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French A-Level at Chesham Grammar School

Course description

The GCE course in French aims to encourage students to develop an interest in, and enthusiasm for, language learning. It develops understanding of the language studied in a variety of contexts and genre and enables students to communicate confidently, clearly and effectively in their chosen language. 

Whatever your plans for the future, the ability to communicate in a different language is an asset valued by all employers.

Course content

The approach to Modern Language teaching at both, AS level and A2 level reflects the communicative approach encouraged by the National Curriculum and GCSE. The emphasis, therefore, will be on your target language, and developing advanced skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

You will use “authentic‟ up-to-date material for both written and oral work. You will be looking at extracts from newspapers, magazines and other sources of the written language and you will be listening to native speakers recorded on the radio, television, in the street or at home. Our digital environment brings foreign languages that much closer, offering you regular, direct contact with them and the opportunity to keep yourself up to date via news and other programmes of topical and cultural interest. The cultural, historical, literary side of A level studies will not be ignored. The materials you will use will include the study of modern writers or famous film directors as well as examining different regions of the respective countries.

You should be generally interested in communicating in French and should be fully prepared to play an active part in lessons which will all be conducted in the target language. This is of particular importance as the oral content of the course counts towards 30% of the marks for both AS and A level. Each year we have the services of native French speakers who will be available for supplementary conversation lessons and you will be expected to attend at least one session per week in order to develop your oral skills.

Exchanges with, or visit to, France are regularly organised by the Department and you are strongly advised to take part, particularly in Year 12.

Entry requirements

For Advanced level courses, students will be expected to have successfully completed GCSE level examinations, with an average score of 46 points from their best eight GCSEs.

The average is worked out by converting each grade to a numerical score where:

A* = 58, A = 52, B = 46, C = 40, D = 34, E = 28, F = 22 and G = 16 b.

In an A level subject to be taken there is a requirement of grade B or above at GCSE (Grade A or above in Maths, Music and the Sciences), either in the subject itself or in an appropriate related subject in the case of new courses, as indicated on the subjects’ requirement. At least a C in English Language and Mathematics.

Subject Specific

GCSE Grade B or above in French



Unit 1 – Spoken expression and response

30% of the total AS marks

15% of the total GCE marks

Assessment: 8 to 10 minutes speaking assessment

Unit 2 – Understanding and written response

70% of the total AS marks

35% of the total GCE marks

Assessment: 2 hours 30 minutes paper in three sections: listening, reading and writing


  • Youth culture and concerns
  • Lifestyle: health and fitness
  • The world around us: travel, Tourism, environmental issues and the French speaking world.
  • Education and employment


Unit 3 – Understanding and spoken response

35% of the total A2 marks

17.5% of the total GCE marks

Assessment: 11 to 13 minutes speaking assessment

Unit 4 – Research, understanding and written response

65% of the total A2 marks

32.55% of the total GCE marks

Assessment: 2 hours 30 minutes paper in three sections: translation, discursive writing and research-based essay


Same topics as for AS plus:

  • Customs, traditions, beliefs and religions
  • National and international events: past, present and future
  • Literature and the arts

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 01 May 2015
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