The Languages department aims to develop pupils and students’ ability to use the language effectively for communication, to foster intercultural understanding and awareness and to provide a sound base for further study.  The department currently teaches four languages; French, German, Spanish and Italian.  Some pupils have the opportunity to study two languages at both Key Stage 3 and 4.

The department is well-staffed and cohesive.  Additionally we employ a Foreign Language Assistant for each language, giving students the opportunity to learn in smaller groups or on a one-to-one basis.  We seek to motivate students to enjoy learning languages and to become life-long language learners.

The curriculum is designed to be as interactive as possible with interactive whiteboard technology being used in all seven dedicated classrooms to engage learners.


Pupils are taught either French or Spanish, depending which side of the year they are in. Pupils are taught initially in mixed ability groups and subsequently banded in each language.  They are introduced to the key language areas and grammar over the course of the key stage that would allow them to be readily understood by a native speaker, in line with the National Curriculum.  Pupils focus on one language in Year 7 and a number of pupils are given the opportunity to learn German as a second language from Year 8.  Languages Day is usually celebrated in September, with a whole school approach through competitions, whilst cuisines of the world are available in the canteen at lunchtime.

Steps of Progress

Please click here to see steps of progress for KS3 MFL 


Throughout Key Stage 4 pupils begin to use modern foreign languages more independently.  They will draw on a firmer grasp of grammar and a wider more complex range of expression.  They adapt their use of the language according to context, purpose and audience.  They learn to understand a more extensive range of unfamiliar language by reading and listening to a variety of material from countries and communities where the language is spoken.  They also increase their cultural awareness through more direct contact with people who live in those countries and communities.  From September 2016 French, German and Spanish use the AQA exam board and Italian Edexcel.

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Students studying an A level language contribute greatly to the life of the department, attending Open Evenings and KS4 into KS5 evenings, talking to students and parents about language learning at JHN.  Sixth Form students also have the opportunity to participate in the MFL Share Scheme, where students offer speaking practice to younger learners in their study time.  A Level courses are taken with the following exam boards – French German and Spanish (all AQA), Italian (Edexcel 9IN01).

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The department offers many enrichment opportunities.  Pupils in Year 7 are offered a residential cultural trip to either France or Spain. There are also cultural trips for Year 9 and Year 10 pupils to Paris, Florence and Berlin as well as a Spanish exchange.