’s homework timetable (available on the school’s website). This means that students will be given homework on a weekly basis.

At KS3: Each week we expect tasks to take around 30 minutes to complete

At KS4: Each week and we expect tasks to last 45-60 minutes.

All homework will be logged on SIMS, for parents/guardians to check if necessary.

Homework will consist in learning vocabulary off by heart and completing listening, reading and grammar tasks on a website called ActiveLearn.

Students will also have the opportunity to complete voluntary extra homework and will be rewarded accordingly. 

French is the language currently taught at Ormiston Sandwell Community Academy, and it is a compulsory subject for the first two years. It is then compulsory for students on the Aspire pathway to continue studying French at GCSE level in Y9, 10 and 11, and is an option for the rest of the students. 

A. Vocabulary learning

 Students will be sent a vocabulary booklet at the beginning of the year via email. An electronic version is also available on the Student Resources – MFL – Vocabulary booklets.

They will be given a unit of words to learn per week, and to check this learning there will be a short vocabulary test done in lesson when the homework is due. The expectation is that students get at least half the marks.

Students can also use memrise.com. Teachers will send an invite to their student at the beginning of the year via email.

 B. Practice

 Students will be given their login details to ActiveLearn.com, and will have weekly tasks to complete on it.

 C. Support

 The MFL department will be running the following interventions to support students’ learning, and allow them to have access to laptops if they cannot complete their homework at home:

  • Ø Y7 and Y8: Tuesday lunch time
  • Ø Y9 and Y10: Wednesday lunch time
  • Ø Y11: Friday before and after school

 D. Rewards

 Students will be rewarded with stars, as part of our MFL reward system, and OSCARs for outstanding homework.


KS3 reward system:

10 stars = 1 sticker

5 stickers = a French bookmark

10 stickers = a French pencil

15 stickers = a postcard home

20 stickers = a French rubber

25 stickers = a French ruler

30 stickers = a French certificate

40 stickers = a French badge

50 stickers = a gift voucher


KS4 reward system:

10 stars = 1 sticker

5 stickers = sweets

10 stickers = a postcard home

20 stickers = flashcards

30 stickers = a revision book

40 stickers = a revision workbook

50 stickers = a gift voucher


 Failure to complete homework

 Failure to complete homework will have consequences:

  • Ø First homework failure: behaviour point and discussion
  • Ø Third homework failure: detention
  • Ø Fifth homework failure: phone call home


If you are given a detention, your teacher will give you a detention slip with all the necessary information (where, when, who with). If you fail to attend your teacher’s detention, you will then be given a 30 minutes Curriculum Leader’s detention.