French A-Level at Burnham Grammar School
Studying French to AS level gives you the opportunity to take a more in-depth and mature look at many of the topic areas you covered at GCSE. At the same time you will be developing your knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in order to be able to express yourself far more fluently both in writing and speaking.
At A2, the course is even more focused on the culture and current affairs of French-speaking countries. Topics covered include:
- Crime and punishment
- Unemployment and poverty
- Energy, pollution and climate change
- The environment Scientific and medical advances
- Film, fiction, drama and visual arts
- Recent political history
- French values and beliefs
Students often find A2 particularly interesting as they can draw from their experiences and knowledge gained in the other subjects they are studying.
Language lessons in Years 12 and 13 can be quite different to those experienced at GCSE. Smaller class numbers offer greater flexibility and teachers can easily adapt to the needs and preferred learning styles of the students.
In addition to lessons with your language teachers you will also have regular lessons with the French Assistant, a native speaker, who will help you prepare for your speaking exam. Students find that this opportunity to develop their speaking skills one-to-one or in small groups really helps them to gain confidence and fluency quickly.
The AS exam tests your Listening, Reading and Writing skills in one paper. In the Listening Section students have individual control so that they can listen again to more difficult passages. This exam accounts for 70% of your AS mark (35% of the total A level). There is also a speaking exam which involves a role play and a topic discussion. Students enjoy having the opportunity to research a topic which interests them. This exam accounts for 30% of your AS mark (15% of the final A level).
The A2 exam also tests students on their Listening, Reading and Writing skills. Students have a choice of essay titles and are able to focus their studies a little towards topics that interest them most. This exam accounts for 70% of your A2 mark (35% of the total A level). The speaking exam involves discussing a text that you have 20 minutes to prepare and a further topic discussion. This exam accounts for 30% of your A2 mark (15% of the final A level).
You must achieve at least 368 GCSE capped points (i.e. your best 8 subjects) for entry to the Sixth form. You must also achieve a C grade in English Language GCSE and Mathematics GCSE alongside meeting the entry criteria for each individual subject. Option 4 is conditional upon achieving 400+ GCSE capped points.
GCSE points: A*= 58, A= 52, B= 46, C= 40, D= 34
B at GCSE in French. Minimum C grade required on the speaking and writing components.
- Unit 1 AS Oral Exam, 14-16 minutes, 60 marks (15% of A Level)
- Unit 2 AS Reading, Listening & Writing Exam, 2 hours 30 minutes, 140 marks (35% of A Level)
- Unit 3 A2 Oral Exam, 15-18 minutes, 60 marks (15% of A Level)
- Unit 4 A2 Reading, Listening & Writing Exam, 2 hours 45 minutes, 135 marks (35% of A Level)
This course will enable you to improve significantly your level of fluency as well as learn about the culture and current affairs of France and other French-speaking countries. The level of proficiency attained will open up many opportunities, including further study at university, work experience, a third year abroad and independent foreign travel.
The ability to speak a foreign language greatly enhances employment opportunities, giving candidates an advantage over their monolingual competitors and significantly broadening the range of careers available.
How to apply
If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Burnham Grammar School directly.