French GCSE, AQA

Why study a language?

  • English is not enough - Not everyone speaks, or wants to speak English.
  • Learning a language also improves communication skills.
  • Students may wish to study abroad, as part of future university studies.
  • A new language enables students to read books, watch films and listen to songs in a new native language - and understand them too
  • Languages can mean business – the ability to speak another language(s) makes individuals stand out on their CV.
  • Speaking more than one language increases brain capacity and improves memory.

The GCSE Course follows the AQA syllabus and enables students of all abilities to study French with success and enjoyment. Students will develop skills in the four main Attainment Target areas: Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing.

Two tiers of examination are offered, aimed at the following grades: Higher (grades 4-9) and Foundation (grades 1-5).

The syllabus focuses on the following themes:

  • Me, my family and friends – Relationships with family and friends, Marriage/ partnership.
  • Technology in everyday life – Social media, Mobile technology.
  • Leisure activities, Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries/communities, travel and tourism, Home, town, neighbourhood and region
  • Social issues – Charity/ volunteer work, Healthy/unhealthy living
  • Global issues – The environment, Poverty/ homelessness
  • My studies; Life at school/college; Education post-16; Jobs, career choices and ambitions.


Listening - understanding and responding to different types of spoken language, questions to be answered in English, in French and non-verbally.

Speaking - communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes. This includes a role-play, photo-card stimulus and conversation.

Reading - understanding and responding to different types of written language. Includes questions to be answered in English, in French and non-verbally and translation from French.

Writing - Foundation tier includes writing a list of nouns, composing a message of nine sentences, translation from English into French and structured writing task of approximately 90 words.

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