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GCSE French Years 10 & 11


AQA - The specification and assessment structure can be found at the link below:

What will I study?

By the end of year 9, pupils will have covered a good deal of the grammar required for GCSE.  Furthermore, much work covered in years 8 and 9 will be relevant to the themes identified at GCSE. You will continue to work in the skill areas of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing, extending both vocabulary and grammar. The following themes are identified in the subject specification:

Theme 1: Identity and culture covers the following topics:

Topic 1: Me, my family and friends (Relationships with family and friends; Marriage/partnership).

Topic 2: Technology in everyday life (Social media; Mobile technology).

Topic 3: Free-time activities (Music; Cinema and TV; Food and eating out; Sport).

Topic 4: Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities.

Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest covers the following topics:

Topic 1: Home, town, neighbourhood and region.

Topic 2: Social issues (Charity/voluntary work; Healthy/unhealthy living).

Topic 3: Global issues (The environment; Poverty/homelessness).

Topic 4: Travel and tourism.

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment covers the following topics:

Topic 1: My studies.

Topic 2: Life at school/college.

Topic 3: Education post-16.

Topic 4: Jobs, career choices and ambitions.

What skills and qualities are required?

Comprehension, both reading and listening, requires candidates to have a good knowledge of vocabulary, an understanding of the structure of the language and the ability to deduce meaning. 

Written and spoken work require good vocabulary, the ability to understand linguistic patterns and an attention to detail. A sound understanding of verbs and tenses is needed.

Good application and consistent efforts with learning are needed, combined with the development of a feel for the language(s) studied.

The department’s aim is to produce confident and spontaneous language users.

How will I learn?

Comprehension work will be extended by addressing the demands of longer and more complex texts and by refining comprehension techniques. Written work will be developed by the inclusion of larger sequences of language. Speaking will be practised as a class, in small groups and individually. Pupils should extend their range of language and work to improve fluency, accuracy and accent.

How will I be assessed?

Listening (Paper 1) and Reading (Paper 3) are assessed in exams at the end of Year 11.  These exams are worth 25% of the final exam.  The listening paper lasts 45 minutes and the reading paper 1 hour.  There are various question types including English questions to be answered in English, French questions to be answered in French or non-verbal questions.  The Reading Paper includes a short translation from the foreign language into English.

Speaking (Paper 2) is assessed in one exam (conducted by the teacher) towards the end of Year 11.  Recordings are externally marked by the Board.  The exam is worth 25% of the whole exam and lasts for 10-12 minutes.  There are three sections which include a role-play exercise, a photo card (which has to be described) and general conversation.

Writing (Paper 4) is examined at the end of the course.  At Higher level, the exam lasts 1 hour 15 minutes and makes up the final 25% of the exam.  There are 3 questions:

Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions.

Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions.

Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 50 words).

Where could it lead?

A language is an asset that could in future be allied to any skill or discipline and has clear applications within the world of business at all levels including management and the entrepreneurial field. The same applies to, for example, the international legal system, work within the travel and tourism sector, work in national and local government, the diplomatic service, security, journalism or tourism .  Language study could clearly lead to a career in translating as well as teaching, either secondary or primary. At university, there are opportunities to study for a joint honours degree offering study of a language allied to another subject and with the possibility of studying or working abroad for one year as part of the course.  This applies not only to language study with other Arts subjects, but also Business, Law and even subjects such as Engineering and Computer Studies.  The study of French offered at King’s prepares students for future acquisition of other Latin based languages.   

The Department believes that language learning is a necessary and exciting requirement of the modern world.  A GCSE in French forms part of the English Baccalaureate, meaning that a good qualification in Languages is increasingly sought after.

Year 10

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 & 2 Unit 1: Identity and culture: family, friends

Talking about friends and what makes a good friend; talking about family relationships; making arrangements to go out; describing a night out with friends; talking about your life when you were younger; discussing role models

Using irregular verbs in the present tense; reflexive verbs in present tense; near future tense; perfect tense; imperfect tense; combining present, perfect and imperfect tenses.

Spring Term


Unit 2 : Identity and culture: free time

Talking about sport; talking about life online; books and reading; television programmes; cinema Depuis + present tense; the comparative; imperfect tense; direct object pronouns; the superlative.
2 Unit 3 : Identity and culture : daily routine, special events Describing daily life; food for special occasions; formal / informal register; family celebrations; festivals and traditions Pouvoir and devoir (modals); the pronoun ‘en’; uses of ‘tu’ and ‘vous’ form; venir de + infinitive; combining tenses
Summer Term
1 & 2 Unit 4 : Local, national, international and global areas of interest : local area and issues Describing a region; talking about own town, village or district; discussing things to see or do; plans and weather; community projects The pronoun ‘y’; negatives; questions using ‘quel’ etc.; future tense; combining present, past and future tenses

Year 11

  Topic Further details about the topic Skills
Autumn Term
1 Unit 5: Local, national, international and global areas of interest : holidays Talking about an ideal holiday; booking and reviewing hotels; ordering in a restaurant; talking about travelling; buying souvenirs; talking about holiday disasters

The conditional; reflexive verbs in the perfect tense; en + present participle; avant de + infinitive; demonstrative adjectives and pronouns; pluperfect tense

2 Unit 6 : current and future study and employment: school; local, national, international and global areas of interest : healthy and unhealthy lifestyles; exchanges Talking about school; comparing schools in UK and francophone countries; school rules; healthy living; discussing vices; talking about a school exchange Using ‘il’ and ‘elle’; using ‘ils’ and ‘elles’; ‘il faut’ and ‘il est interdit de’ ; the imperative ; present and future tenses ; past, present and future timeframes
Spring Term
1 Unit 7 : current and future study and employment: work Discussing career choices; plans hopes and wishes; applying for jobs; work case studies Better, worse, best, worst; subjunctive; direct object pronouns; prepositions after verbs

Unit 8 :  local, national, international and global areas of interest : environment and social issues

Discussing problems facing the world; protecting the environment; ethical shopping; volunteering; big events

Types of word; pouvoir and devoir in conditional; passive; indirect object pronouns; presenting arguments


Resources Topic Type of assessment

Unit 1

Listening , Reading , writing

Unit s1 and 2

Speaking and Reading
CAT 3 Units 1, 2 and 3 End of year examination including Listening, Reading and Writing
CAT 4 Units 1, 2, 3 and 4 Writing, Listening (and Speaking from July of Year 10)
CAT 5 Full GCSE course (adapted to units 1-5 and 8 as far as possible) Listening and Reading, Writing, Speaking
CAT 6 Full GCSE specification GCSE Examination paper

Main Resources

Resource Details Term
Text books

Studio for AQA Higher or Foundation GCSE

Other materials

Online platform (this provides access to the textbooks, online homework and additional practice exercises)

Speaking booklet

Role-play booklet

Vocabulary booklet

Recommended websites

Linguascope (school subscription)

Languages online



Enrichment opportunities

Activity Day and time or term
Support sessions Year 11 One lunchtime a week
French and cakes group Year 11 (extension grammar) One lunchtime a week

Where Next