Subject Overview

Studying French in Higher Line will give you access to more courses at better universities and to a wider range of more interesting careers.

By the end of your language course, you will have increased confidence in your ability to understand and express yourself fluently when conversing or writing about a wide range of topics.

Language courses go well with almost any other subject, and both universities and employers value these qualifications highly.


Year 10-11

Did you know that over two-thirds of English words originally come from the UK’s closest European neighbours, the French? As well as being a beautiful language of huge cultural significance, French is also a key language of business, tourism and international relations. Spoken by 200 million people worldwide, French remains the first language sought by UK employers. If you enjoy communicating with other people, finding out how language works and learning about different countries and cultures, studying GCSE French is an excellent choice for you!

Course Content and Assessment
The Course: This is not a beginners’ course, but rather builds on pupils’ prior learning in French (usually a minimum of two years). It is a two-year GCSE programme, based on the Studio text book and supplemented with other materials including web-based resources, such as, Quizlet and our online language laboratory, Schoolshape. Pupils will learn how to produce and understand both spoken and written French on a range of relevant topics including leisure, travel, school and many more. Most of the lessons will be taught in French.

Assessment: The GCSE courses for Modern Languages have just been re-designed and there will be four exams at the end of the course, each worth 25% of the overall marks. These will test the skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. (There is no longer any coursework or controlled assessment.) There are two tiers of entry, Higher and Foundation, and each pupil will need to sit all of their papers at the same level, though there will certainly be an overlap so that candidates on the borderline between the two will not be disadvantaged.

Higher Line and Higher Education Options: Pupils who wish to study French in Higher Line should normally have achieved a grade 7, 8 or 9 at GCSE (or equivalent), but exceptional cases will always receive due consideration. Many universities consider languages to be an important subject and excellent preparation for a wide range of degree courses. Pupils who continue with French in Higher Line may go on to combine the study of the language with a commercial or other subject at university, and their language skills give them a major advantage when seeking employment.


A Level (sixth form)

A Levels have now moved away from the traditional AS/A2 structure to a two-year linear course with all exams at the end of the two years.

The topics studied in the AQA course will address a range of social issues and trends, as well as aspects of the political and artistic culture of France and French-speaking countries.

Students will study texts and film and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.

IB Diploma

IB French is a subject that requires independent study skills and an aptitude for and an interest in languages.

IB French B
This course caters for those studying French as
a second-language who ideally will have achieved
a grade 7 or above at GCSE level. Topics studied include Communication and Media, Global issues and
Social Relationships.

IB French A Literature
We also offer a course for mother-tongue speakers
of French who wish to study several works of French literature as well as other works translated into French.

Our IB Diploma Programme is designed to produce highly-educated all-rounders who embrace social responsibility, intercultural awareness, and a duty to local and global communities to make an increasingly complex world a better place.