GCSE French

Studying French at GCSE means that students will be able to express themselves spontaneously, creatively, as well as increasingly fluently and accurately in the language, both in speaking and writing.  The intention is to give students access to a vibrant experience of the culture of France and the French-speaking world, and an understanding of the most up-to-date language.

Lessons aim to be interactive and challenging, encouraging as much active participation as possible.  There is a considerable amount of work on comprehension of authentic spoken and written material, and on oral practice, as well as on essay planning and translation.  A firm grammatical foundation is established to deepen the students´ knowledge about how language works, and vocabulary is continually extended.  Cultural knowledge of the French-speaking world is strongly encouraged through watching films and listening to authentic music, as well as reading magazines and accessible literature. 

Assessments are based on past papers so that students are fully familiar with the demands of the exams before sitting them at the end of Year 11.

The examination (AQA specification) is broken down into four papers of equal weighting, which ensures that pupils of all abilities can perform well and achieve their full potential.

Paper 1: Listening

Paper 2: Speaking

Paper 3: Reading

Paper 4: Writing






(Role Play,

Photo Card,

General Conversation)





into English)


1hr 15mins

(90 word essay,

150 word essay,

Translation into French)

The themes address (a) Identity and culture; (b) Local, national, international and global areas of interest; and global areas of interest and (c) Current and future study and employment.

In Year 9, during Activity Week 1, students can take part in an exchange with the Institution de la Croix Blanche in Bondues near Lille, and in Year 10, during Activity Week 2, students visit Normandy.  In addition, we invite a French theatre company to St. Olave´s to perform a play in Years 9 & 10. In regular conversation lessons, our Native-Speaker Language Assistants provide further practice of the topics in small groups.

Further details can be access via: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/languages/gcse/french-8658