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French A Level at The Judd School

Course description

Why choose this subject?

The French are proud of their culture and their cultural heritage; and rightly so. Since the foundations of modern-day Europe were laid down in the times of Charlemagne - king of the Franks and Holy Roman Emperor who died in 814 - France has been a major player, and at times the major player, on the European stage.  In the Middle Ages, in art, architecture, music and literature, the courts and monasteries of France played a pivotal role in the development and refining of what is more generally defined as "western culture". From the Renaissance onwards, the French culture blossomed, producing specifically French traditions. In theatre and literature, poetry and philosophy, painting and sculpture, architecture and music, some of the greatest names in history - names such as Molière or Balzac, Hugo and Rimbaud, Monet, Rodin, Debussy or Chopin - have been French, and their heritage remains an integral part of our culture to this day.

French is one of the world’s major languages. It is a main or official language not just in France, but in parts of Belgium and Switzerland, in Monaco, in parts of Canada – notably but not only in Quebec – as well as being widely spoken in north and west Africa, Lebanon, and parts of south-east Asia, particularly in former French colonies. It is an official or a main second language in 55 countries worldwide, and is reputed to be the foreign language which is most widely used in international communications, after English. Almost 300 million people speak French as their native language or as a second language.

Until the early twentieth century, French was the language of diplomacy, and one of the two main languages of international negotiation; today it is one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and one of the two official languages, with English, of the International Postal Union, of the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross, and other organisations. It is also an official language in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.

Course content

Course details: Board and specification:  AQA A level French (2 year course) 7652

Why study it at The Judd School?

French is an extremely popular choice at Judd with up to 40 students choosing to study it in Year 12 each year!  We have very high expectations of our students and expect all to work hard to achieve their best'. The French department conducts lessons where possible in the target language and students should expect to use French as their principal means of communication.  The department emphasises a balanced approach to the acquisition of the skills necessary to support the four key skills areas (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening).  Students are expected to be independently motivated and fully prepared for all lessons and to have a mature attitude towards the syllabus, both preparing the key tasks as set and also reading outside and around the subject to support their language development. 

Visits to French-speaking countries are encouraged either privately or through school organised exchanges.  Students are encouraged to listen to French Radio and Television and to watch French Films either at home or at local cinemas when listed.

The department insists on a thorough grammatical grounding and aids students to develop this throughout the course.  A wide range of materials is used to support the thematic approach to language learning.

What you will be learning (course outline):

Students study technological and social change, looking at diversity and the benefits it brings. They will study highlights of French-speaking artistic culture, including francophone music and cinema, and learn about political engagement and who wields political power in the French-speaking world.

Students also explore the influence of the past on present-day French-speaking communities. Throughout their studies, they will learn the language in the context of French-speaking countries and the issues and influences which have shaped them. Students will study texts and will have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.

In addition, the A level course provides the opportunity to discover literary texts and learn to analyse them.  Texts studied in recent years include; Joffo – Un Sac de Billes, Sartre – Les Mains Sales and Maupassant – Boule de Suif et Autres Contes de la Guerre.

Entry requirements

7 in GCSE French


How it will be assessed:

Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.  There will be an essay on the texts we have read, translation and listening and reading comprehensions as well as a speaking examination.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 12 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years