Modern Foreign Languages

Walton High and the Walton Learning Centre are new, modern centres of learning which pride themselves on initiative, challenge, positive thinking and encouragement to enjoy the fun and fundamentals of learning.  As such Modern Foreign Languages has a vital role to play in inspiring students to learn another language, learn about other cultures and take advantage of the ever-increasing opportunities for travelling and working abroad. Learning another language will equip students to compete in the growing climate of globalisation and enjoy wider career possibilities.

The aims of the department are as follows:

  • To encourage students of all abilities to understand and use a foreign language for the purpose of practical communication
  • To think and encourage students to think “outside the box”
  • To foster positive attitudes towards other countries and those who live in them and to counter prejudice and insularity
  • To promote learning skills of a more general nature
  • To promote and support cross-curricular links and strategies
  • To develop students’ understanding of themselves and their own culture
  • To encourage tolerance and a willingness to work together
  • To promote the link between careers and languages so that more students will consider it the norm to be studying a language at post 16
  • To provide successful and enjoyable learning experiences which may motivate and inspire more students to take a language as an option at Key Stage 4
  • To develop and incorporate a range of innovative teaching styles and materials that will motivate learners
Year 7

The department uses the Allez 1 and 2 KS3 course for French and the Viva KS3 course for Spanish.

In Year 7 students learn:

  • To introduce themselves and their family
  • To describe themselves and others
  • To talk about what they like to do in their free time
  • To give information about where they live and what they can do in Milton Keynes
  • To ask for and give directions in a town
  • To buy food in a café/ restaurant
  • To describe their school and what they study, including giving detailed opinions
  • To study a French or Spanish children’s film
  • To learn a variety of grammar points, including key tenses, connectives and adjectives that form the building blocks of successful language acquisition in readiness for the new, more challenging GCSE
Year 8

In Year 8 students learn:

  • To discuss how they use new technologies, such as mobile devices, online viewing and films
  • To further develop skills on describing free time activities
  • To use the past tense to describe a recent event or activity
  • To order food in a restaurant, go shopping and learn about different cultural events in France and Spain
  • To talk about their holidays and use a variety of tenses to talk about past, usual or future holiday plans
  • To describe how they keep fit and healthy and discuss healthy and unhealthy diets
  • To learn about different cultural events across the world where the target language is spoken

Key Stage 4


At Key Stage 4 students build on the knowledge and grammar structures acquired at KS3, with particular focus on more complex structures to add detail and dimension to their language skills.  We also offer students the opportunity to take part in our exchange programme to Leon in Northern Spain and Besançon in France. This is an exciting opportunity for students to live with a family and use the language they learn in the classroom in a more meaningful environment.

The course followed is AQA GCSE, with 25% equal weighting across the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  All four papers are externally assessed at the end of Year 11, with students entered for either the Foundation or Higher tier. The tier of entry will only be decided in the January of Year 11, following the students’ mock exams in December. More information about the courses can be found in the link below:

The French course code is 8658

The Spanish course code is 8698

We begin the course in Year 9 and aim to complete all units by December of Year 11. This is to enable us to focus on key exam skills in the Easter term, taking time to prepare students for the rigours of the speaking exam as well as focusing on exam techniques and past paper practice.

Years 9,10 & 11

In Year 9 French, students study:

How they spend their free time

Giving more detailed information about their family and friends

Cultural celebrations in the target language country, including eating out at a restaurant and ordering food

  • In Year 9 Spanish, students study:
  • Holiday plans, dream holidays and recent past holidays
  • My school and future plans
  • Giving more detailed information about their family and friends

In Year 10 French, students study:

  • Their town, local area and region
  • Holiday plans, dream holidays and recent past holidays
  • My school and future plans
  • Social issues – including healthy living, food and meals

In Year 10 Spanish, students study:

  • How they spend their free time and their use of new technologies
  • Their town, local area and region
  • Cultural celebrations in the target language country, including eating out at a restaurant and ordering food

In Year 11, all students study:

  • Career choices at Post 16 and job applications
  • Environmental issues
  • Charity work and volunteering
  • Exam skills and preparation

Key Stage 5


At Key Stage 5 students continue to build on key structures and grammar taught in KS3 and 4. We follow the AQA A level course over two years and use the Nelson Thornes OUP course, with students having access to the online Kerboodle website to supplement their learning. Students sit an internal AS exam at the end of Year 12 and the external A-level exam in Year 13. The final speaking exam will take place in May of Year 13 and will be a two part exam, a role play card followed by a 10 minute discussion on the research topic that students have prepared.

Further information on the course requirements can be found using the link below:

French course code: 7652

Spanish course code: 7692

Aims of the course:

  • Develop an interest in and enthusiasm for language learning
  • Develop understanding of the language in a variety of contexts and genres
  • Communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in the language for a range of purposes
  • Develop awareness and understanding of the contemporary society, cultural background and heritage of countries or communities where the language is spoken
  • Consider your study of the language in a broader context
  • Derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning
  • Acquire knowledge, skills and understanding for practical use, further study and/or employment
  • Communicate with speakers of the language
  • Take your place in a multilingual global society

    How to achieve these aims:

    ·       Be positive and open-minded – do not be afraid to try

    ·       Little and often – not hours at a time

    ·       Keep up with independent study

    ·       Read, read, read… start small, but read something every week – website,                  magazines, newspapers; every bit helps!

Year 12 & 13 French

The changing nature of family (La famille en voie de changement)

  • Grands-parents, parents et enfants – soucis et problèmes
  • Monoparentalité, homoparentalité, familles recomposées
  • La vie de couple – nouvelles tendances

The ‘cyber-society’ (La « cyber-société »)

  • Qui sont les cybernautes ?
  • Comment la technologie facilite la vie quotidienne
  • Quels dangers la « cyber-société » pose-t-elle ?

The place of voluntary work (Le rôle du bénévolat)

  • Qui sont et que font les bénévoles ?
  • Le bénévolat – quelle valeur pour ceux qui sont aidés ?
  • Le bénévolat – quelle valeur pour ceux qui aident ?

A culture proud of its heritage (Une culture fière de son patrimoine)

  • Le patrimoine sur le plan national, régional et local
  • Comment le patrimoine reflète la culture
  • Le patrimoine et le tourisme

Contemporary francophone music (La musique francophone contemporaine)

  • La diversité de la musique francophone contemporaine
  • Qui écoute et apprécie cette musique ?
  • Comment sauvegarder cette musique ?

Cinema: the 7th art form (Cinéma : le septième art)

  • Pourquoi le septième art ?
  • Le cinéma – une passion nationale ?
  • Evolution du cinéma – les grandes lignes

Students will also study one literary text or film – we have chosen to study ‘La Haine’ by Mathieu Kassovitz (1995), at the end of Year 12. Students will also begin preparation on their Independent Research Project at the end of the third term, using the summer holidays to compile their research materials and gather information. This will be assessed in the speaking exam only.

In Year 13 French, students study:

Positive features of a diverse society (Les aspects positifs d’une société diverse)

  • L’enrichissement dû à la mixité ethnique
  • Diversité, tolérance et respect
  • Diversité – un apprentissage pour la vie

Life for the marginalised (Quelle vie pour les marginalisés ? )

  • Qui sont les marginalisés ?
  • Quelle aide pour les marginalisés ?
  • Quelles attitudes envers les marginalisés ?

How criminals are treated (Comment on traite les criminels)

  • Quelles attitudes envers la criminalité ?
  • La prison – échec ou succès ?
  • D’autres sanctions

Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment (Les ados, le droit de vote et l’engagement politique)

  • Pour ou contre le droit de vote ?
  • Les ados et l’engagement politique – motivés ou démotivés ?
  • Quel avenir pour la politique ?

Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power? (manifestations, grèves – à qui le pouvoir ?)

  • Le pouvoir des syndicats
  • Manifestations et grèves – sont-elles efficaces ?
  • Attitudes différentes envers ces tensions politiques

Politics and immigration (La politique et l’immigration)

  • Solutions politiques à la question de l’immigration
  • L’immigration et les partis politiques
  • L’engagement politique chez les immigrés

The second literary text, Joseph Joffo ‘Un sac de billes’ will also be studied in the first term of Year 13.

Year 12 & 13 Spanish

In Year 12 Spanish:

Students may study all sub-themes in relation to any Spanish-speaking country or countries.

Modern and traditional values (Los valores tradicionales y modernos)

• Los cambios en la familia

• Actitudes hacia el matrimonio/el divorcio

•La influencia de la Iglesia Católica

Cyberspace (El ciberespacio)

•La influencia de internet

•Las redes sociales: beneficios y peligros

•Los móviles inteligentes en nuestra sociedad

Equal rights (La igualdad de los sexos)

• La mujer en el mercado laboral

•El machismo y el feminismo

•Los derechos de los gays y las personas transgénero

Modern day idols (La influencia de los ídolos)

•Cantantes y músicos

•Estrellas de televisión y cine


Spanish regional identity (La identidad regional en España)

•Tradiciones y costumbres

•La gastronomía

•Las lenguas

Cultural heritage (El patrimonio cultural)

•Sitios turísticos y civilizaciones prehispánicas: Machu Picchu, la Alhambra, etc

•Arte y arquitectura

•El patrimonio musical y su diversidad

Students will also study one literary text or film – we have chosen to study ‘El laberinto del fauno’ by Guillermo del Toro (2006). Students will also begin preparation on their Independent Research Project at the end of the third term, using the summer holidays to compile their research materials and gather information. This will be assessed in the speaking exam only.

In Year 13 Spanish:

Students may study all sub-themes in relation to any Spanish-speaking country or countries.

Immigration (La inmigración)

•Los beneficios y los aspectos negativos

•La inmigración en el mundo hispánico

•Los indocumentados – problemas

Racism (El racismo)

•Las actitudes racistas y xenófobas

•Las medidas contra el racismo

•La legislación anti-racista

Integration (La convivencia)

•La convivencia de culturas

•La educación

•Las religions

Today’s youth, tomorrow’s citizens (Jóvenes de hoy, ciudadanos del mañana)

•Los jóvenes y su actitud hacia la política : activismo o apatía

•El paro entre los jóvenes

•Su sociedad ideal

Monarchies and dictatorships (Monarquías y dictaduras)

•La dictadura de Franco

•La evolución de la monarquía en España

•Dictadores latinoamericanos

Popular movements (Movimientos populares)

•La efectividad de las manifestaciones y las huelgas

•El poder de los sindicatos

•Ejemplos de protestas sociales (eg El 15-M, las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, …)

Students will also study one of the following texts in year 13:

Federico García Lorca ‘La casa de Bernarda Alba’

Gabriel García Márquez ‘Crónica de una muerte anunciada’

Laura Esquivel ‘Como agua para chocolate’

Ramón J. Sender ‘Réquiem por un campesino español’

Carlos Ruiz Zafón ‘La sombra del viento’

Isabel Allende ‘La casa de los espíritus’

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer ‘Rimas’

Fernando Fernán-Gómez ‘Las bicicletas son para el verano’

Luis de Castresana ‘El otro árbol de Guernica’

Gabriel García Márquez ‘El coronel no tiene quien le escriba’

Useful Websites 
(all students have access to this in years 10 – 13)
Bitesize revision provides exam skills, reading and writing exercises
A good site for revising vocabulary and speaking/listening skills
Site with interactive exercises for practising vocabulary and grammar                  
Site with access to French television channels – good listening practice
French national newspaper online – access to articles for reading practice