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French A level at Sharnbrook Academy

Course description

This course is for any student who is interested in the French speaking world, its culture, its language, its people, its life, and who would like to achieve a much higher level of fluency.

Course content

Fluency in a foreign language is undoubtedly a tremendous asset and one which employers from all sectors highly value in prospective employees. As a result, the French A Level course places a great emphasis on oral work and there is plenty of opportunity to talk about all aspects of French life and culture. You will be introduced to a wide range of topics taken from authentic materials and you will learn about the issues which concern young people in France today – for example: the family, cyber-society, contemporary francophone music, cinema and political life. In addition, you will also study two French films in detail and study up to two French literary texts. You will also follow an advanced grammar course to improve accuracy and fluency. An active approach is key to success in French A Level. Students are encouraged to take part in our sixth form trip to France strategically placed prior to the oral exam as well as participate in many extracurricular opportunities.

Entry requirements

All students must meet the minimum entry requirements which are:

  • a minimum of five GCSE passes at A* to C, plus mathematics and English language at level 4 or above.
  • ECDL or an equivalent IT course where studied. Please note that, where a student wishes to take at least one A level course and has level 2 BTEC qualifications, those level 2 BTEC qualifications can only count for up to a maximum of two of the required GCSE passes at A* to C, or mathematics and English language at level 4 or above.

In addition to the general entrance requirements for advanced level study, it is essential that students have taken the higher tier reading and listening in GCSE French.  It is highly desirable for students to achieve a grade A at GCSE, particularly in their writing exam.  Students who achieve a grade B at GCSE will need to discuss their application to study French at A level with their languages teacher, or, for students joining the sixth form from other schools, with the Head of Department.


Paper 1: Listening, Reading, Writing:

  • 50% of A-level
  • 2hr 30 min exam paper
  • Includes translation into English and translation into French of approximately 100 words.

Paper 2: Writing:

  • 20 % of A-level
  • Essay on either one text + one film, or two questions on texts.
  • Choice of 2 questions.
  • Approximately 300 words per essay

Paper 3: Speaking exam:

  • 30% of A-level
  • 5-6 min discussion of one of the A-level sub themes based on a stimulus card
  • Individual research project: presentation (2 mins) & discussion (9-10 mins)

Financial information

A good dictionary (eg Collins Robert) could be advantageous; however, with online resources such as, it is no longer a prerequisite.

Participation in the sixth form French trip is an invaluable experience proven to help students gain in confidence and French speaking ability prior to their oral examination.

Future opportunities

In today’s global society, all professions place value on an employee showing competence in a foreign language.  The business sector, the government, politics and public sector, law and human rights, charity organisations, teaching, journalism, tourism and the media industry are all recognised as career possibilities where knowledge of a foreign language would be highly useful.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sharnbrook Academy directly.

Last updated date: 27 October 2017

Key information