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French A-Level at Ranelagh School

Course description

"Being able able to speak a foreign language has obvious economic and vocational advantages, as well as encouraging our appreciation of other cultures and customs. We want all our young people to have the opportunity to speak foreign languages and to develop a positive international outlook." David Norman (Permanent Secretary, Department of Education and Skills)

The post-16 languages courses are modern and practical; they involve using the foreign language for written and oral communication and learning about the country, its culture and institutions. It is essential for students to be willing to participate in the four language skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking. Knowledge and understanding of the culture and way of life of the target-language country will also be useful.

Throughout the course students develop key skills of communication, ICT, evaluation and working with others. The course also enables students to communicate with people from other countries, work abroad, work for a company with international links, have more fun when travelling abroad, and improve UCAS applications in any subject including French. Students will also be able to apply to study this language and take up another language at university or combine this language with another subject at university (e.g. Business).

In addition, one of the highlights of the course in Year 12 is an exchange visit trip with a partner school in France, which gives students insight into French family and cultural life.

Course content


Theme 1 - aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

  • The changing nature of the family
  • The 'cyber-society'
  • The place of voluntary work

Theme 2: aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

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

Theme 3: artistic culture in the French-speaking world

  • A culture proud of its heritage
  • Contemporary francophone music
  • Cinema: the seventh art form

Theme 4: aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

  • Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment
  • Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power?
  • Politics and immigration
  • Study of a French book and film
  • Individual research project for the speaking examination in which students identify a subject or a key question which is of interest to them

Entry requirements

Prospective students are expected to achieve at least grade B or above in GCSE French.


Themes 1 & 2 - 40% of A level - listening, reading and translation 2 hrs 30 mins - listening and responding to spoken French, reading and responding translation of passages into and from French

Themes 3 & 4 - 30% of A level - writing 2 hrs & 2 x 300-word essays in French answering questions on set book and set film

Speaking - 30% of A level - 12-23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation)

Future opportunities

Languages are a great asset in many careers such as the civil service, sales and marketing for multinational companies, IT industry, international relations, public relations and the media, finance, commercial law, international law, publishing, leisure and tourism, in addition to teaching and translating and interpreting.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 04 January 2017

Key information