A new four-part CPD series commencing January 2023, designed to help you prepare for the requirements of the new GCSEs in French, German and Spanish

Towards the New GCSE

We are delighted to announce a new four-part CPD series for Spring Term 2023, designed to help you prepare for the requirements of the new French, German and Spanish GCSEs. 

  • Four x 90 minute remote twilight sessions will run across January and February. 
  • You will also have the opportunity to attend an online ‘next steps’ session to facilitate collegial planning as you prepare to enact any curricular and pedagogical developments in light of the CPD course content. 

Overview: Session 1 crucially sets the scene for this four-part series and sessions 2, 3 and 4 prioritise practical teaching activities and ideas in terms of phonics, vocabulary and grammar that can be built in now with Y7 and Y8, laying the foundations for the new GCSE knowledge.

Session 1: Principles of languages curriculum design for KS3 & KS4

The new GCSE subject content for French, German and Spanish proposes that students learn and can readily use key vocabulary, grammar and phonics to understand and produce meaning, communicating independently in writing and speech, using ‘clear and comprehensible language’ in unprepared interactions, whilst also stepping ‘beyond familiar cultural boundaries’ and developing ‘new ways of seeing the world’.

In light of these requirements, this session sets out the main principles for designing a successful curriculum for Modern Languages at Key Stage 3 and 4.

Session 2: How does explicit phonics teaching make a difference?

Knowing the sound-writing relationship of a new language unlocks it.  In this session, we focus on research-informed practice for explicitly and progressively teaching, consolidating and applying the sound-writing relationship from beginner to GCSE, showing how easily culture and phonics combine.

Session 3: Teaching vocabulary – What’s new?

What does it mean to have a defined wordlist for GCSE?  In this session, we consider the research-informed practical implications of and for revisiting; frequency; depth of individual word knowledge; practice; themes and topics; culture and personalisation. We look at what we can do now for Y8 to set them on the path for success at GCSE.

Session 4: Grammar – Contrasting pairs, making the most of input, speaking in unprepared interactions

Drawing on decades of research, this session proposes that explicit grammar levels the playing field for learners, that using contrasting pairs in listening and reading helps learners process and retain new knowledge, and that information gap speaking activities pave the way towards the unprepared interactions in the new GCSE.

CPD Series Timetable

Registrants will be asked to sign up to one cohort of the CPD series and attend all sessions to complete the course. There is flexibility to swap to a different session where available, or to complete a screencast of the session. The timetable is listed below, in day/ time order.

CohortSession 1Session 2Session 3Session 4
TKTuesday 10 Jan, 4 -5.30pmTuesday 17 Jan, 4 -5.30pmTuesday 31 Jan, 4 -5.30pmTuesday 7 Feb, 4 -5.30pm
TYWednesday 11 Jan, 3.45 – 5.15pmWednesday 18 Jan, 3.45 – 5.15pmWednesday 1 Feb, 3.45 – 5.15pmWednesday 8 Feb, 3.45 – 5.15pm
TWFriday 13 Jan, 3.30 -5pmFriday 20 Jan, 3.30 -5pmFriday 3 Feb, 3.30 -5pmFriday 10 Feb, 3.30 -5pm
TPMonday 16 Jan, 3.30 – 5pmMonday 23 Jan, 3.30 – 5pmMonday 30 Jan, 3.30 – 5pmMonday 6 Feb, 3.30 – 5pm

Online ‘next steps’ collaborative planning session

At the end of the course we will host an online ‘next-steps’ session providing an opportunity for all teachers that have completed the course to work collaboratively to share ideas on next steps to prepare for the new GCSE as well as develop practice further. We will contact you with details of the online session in February.


We welcome registrations if: 

  • You are involved in Modern Foreign Language education (and can cascade course content to MFL colleagues, including to in-service and/or pre-service teachers or trainees). 
  • You are:
    • EITHER working in an eligible school in England (that teaches KS3/4 French and/or German and/or Spanish) – all schools that receive public funding from the government are eligible. 
    • OR a state-funded university-based or SCITT-based teacher trainer providing courses to secondary pre-service teachers or trainees in French and/or German and/or Spanish teaching.

This includes:

  • Practising teachers in state schools (any number of teachers can apply from a single school – but numbers may be restricted if demand is very high)
  • Unqualified practising teachers 
  • Secondary school advisors/consultants (employed by a school, an academy trust or a local authority to support state schools) 
  • Teacher trainers 

Registration for the CPD series

Registrations will only be accepted via our online registration form, available below. The recommended deadline for registrations is Monday 9th January 2023 but registration will remain open to allow for late registrants. Please contact us at enquiries@ncelp.org if you have difficulties completing the form.