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  • French

Year 9:

In Year 9 students begin preparation for their GCSE.  After a half-term of revision of basic grammar, students study the topics of school, free time and leisure activities covering all the major tenses and focusing on progression across all four linguistic skills.  They also study a French film. 


Year 10 & Year 11:

Course Leader:  Ms Clarkson

Why continue to learn French?

French is the native language of some 76 million people across a total of 51 countries and the second most widely spoken in the European Union.

French is useful for careers in energy, aeronautics, fashion, cooking, travel and tourism, diplomacy, and an asset in the job market. 

It is also the language of our closest neighbour and one of our most popular holiday destinations. Being able to communicate in French allows you to get a more authentic experience of French culture and lifestyle.

Course Description

The GCSE course is based on use of the language in authentic situations.

Theme 1: Identity and culture

You will study topics such as family and friends, marriage and partnership, social media, mobile technology, free-time activities and customs and festivals.

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

You will study home town, region, social issues, charity/voluntary work, healthy/unhealthy living, global issues, the environment, poverty, and tourism.

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

You will study topics such as your studies, life at school, career choices and ambitions.

Access to online learning resources such as Kerboodle and Vocabexpress will enable you to develop your language skills to the full by supporting the work that you do in the classroom.


The French GCSE language course is based on the four linguistic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier; each is worth 25% of the GCSE.

Paper 1, Listening 

A written exam of 35 minutes (Foundation) or 45 minutes (Higher).

Paper 2, Speaking 

Non-exam assessment of 7–9 minutes (Foundation) or 10–12 minutes (Higher).

Paper 3, Reading
A written exam of 45 minutes (Foundation) or 1 hour (Higher) including translation from French into English.

Paper 4, Writing 

A written exam of 1 hour (Foundation) 
or 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher) including translation from English into French.

This GCSE will be graded on the new 9-1 scale.

Further Comments

By the end of the course, you should have gained not only a certificate but a practical competence in the language that will enable you to travel and survive in a work situation in a French speaking country.

You will obviously benefit from extra practice in using a foreign language e.g. through corresponding with a penfriend, undertaking an exchange or study visit abroad, watching foreign films and taking any opportunities which present themselves to talk in a foreign language.