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Modern Foreign languages

Subject intent

In a post–Brexit, post–Covid World, never has it been more important to foster good relationships with others. To reach out and make contact with the outside World. To understand how we can be stronger together. To speak a foreign language.

Research shows that our economy would be so much better off if we spoke another language. It is estimated that we are losing nearly 22 billion pounds a year through lack of language skills. Just think about what we could achieve if we stopped believing that ‘English is the best and only way’ and started communicating with European and global businesses in their own languages. In actual fact, a whopping 95% of the Earth’s population do not speak English as a first language and 6 billion people speak absolutely no English at all.


According to a Czech proverb ‘Learn a new Language, possess a new soul’. As linguists, who each speak two or more foreign languages, we can firmly attest to that! We have been privileged to experience the World differently to those who speak only one language, and we are desperate for others to be able to see the World as we do; it’s truly an amazing feeling and even knowing just a little of another language can open so many doors to you that you never even knew were closed!

Our vision at John Ferneley College is to foster a culture of respect, empathy and understanding of Modern Foreign Language in our students. We firmly believe that every child has the right to pursue their curiosity about the world they live in through the study of the language, history, geography and culture of French, Spanish and German speaking countries. We want to dispel the myth that languages are elitist and too hard and show our students that they are a practical and invaluable life skill that is integral to improving their life chances and giving them opportunities to broaden their horizons.

We firmly believe that as educators, it is our purpose to cultivate well-rounded global citizens who sustain a life-long love of learning and who not only accept, but actively celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity.

Our ultimate aim is for our students to be able to express themselves in a second language on a range of topics that are of interest to them personally. We want our students to be secure and confident enough in their learning to create an environment in which a culture of healthy challenge and curiosity thrives, in which students are always asking questions and trying to apply new learning in different contexts, so that they become adept at manipulating language and using it independently as their learning journey progresses.

In the MFL classroom, we want our students to learn about and develop a secure understanding of language, grammar and culture. For students to use transactional language to enable day-to-day interactions and master essential grammar for structuring productive communication with an emphasis on reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The MFL curriculum at John Ferneley College has been designed to ensure that through providing a broad curriculum and knowledge-rich resourcing, all students, regardless of background or prior attainment, experience success in language acquisition. Our teachers all have the highest of expectations of our students, regardless of starting point or background, because we are passionate about finding that untapped potential in our students and supporting the development of well-rounded and confident young linguists.

Subject journey