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French A Level at Dame Alice Owen's School

Course description

Studying A-level French will help students develop their confidence and communicative skills in the language and build upon the skills acquired at GCSE. The course will also enhance their knowledge and understanding of the culture of the country together with Francophone countries and study the issues and influences which have shaped French-speaking countries. Our aim is to develop an interest in and enthusiasm for learning French and to encourage students to consider French within a broader context.

Students will have 5 lessons per week, and will become proficient in the use of the language lab. In addition to standard lessons, there will also be a 30 minute compulsory weekly lesson with the French assistant to provide additional opportunity for students to become more proficient in their speaking. The Department organises a Year 12 exchange with our partner school Lycée St Paul in Vannes, in Brittany.

The A-level course will enable students to see how French speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally and how it continues to change. In the first year of the course, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of French speaking countries.  In the second year further aspects of social backgrounds are covered, focusing in particular on issues such as life for those on the margins of French speaking society, as well as looking at the positive influences that diversity brings. Students also study aspects of the political landscape in a French speaking country looking at immigration from the political perspective. Students will also study texts and film and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.

Course content

 Year 1

Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

  • The changing nature of the family
  • Cyber society
  • Place of voluntary work within society

Political and artistic culture

  • A culture proud of its heritage
  • Contemporary francophone music
  • Cinema

Year 2

Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

  • Positive features of a diverse society
  • Life for the marginalised
  • How criminals are treated

Political and artistic culture

  • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  • Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
  • Politics and immigration

Entry requirements

A grade 6 in GCSE French.

French national or part French national students who do not have French GCSE but can speak the language well will be considered.


Examination Board - AQA


  • Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation skills (French - English and English - French) (2 hours 30 minutes) 50% of A-level
  • Paper 2: Writing – 2 essays, one on literary text and one on film (2 hours) 20% of A-level
  • Paper 3: Speaking which will include students presenting their findings from their individual research project (21- 23 minutes, including 5 minutes of preparation time) 30% of A-level

The speaking exam will be conducted by the subject teacher.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dame Alice Owen's School directly.

Last updated date: 31 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years