French A Level

Head of Department: Mr Jon Thompson

Learning a modern foreign language is an essential skill in the 21st Century. It stimulates students’ natural curiosity to know what everyday objects and actions are called in another language, it provides an intellectual challenge as they work on understanding grammatical structures, and it helps to develop the social skill of being able to express themselves confidently.

Through studying French and visiting France, you will be able to compare aspects of French culture with our own and develop an appreciation of cultural difference and variety.

What do you do in French?

The A Level course covers a range of social issues and cultural topics which all relate to life in France and French-speaking countries. It builds on the topics of GCSE, but introduces new language so that you develop a thorough insight into aspects of French culture.

You will develop your ability to express yourself fluently in the spoken language, carrying out an independent research project into an aspect of French culture or society that is of particular interest to you, and then discussing it in depth in the oral exam. Oral fluency will be boosted by weekly conversations with our French conversationalist.

Alongside the skill to translate accurately from and into French, you will extend your ability to write evidence-based, persuasive essays in the target language, essential preparation for university study

In Year 12, you will study topics including the education system in France, the world of work, changing family structures, music, the media, festivals and traditions, and a French film. In Year 13, topics include multiculturalism and the rise of the far-right in France; France under the Occupation and the Resistance; a work of French Literature and an independent research topic.

At the end of Year 13, French A Level has three exams: a comprehension paper with listening and reading tasks; a writing paper, comprising two essays and a translation; and an oral exam.

Exam Results

Average of the A Level results in French achieved by Ipswich School students over the most recent three year period (2016, 2017 and 2018)

French - % A*- B = 74%