Head of Department – Mrs V Bailey
French for GCSE… Easier than you may think

4-6 hours per fortnight, one in IT3, Support class Elite Club, Social Networking support, Assistante’s speaking time… Prepare to join the Francophony! 77 member states and governments on 5 continents, 220 000 speakers, the official language of the EU Administration.

A global language

In many respects, French can be considered a global language.  With over 220 million speakers, it ranks as the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.

A language which is present on every continent. French is an official language of 32 States and governments, with a total population of over 400 million. It is firmly established in Europe, North America and the Caribbean, Africa and the Mediterranean. It is shared by the 57 member states and governments and 20 observers of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (IOF).

A language of international institutions. French is an official language of the United Nations (UN) and many UN bodies. It is a working language of the European Union and other regional organizations, such as the African Union. It is also one of the two official languages of the Olympic Games.

A language learnt worldwide. French is taught as a foreign language in almost every national education system. It is the most widely learnt language after English. It is taught by half a million teachers to 120 million pupils.

A language of culture and knowledge. French-language films and literature are the most widely distributed after English-language works.  With its wealth of cultural sites, particularly museums, France has become the world’s leading tourist destination. Its universities rank third in terms of their foreign student numbers. France also has the largest network of international schools.

A language of the international economy. The French economy is the fifth largest in the world. The French-speaking world accounts for 15% of global wealth and 12% of international trade.

Key Stage 3

French is one of the languages available to study from year 8 upwards. Students follow Pearson’s Studio 11-14 French resources, which not only combine screen, video, audio and interactive activities to boost engagement, but develop language skills ready for GCSE.

Year 8 topics

Year 9 topics


In year 10/11, there is a trip to a language school in France, to stay with a family, and make lifelong connections!


We use the AQA HIGHER exam book, a brand new edition. You will also benefit from the online “Active Learn” website with all the activities, online book and vocab help. It is divided into eight units, covered over the two years. You’ll continue developing skills in Listening, Speaking Reading & Writing. The three Key topics are:

Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Topic 1: Me, my family and friends
    • Relationships with family and friends
    • Marriage/partnership
  • Topic 2: Technology in everyday life
    • Social media
    • Mobile technology
  • Topic 3: Free-time activities
    • Music
    • Cinema and TV
    • Food and eating out
    • Sport
  • Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities

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

  • Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Topic 2: Social issues
    • Charity/voluntary work
    • Healthy/unhealthy living
  • Topic 3: Global issues
    • The environment
    • Poverty/homelessness
  • Topic 4: Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

  • Topic 1: My studies
  • Topic 2: Life at school/college
  • Topic 3: Education post-16
  • Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions

In Class: A very interactive environment: using buzzers, boards and the interactive board to ensure that you remain focused and you progress well.

A competition system creates a motivating learning environment between all classes. Grammar features in most lessons, using a specialist book with graded exercises.

Homework: Depending on the timetable, homework is given twice per fortnight on average. This will be learning vocab, reading/listening exercises, or using Facebook.

Key Stage 5
IB French ab initio SL

Minimum Entry Requirements:

The course is designed for students who have never taken a Modern Foreign Language or for those who have failed to achieve a decent grade at GCSE level in their Modern Foreign Language. It is essentially a beginner’s course and therefore only available at Standard Level. There is normally a choice for French.

Course Description:

The course gives students the opportunity to develop a variety of linguistic skills through specific language learning tasks, and also through topics on relevant cultures around the world. The main focus is on acquiring competency in the language for purposes and situations used in everyday social interaction. This means that grammar and vocabulary are practised while learning about a previously unknown culture.

The Students Will Learn:

to communicate information and basic ideas clearly and effectively in a limited range of situations

to express ideas with appropriate language and register

to understand and use accurately the essential spoken and written forms of the language in a limited range of situations

to show an awareness of some elements of the cultures in the language-speaking countries

Topic Areas:


  • Experiences
  • Human ingenuity
  • Social organization
  • Sharing the planet


The students are assessed both internally and externally.

The external component represents 75% and is by means of three papers at the end of the course (Listening, Reading and Writing)

The internal assessment represents the further 25% and is in the form of an individual oral.

To prepare for the external and internal assessments, students are given mock orals, exams and assessments during class time.

What can I do in the future with French?

Languages can be combined with a surprising variety of subjects and skills to produce a wide range of jobs. For example:

  • European Studies
  • Computing
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Engineering
  • Accountancy courses
  • Management Studies
  • Financial Management
  • English Law Qualification
  • Business Administration
  • Economics
  • Politics
  • International Relations
  • Hotel Management
  • French and Marketing, and more…