French (GCSE) -


Examination Board

Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE

Studying a foreign language helps you to open your mind to other cultures, gaining a better understanding of the contemporary society, cultural background and communities of the language being studied The ability to speak and understand a foreign language is a highly desirable skill, and sought after by future employers in today’s international work market. It is now also possible to combine the study of a foreign language with a multitude of degree courses at university.

Overview of the course:

The course develops all four language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) through the study of various topics including: home and abroad, social activities, fitness and health, the modern world and the environment, education and employment and house, home and daily routine.

Oral fluency is emphasised through role plays, conversations, and presentations in French. Pupils are given the grammatical foundations and language structures required for practical tasks such as writing letters and messages.

Course content :

The Edexcel level 1/level 2 GCSE in French is designed as a two-year course.  The content has been structured across 5 themes: identity and culture, holidays and travel, school, study and work, and international and global dimension. Four units cover assessments in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills.

 Unit 1 Listening

Students are assessed on their understanding of standard spoken French by one or more speakers in a range of public and social settings.  Students will respond to multi-response and short answer open response questions based on a recording featuring male and female speakers.

Unit 2: Speaking

Students are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively through speaking in French for different purposes and in different settings. There are 3 tasks.

·         A role play

·         Questions based on a picture

·         Conversation

Unit 3: Reading and understanding in French

Students are assessed on their understanding of written French across a range of different types of texts, including advertisements emails letters and literary texts. Students are required to respond to multiple response and short answer questions based on these texts.

Unit 4: Writing in French

Students are required to produce extended responses of varying lengths and types to express ideas and opinions in French.

Foundation tier: 3 extended questions and 1 translation into French.

Higher tier 2 extended questions and 1 translation into French.


Pupils in Year 10 and 11 have the opportunity to work with the French Assistant to practise conversation topics. They can also take part in projects and competitions, such as the Oxford University’s French film essay competition, with the help of the assistant.

Visits and exchange

An exchange programme with Lycée Gabriel Faure near Lyon has successfully been set up. Our pupils have the opportunity to visit their French pals in Tournon-sur-Rhone, staying with families for a week and experiencing the real French way of life. For the return visit, French students spend seven days with their English families.

How you will be assessed (F=Foundation  H=Higher)


Assessment and duration

Maximum marks

Percentage of overall result

Unit 1 : Listening

Foundation:  40mins

Higher:  50mins

50 F/H


Unit 2 : Speaking in French

Practical speaking exam

internally assessed

Foundation:  7-9 mins

Higher:  10-12 mins

+ 12 mins preparation

60 F/H


Unit 3 : Reading and understanding in French


45 mins (Foundation)

1 hour (Higher)

50 F/H


Unit 4 : Writing in French

F 1hour 10 mins

H 1hour 20 mins

60 F/H


Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded on a nine point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Post-16 courses available to you:

The ability to speak a modern foreign language is becoming more and more highly regarded by both universities and employers alike. Foreign language skills are a valuable asset for a variety of careers such as business, finance and tourism, air-traffic control, European Union (EU) officials, importer/exporter; interpreter,  translator.

Successful students may move on to study A level French in The Sandon Sixth Form.