fbpx Skip to main content

MFL Key information

“One language sets you in a corridor for life.  Two languages open every door along the way.” – Frank Smith, Canadian psycholinguist 


Learning a Modern Foreign Language is important because it provides students an opportunity to communicate more effectively with a wider range of people, thus equipping students with employability skills ever more important post-Brexit and in our ever more accessible world. It also helps pupils understand what it is to be a global citizen, including the importance of tolerance and understanding, as they are exposed to the culture and traditions of the countries where the foreign language is spoken.   

The department is made up of three members of staff. Miss Isern is the head of department. She is a Spanish national who has lived in the UK nearly 30 years and speaks five languages.  She is UK qualified and has an International Business degree (with French). She later retrained as a teacher completing a PGCE modern foreign languages. Miss Isern has a wealth of experience as a teacher and head of department and has authored many Spanish textbooks for reputable publishers.  She also has experience as a senior GCSE Spanish examiner. Miss Isern has travelled through many Latin American countries, so she is able to share her experiences with the students to widen their perception of Spanish. Miss Isern joined SJCHS in September 2021. 

Mrs Fernandez is a part-time MFL teacher. She is a native speaker of Spanish who has lived in the UK for many years.  Mrs Fernandez studied a degree in English philology in Spain, where she also qualified as a secondary foreign language’s teacher.  

Mrs Lightfoot is the French specialist and former MFL head of department now safeguarding lead and senior leadership team member in the school.  Mrs Lightfoot studied a French and German degree and has completed a master in school leadership.  She has been at SJCHS since 2014 and is a very valued and experienced member of staff.  As Mrs Lightfoot’s responsibilities have increased elsewhere in the school, her MFL teaching load has decreased but we are very lucky that she is still teaching our French year 11 class. 


Course followed/Exam board 

(KS3 and KS4) 


We broadly follow the Pearson’s Viva textbooks from year 7 to year 11 and we regularly top up with our own resources, and materials from a wide range of electronic platforms that we subscribe to. 

At KS4, we prepare students to sit the AQA GCSE Spanish examinations.  


Skills the students will develop 

In MFL students develop strong cognitive skills (the core skills our brain uses to think, read, learn remember, reason and pay attention) such as mental flexibility, listening skills and problem solving.   

Learning a language helps pupils boost their memory, develop their communication and oracy skills, and build their confidence, resilience and coping skills when faced with the unfamiliar or unknown.  Learning a new language helps students become more tolerant of people who are different and to see things from other’s point of view. Ultimately, all these build on and develop the social and employability skills of young people.    

Future careers and vocations 

Contrary to popular belief, languages do not limit students to careers in translating, interpreting, education or tourism industries. The ability to speak a language is highly regarded and often necessary for professional progression and success in many sectors such as insurance and finance, law, food and drink, sales and marketing, and for international companies and organisations such as the UN, Greenpeace, Doctors without borders and the Enterprise and Diplomatic Service amongst many others. In general terms, if we have money to spend, everyone will speak English to us but if we need something or have a product or service to sell, we need to be able to speak other people’s language.  


Head of department: Isabel.isern@sjchs.uk




  • EDL (European Day of Languages) – quizzes 
  • Día de los Muertos (Day of the dead) – Papel picado  
  • Blooket quizzes 
  • Memrise points 
  • Sentence builders inter-class competitions 
  • Steal my sentence 
  • One pen one dice 



Reading for pleasure 

Cuentos en español (bilingual short stories) 

Academic Reading 

Viva 1, Viva 2, Viva GCSE Spanish (Pearson’s textbooks) 

AQA GCSE Spanish Grammar and translation 

Reading for parents 

Spanish in three months (Hugo) – It won’t get you talking Spanish but would help you understand basics 


Websites & Multimedia 

Please Click the following links to view the Learning Journey Roadmaps:

French Learning Journey

Spanish Learning Journey

Close Menu