French

Faculty: Humanities
Subject: GCSE French
Subject Leader:  Mrs H Roberts
Staff and Responsibility: Mr J Petit, Miss T Nicholson

Subject Overview

Through studying a modern foreign language, students will develop their ability and ambition to communicate with native speakers in speech and writing. They will also broaden their horizons, stepping beyond familiar cultural boundaries and will develop new ways of seeing the world.

To build on previous learning from years 7 and 8, pupils in year 9 continue with their middle school language. Pupils can then choose this language at GCSE and A level.

Course Content

The aim of the GCSE French course is to enable students of all abilities to develop their French language skills.  The course covers three broad themes:

  • Identity and culture – family, technology in everyday life, free-time activities
  • Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • Current and future study and employment

Students will learn skills needed by tourists and people travelling for business and will also discuss topics concerning young people such as drugs, healthy lifestyle, work & relationships.  There is a focus on the culture and identity of the countries where French is spoken.  We will study authentic texts like poems, lyrics or short stories.  The skills of translation will also be taught, from French into English and from English into French.

Assessment

Students will have four exams at the end of Year 11 – Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.  Each skill is worth 25% of their GCSE grade.

Materials Needed

Lessons are conducted mostly in the target language and, as well as the textbook, we use other resources such as magazine articles, internet resources and computer-based materials.  No special equipment is needed for the course, but most students find that a French dictionary or access to an on-line dictionary is a help with their homework.  Parents can be very helpful in checking that homework is done, and testing vocabulary that has been learned.

Potential Career Options

Students will find that being able to speak French is a real advantage when the time comes to look for a job because employers are always on the lookout for good communicators.  French is spoken on five continents and is an official working language in many international organisations.  The Russell Group has named languages as subjects that open doors to more degrees at universities. (The Russell Group is a group of 24 universities with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement).

Why study a foreign language?

  • 90% of the world’s population live in a country where English is not the native tongue.
  • “Having language skills under your belt will help make you stand out from the crowd, whether you’re applying for an entry level position, a management role or an internal transfer.” Steve Cassidy, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Hilton
  • A GCSE course in a foreign language is stimulating and enjoyable. Whilst emphasising pupils’ roles as European citizens, it also teaches practical communication skills and develops awareness of pupils’ own cultures and those of the target language speaking countries – an important asset for life in the 21st Century.

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