Curriculum Intent

Learning a foreign language is a vital part of any school curriculum and provides an opening to and a better understanding of other cultures. A high-quality languages education should foster students’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our aim is to broaden students’ horizons and encourage them to step beyond familiar cultural boundaries and develop new ways of seeing the world and becoming global citizens.

Our teaching enables students to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We also provide opportunities for students to communicate for practical purposes, learn new ways of thinking and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied, improving the functionality of the brain by challenging it to recognise, negotiate meaning, and communicate. Our curriculum provides students with ‘powerful knowledge’ that helps them develop a competency that is both broad and deep in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing based on a sound foundation of core grammar, vocabulary and phonics.

Our languages lessons also help students to understand and communicate personal and factual information that goes beyond their immediate needs and interests, developing and justifying points of view in speech and writing, with increased spontaneity, independence and accuracy. This skill boosts students’ ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks.

Critical learning, high frequency language and key communicative functions are revisited receptively and productively many times as we progress through the curriculum.

Our ultimate goal with our students is to develop their ability to be self-efficacious and to create the optimal conditions to succeed and be able to thrive in a diverse world.


In French last year, 75% of students achieved grades 9 to 5; and 88.9% achieved grades 9 to 4.

What we study – Topic Overview

 Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6
Year 7Topic: On Commence! Starting point!   Theme 1Topic: C’est perso Myself and others     Theme 1  Topic: Mon collège
My school     Theme 3
Topic: Mes passetemps 
My Hobbies   Theme 1
Topic: ma zone Where people live   Theme 2  Topic: 3, 2 1 Partez! Holiday   Theme 2  
Year 8Topic:  T’es branché(e)? To talk about tv programmes / films / books Theme 1Topic:  Paris je t’adore! To talk about visiting Paris   Theme 2  Topic:  Mon Identite To talk about myself and others   Theme 1  Topic:  Chez Moi, Chez Toi To talk about where I live.   Theme 2  Topic:  Quel Talent  To talk about talent and ambitions Theme 1  Topic :  Studio Decouvert To talk about French culture   Theme 5  
Year 9Topic:  Ma Vie Sociale D’Ado To talk about social time and social media Theme 1Topic:  Bien Dans Sa Peau Wellbeing: physical and dietary health Theme 1  Topic:  A L’Horizon To talk about jobs and careers.   Theme 4Topic: Who am I? GCSE Module 1       Theme 1Topic: Who am I?         Theme 1Topic: Le temps des loisirs   Freetime   Theme 1  
Year 10Topic: Le temps des loisirs   Theme 1Topic: Daily Life and Cultural Life   Theme 1Topic: Town, Region and Country Theme 2Mocks preparation Exam skills Themes 1 and 2Topic: Holidays     Theme 2Topic: School     Theme 3
Year 11Topic: Holidays     Theme 2Topic: School     Theme 3Topic: Bon travail Future aspirations   Theme 4Topic: Our planet     Theme 5Revision / Speaking Exams  EXAMS

How we assess

Students’ learning and understanding is assessed throughout each term. Firstly, through a variety of formative assessments; through home learning tasks, vocabulary tests, whole class questioning and writing tasks. These assessments lead to live verbal feedback students can act upon immediately to close the gap in their learning. 

A summative assessment also takes place at the end of every term, focusing each time on one or two of the following skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. These summative assessments are marked against the GCSE criterion. A written bridging feedback is used for students to act upon to improve their work and make progress.

Meet the team

Ms Elizabeth Burnett: Head of Modern Foreign Languages

Mrs Natalie Easton: Teacher of Modern Foreign Languages and Rewards Lead

Curriculum Allocation

All students study French throughout KS3 at The Dorcan Academy and may choose to continue to follow through to GCSE; some students may initially receive additional literacy support, facilitating their ability to access the wider curriculum before being reintegrated into French. 

In Year 7, 8 and 9, students in the extended pathway have 3 lessons a fortnight. In Year 7 central students have 4 lessons, in Year 8, they have 5 lessons and in Year 9 they have 4 lessons.

Students in Year 10 and 11 that select French as an option receive 5 lessons a fortnight. Choosing a language is compulsory for all students in the extended pathway, to support their attainment of the EBacc suite of qualifications. 

Enrichment Opportunities

The languages faculty offer an after-school club called “Languages Leaders”: students from all year groups are invited to share their love of languages and design activities which are used to teach primary school students.

We also offer trips abroad: traditionally year 8 students have had the opportunity to go on a 5-day visit to France to discover both the culture and the history of the region of La Somme.  (ask your teacher for the login details) (the best online dictionary)

The Dorcan Academy
St. Paul’s Drive
Covingham, Swindon
Wiltshire SN3 5DA
Switchboard: 01793 525231
Fax: 01793 431461
The Dorcan Academy is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales under company number 07831414. The registered office is St. Paul’s Drive, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN3 5DA.