Lipson The Co-operative Academy

Lipson Co-operative Academy


Modern Foreign Languages

At Lipson Co-operative Academy we are extremely proud of the inclusivity of our MFL offer with well over three quarters of most year groups studying either French or Spanish.  As a faculty we firmly believe that the study of a modern foreign language is not purely the preserve of the most able and we are committed to ensuring that all our students become confident life-long language learners whatever their level of academic ability.

Today more than ever before the ability to offer at least one foreign language is paramount both in terms of accessing higher education and the global workplace.  Universities are attracted by students who have minimally achieved at least a grade C in one MFL at GCSE as it is widely recognised as a challenging academic discipline as well as developing a specific skill set which is a very attractive to future employers.

Many of the reasons for learning a language are often related to jobs and careers.  This is what a top employer (from a multinational computer software company) said about the skills that he is looking for in a new employee:

  • Social skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Confidence
  • Experience
  • Open mindedness
  • Flexibility

Many of these skills are developed when learning a language, so it can really help to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to employment.

Key Stage 3

  • Introduction and develop of phonics
  • Confidence in speaking and interacting with native speakers
  • Developing grammatical competencies: identifying nouns / gender / adjectival agreements /  use and position of adverbs / understanding sentence structure / conjugating regular and irregular verbs in the present tense (including pronominal and stem-changing verbs)/ negating verbs / learning to recognise and use the immediate future and perfect / preterite tenses
  • Expressing opinions
  • Using connectives to extend sentences
  • Studying the following topics: Basic greetings / introductions / 1-100 / telling the time / days of the week / months of the year / birthdays / colours / weather / families / neighbourhoods / directions / hobbies / school / snacks / holidays


The Following Books Support Learning at KS3:

  • Expo 1 ISBN: 9780435384739
  • Expo 2 Vert Pearson ISBN: 9780435385576
  • Listos 1 Heinemann ISBN: 0-435-42904-3
  • Listos 2 Verde Heinemann ISBN: 0-435-42961-2


Key Stage 4

KS4 Exam Board


In Year 9 we begin work toward the GCSE examination with a particular emphasis on the following:

  • Further developing grammatical competencies: accurate use tenses (present / perfect-preterite / imperfect / simple future / future / conditional), object pronouns / using a variety of negative constructions / impersonal pronouns / use of temporal adverbs / comparative and superlative adjectives / imperatives / use of modal verbs.
  • Extending the breadth and depth of written work; aspiring towards writing 200 words in the target language and developing the skills of narration.
  • Developing confidence and precision in speaking skills and speaking for longer periods of time on both prepared and unprepared topics.
  • Expanding the range and complexity of listening tasks (films / radio / songs) / reading material (poetry / authentic texts)
    Studying the following topics: a film (Yamakazi / Voces Inocentes), poetry, making plans to go out, healthy lifestyles / describing other people / making travel plans / new technologies / job applications / problems facing young people.

The Following Books / Resources Support Learning in Year 9:

Expo 3 Vert Pearson ISBN: 9780435385347
Listos 3 Verde Heinemann ISBN: 0-435-43031-9
Listos 3 Rojo Heinemann ISBN: 0-435-43030-0
DVDs: Voces Inocentes and Yamakazi


Year 10

We use the new AQA GCSE examination specifications.  Please click on the hyperlink to the specifications for details of the topics studied.

In GCSE French and Spanish students build their confidence in both written and spoken language. Students explore a range of contemporary topics including family, free-time and the media, education and future plans and music and film. Furthermore there is the chance to find out more about the culture of French and Spanish speaking countries. They also build on their grammatical knowledge being able to communicate in a range of tenses and use more complex structures with increasing confidence.  


Students are examined by terminal examinations in Listening, Speaking and Writing. They are also assessed towards the end of Year 11 in their speaking skills in a speaking examination.  Each of these four skills count 25% towards the final grade. Teaching throughout Key Stage 4 allows students to be thoroughly prepared for these assessments with guidance and practice built into our schemes of learning.

Current Year 11 only:

We use the AQA GCSE examination board.  Please click on the hyperlink to the specifications for details of the topics studied.

The GCSE examination is comprised of four parts; listening (20%), speaking (30%), reading (20%) and writing (30%).  The reading and listening components are tiered (foundation / higher) and are taken at the end of YR11.  The speaking and writing elements are taken as four controlled assessments over the course of the two years.  The controlled assessments are the most challenging part of the course and it is critical that students minimally achieve their target grade in each controlled assessment and work consistently at home as they prepare.

The Following Books / Resources Support Learning in Years 10 and 11:

AQA Spanish GCSE Nelson Thornes ISBN: 978-1-4085-0430-7

AQA French GCSE Nelson Thornes ISBN: 978-1-4085-0424-6

A good bi-lingual dictionary, we recommend either Oxford or Collins

Additionally we subscribe to a variety of online resources including Linguascope and VocabExpress that enable students to learn from home and build their vocabulary and competency in their chosen language.