Subject Information

The Archbishop Lanfranc Academy offers French as a core subject at KS3 and the option for further study into KS4. Lessons are structured to incorporate all skills required of the modern linguist in terms of Listening, Speaking, Reading, Translating and Writing. Students are further immersed in francophone culture through cultural studies, including critiquing music, reviewing films and delving into great works of French literature.

GCSE Examination Board:


Exam Board: AQA

Specification code: French 8658

Suggested support at home

  • Texts

 La Parure – Guy de Maupassant

Le Petit Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Akissi, Rentrée musclée’ – Marguerite Abouet.

20 Minutes – newspaper

GCSE AQA Exam Practice Workbook (CGP)

Collins GCSE Revision and Practice: New Curriculum: AQA GCSE French All-in-One Revision and Practice


  • Websites – French Radio – French Radio (news)

TV5 (French news programmes) (password available in class)

 Content and Skills

Students are taught language through the communicative style of teaching, allowing students to practise all skills required at GCSE in an interactive way. The skills our pupils acquire from Year 7 include the ability to listen to native French speakers with different accents, speak in different contexts, read and write for a variety of purposes, and translate between English and French. Details of the 2018 GCSE specification can be found here:


Exercise books are regularly marked to monitor progress. Teachers mark in red ink, correcting spelling, punctuation and grammatical features. Students are expected to address areas for development by responding to the teacher’s advice in green pen. This may be with a comment or a task to correct errors.

Assessment opportunities

Students will undertake and weekly vocabulary test and be regularly exposed to GCSE practise questions. These will then receive comments and targets from the class teacher.

Extra-curricular Opportunities

Students are given the opportunity to join an Enrichment French group and participate in the European Day of Languages Festivities in school and share their cultural experience with their peers.


Year 7

 The Y7 curriculum is planned around 4 themed blocks. The aim is to focus on the thinking skills that we believe lead to success and to develop meta-cognition: Analysis, Problem-solving, Evaluation and Creativity. These skills will be assessed by drawing on content from all of the subject areas to show how these skills work across the school. This structure will also help to make clear to teachers and students the links between their different subjects. Subjects will keep a record of their progress but reporting to parents will be based on attitude to learning across subjects and progress in the metacognitive skills outlined above.

Students will also be encourage to complete a Preview by looking at vocabulary prior to the lessons. Completing the Preview will give students a learning


Topic 1 – Identity

  • Introduction to French sounds and grammar (masculine/feminine, adjective placement);
  • Basic vocabulary (alphabet, numbers, colours, days of the week, months, etc.)
  • Talking about myself: appearance, personality, family, pets, hobbies, free time, etc.
  • Expressing opinions with justifications;
  • Talking about plans for the near future.

Topic 2 – Change

  • Recap of near future tense with the topic of new year’s resolutions (going to + infinitive);
  • Life at school: opinions about subjects, teachers, rules, uniform;
  • Introducing the conditional tense – my ideal school (I would change… it would have).

Jobs, career choices and ambitions (I am going to be/ I would like to be….)

Topic 3 – Community

  • Francophone world (Countries)
  • Customs and festivals ( la fête des rois, le quatorze juillet, le festival de cannes, fête de la musique, nuit blanche)
  • Food and shopping
  • Music/dance
  • Famous artists (Henri Matisse, Claude Monet, Stromae, Mc Solaar)

Topic 4 – Space

  • Where I live (types of house; rooms in the house)
  • Places in town; what there’s to do; what you’d like to see
  • Holidays (transport, activities)
  • Holidays (present, near future and some conditional set-phrases)

Year 8

Autumn Term

T’es branché? – Talking about television, cinema, reading, internet and using the past tense.

Paris, je t’adore! – Saying what you did in Paris, saying when you did things, talking about transport, interviewing a crime suspect.

Spring Term

Mon identité – Talking about personality, relationships, music, clothes, interests and the differences between different French regions.

Chez moi, chez toi – Describing where you live, your home, meals, discussing what food to buy, talking about an event.

Summer Term

Quel talent?! – Talking about talent and ambition, encouraging or persuading someone, rehearsing for a contest, saying who is the best, the most and the least.

Studio découverte – World geography and French-speaking countries, how to plant a garden, the French revolution.



GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based:

  1. Identity and culture
  2. Local, national, international and global areas of interest
  3. Current and future study and employment

Listening – 25% of GCSE

Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier);

40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)

(Each exam includes 5 minutes reading time of the question paper before the listening stimulus is played.)

Section A – questions in English to be answered in English or non-verbally

Section B – questions in French to be answered in French or non-verbally

Speaking – 25% of GCSE

Non-exam assessment

7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time

10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time

60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

The format is the same at Foundation Tier and Higher Tier, but with different stimulus questions for the photo card and different stimulus materials for the role-play. The timings are different too:

Role-play – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 2 minutes at Higher Tier)

Photo card – 15 marks (2 minutes at Foundation Tier; 3 minutes at Higher Tier)

General conversation – 30 marks (3–5 minutes at Foundation Tier; 5–7 minutes at Higher Tier)

Reading – 25% of GCSE

Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)

60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)

Section A – questions in English to be answered in English or non-verbally

Section B – questions in French to be answered in French or non-verbally

Section C – translation from French into English (a minimum of 35 words at Foundation Tier and 50 words at Higher Tier)

Writing – 25% of GCSE

Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)

50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier

Foundation Tier

Question 1 – message (student produces four sentences in response to a photo) – 8 marks

Question 2 – short passage (student writes a piece of continuous text in response to four brief bullet points, approximately 40 words in total) – 16 marks

Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 35 words) – 10 marks

Question 4 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks

Higher Tier

Question 1 – structured writing task (student responds to four compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 90 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 16 marks

Question 2 – open-ended writing task (student responds to two compulsory detailed bullet points, producing approximately 150 words in total) – there is a choice from two questions – 32 marks

Question 3 – translation from English into French (minimum 50 words) – 12 marks

Year 9

Autumn Term

Qui suis-je?

A comme amitié – Talking about friends and what makes a good friend.

  • Using irregular verbs in the present tense.

C’est de famille! – Talking about family relationships.

  • Using reflexive verbs in the present tense.

On va voir un spectacle – Making arrangements to go out.

– Using the near future tense.

Quelle soirée – describing a night out with friends

–  Using the perfect tense

Il était une fois – Talking about life when you were younger

– Using the imperfect tense.

La personne que j’admire – Discussing role models.

– using combined tenses

Spring Term

Le temps des loisirs

Tu es plutôt foot, tennis ou basket? – Talking about sport

– Using depuis + present tense

Ma vie d’internaute- Talking about your life online

– Using the comparative

La lecture – Talking about books and reading

Mes émissions préférées – Talking about actors and films

  • Using indirect object pronouns (le, la,les)

Zoom sur le cinema – Talking about actors and films

Summer Term

Jours ordinaires, jours de fête

Describing daily life using pouvoir and devoir

Talking about food for special occasions using the pronoun ‘en’

Using polite language

Describing family celebrations

Describing festivals and traditions

Y10 (2017 onwards)

Autumn Term

De la ville à la campaign

Describing a region using the pronoun ‘y’

Talking about locations and using negatives

Discussing plans and the weather using the future tense

Describing community projects with mixed tenses.

Le grand large

Talking about dream holidays in the conditional tense

Booking and reviewing hotels with reflexive verbs

Talking about traveling and buying souvenirs

Talking about holiday disasters

Spring Term

Au collège

Talking about your school and comparing it to school in France

Discussing school rules

Discussing healthy living and vices

Talking about school exchanges

Summer Term

Bon Travail

Discussing career choices

Talking about plans, hopes and wishes

Applying for jobs

Understanding specific job case studies.


Autumn Term

In addition to reviewing the tenses and vocabulary needed to succeed in GCSE French, a large portion of the term is dedicated to preparing students for the Mock Examinations.

Spring Term

Class work revolves around revision of the key AQA exam topics and preparation for the speaking assessments where students need to describe a photo, partake in a role-play and have a general conversation. There will also be a focus on listening practice in preparation for the final exams in May. Students are asked to learn 30 key words a week and are tested weekly on these.

Summer Term

Students consolidate their knowledge of the key topics and vocabulary and hone their writing, reading and listening skills through practicing past papers. Lessons are tailored towards making progress in areas where students feel they are weakest to ensure they are fully prepared for the examination.