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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.

We will be following the AQA French GCSE specification which 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

25%

45mins

(Listening)

25%

10-12mins

(Role Play,

Photo Card,

General Conversation)

25%

1hr

(Reading,

Translation

into English)

25%

1hr 15mins

(90 word essay,

150 word essay,

Translation into German)

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

In Year 9 students can take part in an exchange with a school 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, and Year 11 students have the opportunity to attend French film club.  In regular conversation lessons, our Native-Speaker Language Assistants provide further practice of the topics in small groups.

Studying French at university enables graduates to develop a high level of oral and written competence, and deepens their understanding of the social, political, economic and cultural environment of France and the French-speaking world.  Graduates’ profiles stand out as they have the knowledge, linguistic and analytical skills employers require, giving them access to careers such as business, finance, diplomacy, media, interpreting, translation or teaching.

French can be continued at St Olave’s in the Sixth Form to enable progression to university study, either as a Language Honours Degree or as a Joint Honours subject, in combination with disciplines ranging from Politics and Law to Mathematics, Business or Science. Even with many non-language degree courses it is becoming possible to spend a year abroad in French cities, Canada or on the French islands of Réunion or Martinique as part of a four year course.

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