Modern Foreign Languages

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”


The aim of the Modern Languages Department is to make language learning a positive and rewarding experience, relevant to the needs of our students, whilst at the same time maintaining an enjoyable atmosphere. At City Academy we recognise the advantages of speaking a foreign language ranging from the  ability to communicate, to acquiring a wider understanding of the multicultural world in which we live and of course, gaining relevant qualifications to enable students to have the widest possible success in their future. We currently teach French.



Mr James M.Sc. PGCE, BA (Hons) – Head of Department

Mr James first degree was French and Spanish and his PGCE is in Modern Languages. Mr James also speaks Italian and German.

Miss Niang M.Sc. PGCE – Teacher of French

Miss Niang is a native French speaker. She also speaks Spanish and Italian


Key Stage 3

At KS3 all students have 4 lessons of French per fortnight which will give them a solid foundation to move on to the GCSE course which begins in KS4. All 4 skills of Writing, Reading, Speaking and Listening are covered during KS3. We also cover translation from French – English and English to French to correspond with the new requirement at GCSE.

In Year 7 the main themes covered include

  • Introduction to the language
  • Personal Information
  • School
  • Sport and Leisure
  • Entertainment

We recognise that students will arrive at City Academy Birmingham with a variety of foreign language experience, ranging from absolute beginners in French (the majority) to significant experience of the language; our curriculum and teaching enables us to offer challenge and depth to accommodate the full range of ability, with setting from Year 7.


In Year 8 the main themes include

  • Food
  • Health
  • Around me – house and home
  • Around me – environment and Geography
  • Holidays

There is a greater focus on grammar skills in Year 8, particularly different tenses, so that students are confident and fully equipped to move on to the GCSE course which most students will choose to do in Year 9.


Key Stage 4

We cover the AQA GCSE scheme of work from Year 9 which can be found here –

The AQA website also provides resources and materials for students and staff and is incredibly useful.

The GCSE is 100% exam in the final year and covers the 4 main skills required for language learning.

There are 4 separate exams:

  • Writing Exam – 25%
  • Reading Exam – 25%
  • Listening Exam – 25%
  • Speaking Exam – 25%

French GCSE will be compulsory for the majority of students, and we strongly encourage students to choose French from Year 9 as this will enable them to gain the additional eBacc qualification which will be vitally important for their future plans and for University entrance.

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