Modern Languages

In the MFL department we believe that all students should have the opportunity to learn 2 foreign languages in year 7. Students either take French and German OR French and Spanish in their first year at PHS. Parents are informed of their child’s pathway in Year 6.

We also believe in providing real opportunities to practice the foreign language. So in addition to our work in the classroom we run successful trips to France,Spain  and Germany. These trips are immensely popular and always oversubscribed.

All students learn French  plus  one other language in year 7. Towards the end of year 7 students choose to continue with one or both of their languages studied in year 7.

In year 9, students have the option of taking a language to GCSE

It is our belief that every student has the right to succeed and to take pleasure in their learning. Our lessons are well structured and always incorporate a large element of play. Students are rewarded for effort in a number of ways such as prizes, postcards home and stickers . We strive to provide students with an enjoyable but challenging experience.


Results in MFL are extremely good . Last year for instance German had a pass rate of 100% and the previous Year the French pass rate was over 80%.


We aim to make learning German inspirational and enjoyable. Our students learn German through a variety of teaching skills and styles which ensure that all students’ learning styles are catered for. Learning German gives pupils opportunities to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills and to express themselves with increasing confidence, independence and creativity. Pupils learn to appreciate different German speaking countries, cultures, communities and people.

Key Stage 3 : all languages

Year 7

  1. Introductions
    Family & Descriptions
    3. School
    4. House and Local Area
    5. Clothes
    6. Pastimes


All languages : Key Stage 4

Students currently study for their GCSE exams through the Edexcel Exam Board.

Students are assessed on their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills through controlled assessments and exams.

Skill Percentage Form of assessment
Listening 20% Exam in Year 11
Speaking 30% 2 Controlled assessments
Reading 20% Exam in Year 11
Writing 30% 2 Controlled assessments

Topics studied:

Year 10:

  1. Media
  2. Free Time
  3. Education
  4. Work
  5. Health
  6. Family & Friends


Year 11:

  1. Local Area
    3. Preparation for Listening & Reading Exams



Every year, we aim to provide opportunities for our students to experience German outside the classroom.

We have a partner school called Couven Gymnasium which is situated in Aachen, Germany.

In May 2014 our Year 8 and 9 students gave 60 German students a guided tour of Brighton’s city centre. Pupils were able to practice their English and German whilst comparing their own towns. This activity afternoon fostered continuing friendships and pupils keep in contact with one another via the internet.

In December 2014 students from Years 8, 9 & 10 visited Aachen on a 2 day visit. On the first day, our pupils explored the German market stalls where they were able to use their spoken German. The next day, the pupils from our partner school met with us and gave our pupils an excellent guided tour of the historical town centre in small groups.


Every student in year 7, studies French. A sizeable number of students take French in year 9 as an option subject.

We aim to offer authentic and enjoyable ways to learn the language of our closest European partner. This includes lots of listening and speaking, songs and chanting as well as reading comprehension and writing.

Every summer we run a very popular and over-subscribed trip to France. In the past we have been to the Brittany coast or the Opal Coast, however we have now settled on Paris as our regular summer destination. Pupils stay in a fantastic “Eurocentre” just outside Paris with swimming pool, games room, disco and individual chalets. All the main sites are taken in, such as, the Eiffel Tower, Le Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees.

In addition to the summer 5 day trip, all year 7s have the opportunity of participating in the end of year day trip to St Omer. This enables students to try out their French in a safe and secure environment.

Traditionally we have also provided French breakfasts for all the students from our local primary schools. This gives our future students a chance to practise their French and get used to what will be their new surroundings in a relaxed and informal manner.


To help pronunciation, each fortnight a different French sound is highlighted. It is a sound whose French spelling is different to the English! Each of our 4 teachers runs a competition to see which pupil can find the most French words with that particular sound. This is proving to be both a popular competition and a way of mastering those aspects of French pronunciation that can be so confusing!


Spanish is also introduced in year 7 and can be continued through to GCSE if desired.

The Spanish learning at Key Stage three is focussed primarily around language immersion and developing pupils’ confidence in using and manipulating the language at this level. Pupils progress through a wide variety of relevant themed topics each half term.

The Spanish GCSE course at Key Stage four begins in Year 9 and pupils will build upon their prior knowledge of the language to explore a number of culturally specific themes. Over the course of the two years pupils will learn to manipulate and use a wide variety of tenses, vocabulary and grammatical structures so that they are competent in the four key language learning skills; speaking, listening, reading and writing. The use of ‘Assessment for Learning’ is prominent in Spanish lessons at Patcham High School and tools such as mini whiteboards and kinaesthetic matching activities are common place in the classroom. Spanish lessons are highly interactive and pupils are encouraged to fully engage with the learning material through the use of multimedia activities using the interactive whiteboard.