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French A Level at Ripon Grammar School

Course description

A further qualification in French will provide students with a very useful skill for the future.  You may wish to specialise in languages, but many students will wish to add a language to their combination of other subjects.  You will develop your communication skills, learn more about non-British culture, widen your general knowledge and have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a foreign culture by taking part in the French exchange.

Potential students should note that AS level is a natural extension of GCSE, but that it will place greater demands on your skills and knowledge. In particular, a premium is placed on the ability to write accurately and to use a wider range of vocabulary and structures than at GCSE. 

Being able to speak another language brings all sorts of opportunities later in life. French is still, after English, the language in most demand in Europe.  Students will find there is a large range of university French courses. Furthermore, employment prospects for linguists are very bright indeed.

Course content

AS Level (1651)


The topics in the specification are: the media (television, advertising and communication technology), popular culture (cinema, music and fashion/trends), healthy living/lifestyle (sport/exercise, health and well-being and holidays) and family/relationships (relationships within the family, friendships and marriage/partnerships). We shall also cover other subjects as the need arises.



At this level students will revise and further develop their skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Lessons will be taught predominantly in French and will feature large amounts of discussion, pair work, comprehension tasks, grammar and vocabulary building tasks, as well as regular written assignments (e.g. gap fill, composition, summary work, translation). We shall use a text book, authentic texts from other sources, the internet, video and audio extracts, grammar worksheets and film. Each group will have two teachers and there will be a lesson with the French assistant.


A2 Level (2651)


At this level the topic areas in the specification are: the environment (pollution, energy and protecting the planet), the multicultural society (immigration, integration and racism), contemporary social issues (wealth and poverty, law and order and the impact of scientific and technological progress) and two cultural topics. For the cultural topics students will read a work of modern literature, normally a novel or play, plus study one other topic (e.g. a period of history, a geographical area, a film director’s works).



Lessons will be similar is style to AS level, but the cultural topics will include the detailed reading and analysis of a work of literature over several weeks and a personal study task. There will be a growing emphasis on grammatical accuracy and translation skill.


Entry requirements

A grade B is a minimum requirement for entry to study French in the sixth form.  Just as importantly, we welcome students with a record of enthusiasm for the subject and who wish to seriously develop their language skills and understanding of French-speaking culture


At AS level assessment is carried out in June and involves two units. Unit 1 is a two hour examination called Listening, Reading and Writing and is worth 70% of marks.  Unit 2 is the Speaking Test and is worth 30% of marks. The speaking test takes thirty-five minutes (including twenty minutes preparation).


At A2 level there are two more units, both taken in June. Unit 3 is a two hour thirty minutes paper called Listening, Reading and Writing.  This unit includes an essay question based on the cultural topics studied during the year. Unit 4 is the Speaking Test which takes thirty five minutes (including preparation) and which is worth 30% of the A2 marks.


AS re-sits are available in June


In addition there will be an assessment to check progress in November of the AS year and a mock examination during the spring term of the A2 year.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Ripon Grammar School directly.

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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