If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

Nelson Mandela

Why and how are we teaching languages?

At Penwortham Priory Academy, the MFL Curriculum is at least as ambitious as the National Curriculum.

The MFL curriculum is designed to recognise children’s prior language learning from Key Stage 2 and use this to provide a challenging learning experience, which engages pupils of all abilities and character. We recognise that all pupils will have been exposed to languages at different levels throughout Key Stage 2.

We strive to support and challenge all language learners in developing the thinking skills and confidence to consider themselves as ‘World Citizens’, who are part of a multicultural, mutually respectful world. The department is fully committed to developing strong, lifelong linguistic skills and encouraging a curiosity and interest in linguistics.  Our ambition is for the pupils to have a love of languages; in doing this we nurture linguistic inquisitiveness and intrinsic motivation.

The department was part of NCELP’s Modern Foreign Language Hub (now known as LDP) and learning is carefully planned to support progress of learners at both Key Stages. The pillars of language knowledge are phonics, vocabulary, and grammar. Within our pedagogy, skill starts as structured, supported understanding and meaningful practice, and gradually builds to freer production, in which learners can recall and manipulate a wider range of language to communicate meaning.  We believe that pupils deserve to understand the ‘big picture’, how this links to the schema of the subject and importantly other subjects. The department endeavours to make learning languages fun and meaningful, providing many opportunities for both collaboration, independent work, and a plethora of possibilities for spontaneous speech.

Progression is determined largely by the functions of grammar, and the frequency and usefulness of vocabulary and phonics. We aim to avoid introducing too much language too fast and progression is checked using a variety of assessment techniques. Presentation of new sound-symbol correspondences and vocabulary is followed by integrated revisiting and consolidation throughout KS3.

The curriculum is layered incorporating a variety of inward to outward facing topics which we feel reflect the increasing maturity and changing interests of the pupils. At every possible opportunity we expose our learners to a variety of texts in the target language and encourage reading for a variety of purposes.

We value the opportunities to take pupils on trips and visits and there are vast number of trips abroad for pupils to take advantage of.

Teachers of French

Mrs Scully - Head of Languages

Mrs Bailey

Mr Taylor


Year 7 - two hours of French per week
Year 8 - two hours of French per week
Year 9 - two hours of French per week
Year 10/11 - three hours of French per week

French Curriculum

Attainment and Progress (national tests and assessments)

2023 GCSE French Outcomes


9 - 7 %

9 - 5 %

9 - 4 %





English Baccalaureate (EBacc) at Penwortham Priory Academy  

All pupils at Priory study the following core subjects:

  • English language and English literature  
  • Maths  
  • Science – either combined science (trilogy) or three single separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) if chosen as an option  
  • In addition, all pupils will have to choose either French, Geography or History  

Penwortham Priory Academy and the Department for Education believes choosing the Ebacc suite of subjects keeps the maximum number of options open for all pupils. We therefore strongly recommend that all pupils study French and choose either Geography or History as two of their three choices.  

What is the EBacc?  

The EBacc is not a qualification in its own right – it’s a combination of GCSE subjects, including a language, that offer an important range of knowledge and skills to young people.  

EBacc Future-Proofs Your Child’s Prospects  

While your child may not have decided on their future career path yet, choosing the EBacc at GCSE gives them access to a full range of employment options when they leave secondary school and the broad knowledge that employers are looking for. If they are thinking of going to university, the EBacc is also recommended by Britain’s most prestigious universities.  

Languages Give Young People A Competitive Edge  

Languages are an important part of the EBacc. Studying a foreign language can be extremely rewarding and exciting. They provide an insight into other cultures and can open the door to travel and employment opportunities. They can also broaden pupils’ horizons, helping them flourish in new environments. If your child finds languages difficult, don’t forget that they will have been studying them for much less time than their other subjects and, while it can be a challenge, learning a language will greatly enhance their future opportunities. What’s more, we know that employers value languages, as they are increasingly important to make sure we can compete in the global market. Because of this, languages are increasingly becoming a requirement for many graduate schemes.  

Choosing the EBacc at Penwortham Priory Academy  

To choose the EBacc at Priory, your son/daughter must simply choose GCSE French and either GCSE History or Geography. They then have one further option choice where they can choose any option subject. 

Priory’s EBacc Ambition Policy Statement

Extra Curricular Clubs

  • Japanese Club
  • Homework drop in
  • Intervention at Key Stage 4

House Competitions

  • Language Nut league competition
  • European Day of Languages Bake Off
  • European
  • 'Three pillars and a pizza box' competition
  • Spelling Bee
  • Translation Bee

Trips and visits

  • UCLan Confucius visit Confucius Institute - UCLan
  • Key Stage 3 Paris trip
  • PiXl visit  exam preparation workshop KS4
  • Primary workshops with Year 9 pupils

Cultural Experiences

  • Story Jars
  • European Day of Languages
  • See SOL for in lesson experiences
  • Culture Day
  • Year 9 'Make Languages Work' event
  • Year 10 cooking experience - Galette des Rois

Related News

23 April 2024
Image of Pupils learn a language with 3 pillars and a pizza box

Pupils learn a language with 3 pillars and a pizza box

Priory’s Languages department encouraged pupils to use their imaginations to help them understand the new way of teaching French.

30 November 2023
Image of Year 9 Discover Languages At Work

Year 9 Discover Languages At Work

Year 9 pupils learnt how a foreign language could be vital to their careers in a successful ‘Make Languages Work’ event held at Priory.