About this course

These are exciting times to teach and lead in MFL. Social media platforms are alive with the latest developments in teaching and learning and we are learning more from each other than ever before. However, opportunities for subject specific leadership development can be rare in the MFL community. That is why this new course is here to support both aspiring and new MFL leaders by dissecting what we mean by good leadership and how that can best be implemented in each of our own school contexts to improve student and staff outcomes. Together, we will examine specific challenges faced by leaders of MFL and the strategies needed to be a successful Head of Department. Delegates will gain an understanding of the features of an excellent MFL Department and take away practical strategies to set-up, and run their own departments.


  • Gain the latest understanding of what makes an excellent leader of MFL.
  • Examine the challenges of middle leadership and develop strategies to overcome these.
  • Get prepared to successfully lead an MFL department; developing a vision, strategy and building a team.
  • Obtain strategies to effectively run an MFL department including improving teaching and learning, tracking student progress and managing underperformance.
  • Examine ways to enhance student and parents experience in MFL to facilitate outstanding student outcomes.
  • Tips and advice on how to be successful in job applications and interviews for a Head of Department role.
DATE & LOCATION  Online | Monday 16 November 2020
Online | Monday 23 November 2020
  • Teachers of MFL
  • TLR holders in MFL departments
  • Newly appointed leaders of MFL
  • Aspiring leaders of MFL
  • Heads of MFL
  • Notes prepared by the educational expert leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance


Session 1 – Monday 16th November 2020

4.30 – 5.30 pm: Defining the role: What is middle leadership and its key challenges?

  • What are the challenges of leading an MFL Department?
  • What kind of leader are you?
  • Being accountable and making others accountable
  • What are the main duties and responsibilities as a middle leader?
  • How to build a team ethos
  • Tips for successful leadership

5.30 – 6.30 pm: Making your mark: Developing your curriculum (intent, implementation and impact)

  • Curriculum intent: Developing a vision and establishing your priorities
  • Identifying areas for development in your new department and a plan of action to implement your changes
  • Curriculum design: What do high quality resources look like in MFL? What order of delivery and forms of assessment would facilitate excellent student outcomes?
  • Effective implementation through setting up robust tracking systems to monitor student progress across the department
  • Facilitating a positive impact on student outcomes across the department: Strategies to prepare students for examination success
  • Having an impact on student experience: Inspiring and engaging students through trips, guest speakers, student societies and use of social media.

Session 2 – Monday 23 November 4.30-6.30pm

4.30 – 5.30pm: Effective leadership: How to foster high expectations and deliver outstanding outcomes

  • Fostering a team and parity of student experience
  • Strategies for establishing, maintaining and promoting high quality teaching, learning and assessment in MFL
  • Supporting your team with innovative and engaging teaching
  • The importance of delegating and utilising the strengths of your staff
  • Using data effectively for monitoring and feedback, to lead to outstanding student outcomes
  • Get a “buzz” around MFL through enrichment provision

5.30 – 6.00pm: Sustaining Quality: Dealing with challenging issues 

  • Monitoring staff performance to ensure outstanding student outcomes across the department
  • Challenging underperformance, sustaining excellence and maintaining standards
  • How to best support staff professional development in line with departmental needs
  • Dealing with difficult conversations

6.00 – 6.30 pm: Selling yourself: How to get the job!

  • How to write a winning personal statement for a Head of MFL role
  • How to best prepare for the interview day, dos and don’ts
  • What makes an excellent micro-teach? How to showcase your talent.
  • What types of questions will be asked at interview? What kinds of answers will score highly?

Sophie Newnham

Sophie is a successful teacher and leader of MFL, an avid contributor to the #mfltwitterati and Regional Subject Advisor for MFL with United Learning. For the last three years, she has led her own department as well as working as an SLE for the AAT supporting other MFL departments on a local and national scale. She has welcomed many visitors up and down the country to visit her department on the south coast for training days, lesson observations and coaching for leading successful MFL departments. She regularly presents for the Association for Language Learning and for MFL London where she shares her passion for leading and developing MFL curriculum nationwide.