Foundation years: Year 7 and 8

Foundation Years

French is studied alongside Spanish in Years 7 and 8 and it builds up the foundations needed to progress in the language to GCSE level. Throughout the two years, pupils follow a stimulating course involving speaking, listening, reading and writing activities and, very importantly, developing cultural knowledge of France and other French speaking countries.

Topics studied in Year 7 

  • Who I am
  • School
  • Family and friends
  • House, home and daily routine
  • Free time
  • My town

Topics studied in Year 8

  • Local traditions
  • Holidays
  • Technology
  • Fashion

Keystone Year: year 9

Year 9 provides an opportunity to gain an overview of the 12 themes assessed by the exam board at GCSE level. Students will learn the skills needed for the exams in Year 11, as well as studying the foundation content of the specification. Students will need to produce extended written and spoken language pieces, as well as understanding long reading and listening passages, based on the basic language introduced for each topic.

At the same time, they will have to translate long, simple texts into French/Spanish and English. The topics studied include me, family and friends; technology in everyday life; free-time activities; customs and festivals, home, town, neighbourhood and region; social issues; global issues; travel and tourism; life at school and jobs, career choices and ambitions.

After three years, students will be fully prepared to make the decision about the GCSE language path they want to follow.

GCSE: years 10 and 11

The GCSE in French will enable students to further develop their ability to communicate confidently and coherently with native speakers in speech and writing, conveying what they want to say as well as listen to and understand in a number of informal situations.

The GCSE course is centred around three themes and students are expected to understand and give information and opinions on these themes, both relating to their own personal experiences and those of others, including those of French speakers from around the world.

Themes studied in Year 10

Identity and culture

  • Youth Culture
  • Lifestyle
  • Customs and traditions

Local and national areas of interest.

  • Home and locality
  • Spain and Spanish-speaking countries
  • Global sustainability

Themes studied in Year 11

International and global areas of interest

  • Spain and Spanish-speaking countries
  • Global sustainability


Current and future study and employment

  • Current study
  • World of work
  • Jobs and future plans

Students sit four, equally weighted, exams in speaking, listening, reading and writing in order to gain their overall GCSE grade.  As per the current specification, there is an element of translation both from French to English and vice versa.

A Level: years 12 and 13

Exam Board: Edexcel

The A Level in French has been designed to enthuse students through the study of the language, literature, film and culture of the French-speaking world. Throughout the course students should develop an advanced level knowledge and understanding of the French language, the culture of France and other French-speaking countries, as well as practical and valuable language and transferable study skills.

The course will prepare students for higher education and enhance their employability profile. Inspiring and engaging themes, literary texts and films will constitute the core of the course encouraging creativity, spontaneity and confident knowledge and application of grammar

Themes studied in Year 12

Changes in French society

  • Changes in French family structures
  • Education
  • The world of work


Political and artistic culture in French-speaking countries

  • Music
  • Media
  • Festivals and traditions

Alongside these topics and as part of the course, students study a film and literary texts.

Themes Studied in year 13

Immigration and multicultural French society

  • Positives of immigration in France
  • Challenges of immigration and integration in France
  • The Far Right

Occupation and resistance

  • Occupied France
  • The Vichy regime