Challenge Your Mind


French - A Level

Special Entry Requirements:

In addition to the A Level entry requirements you need a grade 5 in GCSE French and a grade 5 in GCSE English Language.

Please let us know if you do not have a GCSE qualification and want to tell us about your individual situation. If you sat your GCSE in French early, you should contact us for a ‘refresher’ pack.

Course Introduction:

It is becoming increasingly important to understand as well as to speak and write confidently in a second language and there are many career opportunities open to those who wish to combine a study of a foreign language alongside another subject. There is no doubt that the ability to communicate well in a foreign language increases self-confidence. Also, it is very impressive and it unlocks doors to a world of new experiences and makes you very desirable as a possible employee.

French A Level Transition Pack – We have created a transition pack on the website to show you the kind of work that you will be doing at level 3 and to help you prepare for September.

Course Modules:

First Year
The course in the Lower Sixth covers the themes of: family; cyber-society; voluntary work; heritage; music and cinema in the context of France and other countries where French is spoken. This course builds on those topics covered at GCSE level and will improve your reading and listening with a greater understanding of grammar. Also, you will be able to write and speak French with much more confidence.

Second Year
The Upper Sixth continues to develop your skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing through the wider social and cultural topics of: features of a diverse society; life for the marginalised; politics and immigration. In addition, you will examine the works of a famous dramatist or author and of a film director through the medium of French in your Cultural Project.

General information
Throughout both years you will learn by using the Internet, our Languages ICT suite, through group and individual listening activities, role play, memorising, tasks to develop your reading skills and, especially, through conversation in a small group with a native French speaker. You will read and listen to a variety of texts, including stories, magazines, newspaper articles, podcasts and YouTube and have opportunities to take part in the French exchange with a school in Gex on the Swiss border. Creative work may include acting, writing letters or stories and making recordings. Our most successful students enjoy listening to and reading French in their own time.

Please note that the Syllabus and Examination Board are the same for French, German and Spanish and therefore topics do overlap. We follow the AQA specification and there is no coursework.


In the Lower Sixth, there is a speaking exam, a listening/reading/writing exam and an essay writing exam. You have individual control of an MP3 player. The speaking test consists of discussing issues given on a card, which develops into an open-ended conversation based on the topics covered in the course. In the Upper Sixth the same skills are assessed through three exams, and you will be questioned on your Cultural Topics and asked to give and defend your point of view. Regular monitoring of your work keeps you informed with how you are doing. You will learn in a friendly and relaxed yet challenging atmosphere and we help you to do your best.

Career Opportunities:

Students of foreign languages are in demand and find it easier to find employment. Statistics [provided by University of Leeds and University of Bangor] show that students with a degree in languages are amongst those with the best job prospects on leaving university. In fact, nearly three quarters of employers actively recruit new staff with an ability to speak a second or third language. [CILT]

Many have quoted our exchange visit to France and Switzerland as the best part of their S6F experience! Last year, five students made such good new friends abroad they met back up in the holidays and went skiing together! In March 2013, students went dog-sledding, were inspired during a visit to the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva and enjoyed a day out in Gruyeres and Annecy! You can see the photos, get study tips and contact the department via our Facebook page: