The MFL department is staffed by four enthusiastic, dedicated and well-qualified language teachers, who are passionate about the benefits that learning a foreign language can bring.

Mrs R Palmer – Head of German

Mrs S Parkin – Head of French

Mrs F Mescam- Assistant Head

Mrs S Cattel – Teacher of French & German


We follow a full, three-year KS3, which enables us to comprehensively cover all themes and areas in readiness for GCSE study in Y10.

Pupils learn about language patterns and grammatical rules which give them an understanding of how languages work. They are also taught dictionary skills and pronunciation strategies and how to recognise cognates.

KS3 topics include:

KS3 Assement in MFL

All three year groups will complete:

Regular language skill practice and in-class / termly assessments of the 4 language skills –

All assessments now mirror the tasks on the new GCSE papers so that pupils are fully prepared and familiar with how to best answer when it comes to final exam.


Pupils begin the GCSE course in Y10. Currently, language study remains optional in KS4, but is advisable for pupils with a linguistic flair and/or pupils who may be considering Russell Group Universities in the future. A command of a foreign language can open many doors of opportunity in the future- not just for study, but for work, travel and cultural awareness.


At GCSE level, pupils are taught to communicate effectively in a variety of situations and to develop and apply their grammatical understanding. Students study the following themes on which the assessments are based.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

Foundation – 35 minutes – 40 marks


Higher – 45 minutes – 50 marks

The listening exam includes 5 minutes’ reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played. 

Foundation – 45 minutes – 60 marks


Higher – 1 hour – 60 marks

Non-exam assessment

Foundation – 7-9 minutes (plus prep time) – 60 marks


Higher – 10-12 minutes (plus prep time) – 60 marks

Foundation – 1 hour – 50 marks


Higher – 1 hour 15 minutes – 60 marks

How languages fit in at dormston?

Y Population – German

X Population – French

4 lessons per fortnight

Tutor group (mixed ability)

Y Population – German

X Population – French

4 lessons per fortnight

Grouped by assessment and according to ability and aptitude

Y Population – German

X Population – French

4 lessons per fortnight

Grouped by assessment and according to ability and aptitude

Option Subject: French and/or German

5 lessons per fortnight

Ability sets where possible or mixed if fewer numbers


For our wonderful GCSE linguists, we offer either one or two trips abroad annually. We have enjoyed 7 very successful trips to the continent and both staff and pupils have exceptionally fond memories of the trips that will last a life time. We try to ensure that all activities and tours have cultural significance, whilst utilising our budget and maximizing our time in Germany and France. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to be immersed in culture, which will enrich and develop skills for their GCSE subjects. All of our students will benefit from the vast amount of vocabulary practice in preparation for their listening and reading exams. What better practice shortly before your GCSE than being immersed in authentic language?

We have visited Cologne with its impressive cathedral, Paris with its vast amount of outstanding culture and history and Munich where we paid a special visit to the Allianz Arena – home of Bayern München and also a visit to BMW World and the world famous Hofbräuhaus.

Most recently we spent a sunny Easter week in both Germany and France. Staying in the Black Forest with its breathtaking scenery and hopping over the border into beautiful Strasbourg, really allowing us to make the most of speaking both languages in one trip.