MFL Staff

Mrs Douglas Director of Faculty MFL
Mrs Mills Teacher of French and Spanish
Ms Mosquera Assistant Director of MFL
Mr Rimmer Teacher of French AHT - Teaching and Learning
Mr Prescott  Teacher of French
Miss Taylor-Halsall Teacher of Spanish


Subject Overview

The National Curriculum states that learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures. As MFL teachers we aim to provide an education that fosters students’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world. 

At Ormskirk School pupils learn Spanish in Years 7, 8 and 9.  They also have the opportunity to take French as an option subject in Year 9. At the end of KS3, students can opt to study both subjects at GCSE and then at A Level. We encourage all of our students to opt, not just able linguists.  At all Key Stages, our primary focus is the four key skill areas in MFL: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  We use a variety of techniques and strategies in our lessons, from interactive role plays to games and songs. As a department we utilise technology to the maximum in order to engage pupils and cater for their needs.  We are also fortunate to have a Spanish language assistant who works with all year groups providing them with the opportunity of practising what they learn in class. The department encourages each student to reach and even exceed their targets, by providing them with the necessary tools to become more independent learners. 

To further pupils’ learning, engagement and experiences we have a well-established exchange with a school in the south of Spain. We also run a trips to Spain and France as well as bringing in a Spanish play every year. 

Key Stage 3

Year 7 and 8 students have 5 lessons a fortnight of Spanish and Year 9 students have 4 lessons a fortnight  A strong emphasis is placed on the three pillars of phonics, grammar and vocabulary. We believe these are essential in developing our pupils’ knowledge and understanding of Spanish and French.  Over KS3 students are taught the foundation of the language that are then regularly revisited over the three years. MFL lessons are engaging, interactive and purposeful.  We also place a high value on cultural knowledge and we plan lessons around key events in the Spanish and French Calendar. 

Key Stage 4

Our Year 10 and Year 11 students are given six hours over the fortnight, this extra time allows us to deepen the knowledge taught at Key Stage 3. We follow the AQA GCSE course in both French and Spanish. Students revisit topics such as family, house and home, holidays however these are supplemented with more current societal topics for example; family relationships and dynamics, social and environmental issues. We also look at cultural events and festivals on a deeper level to learn about their impact on French and Spanish society. For example, the topic of bull fighting is it right to keep traditions on going such bull fighting? The GCSE exam is divided into 4 sections: Reading, Listening, Writing and Speaking. Each component is worth 25%. There are no coursework elements. Classroom based learning is consolidated through weekly vocabulary testing and comprehension tasks.  

Key Stage 5

In year 12 we have a minimum of 6 hours over the fortnight plus at least one hour one to one with our language assistant. We cover grammar as we believe this is a good foundation to start the A-Level course on, our starting point with the key tenses studied in KS3 and 4. In regards to topics, they  range from how the concept of family has changed in Spain and South America, France and North Africa, the role of media and famous people, Spanish, French and Latin American traditions to looking at Spanish, French and South American art. Homework is set every lesson and includes vocabulary learning as well as writing, reading and grammar tasks.  

In Year 13 we review all the grammar learnt in the previous year and continue with topics. These have a more political and social focus as we look at immigration, racism, democracy and dictatorships in both Spain and France. The book and film options are  “La casa de Bernarda Alba” and a film “Pan’s Labyrinth” for Spanish and “Un Sac de Billes” and the film “La Haine” for French. The film and book are a basis for the final written exam.  As part of the Speaking exam students have to research a topic of their choice related to the Hispanic/Francophone world and subsequently write a presentation on it. For Year 13 homework is set every lesson and includes vocab learning as well as writing, reading and grammar tasks. There is a minimum of 6 lesson a fortnight plus at least one hour one to one with our Spanish language assistant.