Subject Leader
Mr Dixon
Apply Now Register an interest
Thank you for your interest in Newcastle School for Boys. Please leave your contact details and will be in touch as soon as possible.

Aims of the course

  • To provide learners with the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the language and culture of the French-speaking world through authentic texts, and cinema and literary works in French.
  • To develop high level skills in comprehension of both spoken and written French.
  • To develop fluency in oral communication regarding a wide range of topics relevant to French-speaking culture and society.
  • To develop transferable skills such as communication, creativity, research skills, critical-thinking, adaptability, problem-solving, and open-mindedness.
  • To prepare students for employment or further study, including a Modern Languages degree.

Course content

Students study the following sub-themes relevant to current French society and culture:

  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends

The changing nature of family (La famille en voie de changement)

The ‘cyber-society’ (La « cyber-société »)

The place of voluntary work (Le rôle du bénévolat)

  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

A culture proud of its heritage (Une culture fière de son patrimoine)

Contemporary francophone music (La musique francophone contemporaine)

Cinema: the 7th art form (Cinéma : le septième art)

  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues

Positive features of a diverse society (Les aspects positifs d’une société diverse)

Life for the marginalised (Quelle vie pour les marginalisés ? )

How criminals are treated (Comment on traite les criminels)

  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

Teenagers, the right to vote and political commitment (Les ados, le droit de vote et l’engagement politique)

Demonstrations, strikes – who holds the power? (manifestations, grèves – à qui le pouvoir?)

Politics and immigration (La politique et l’immigration)

  • An independent research topic for the speaking exam
  • One book plus a film or a second book from a set list.


AS is a separate qualification and all the exams take place at the end of year 1. It does not count towards the A level result.

Examination Weighing Length of time Assessment
Paper 1 40% 1 hour 45 mins Listening, Reading, Translation into English
Paper 2 30% 1 hour 15 mins Translation into French, Essay on set film/book
Paper 3 30% 12-14 mins (plus 15 mins for preparation) Speaking

A-level is a two year linear course. All exams take place at the end of year 2.

Examination Weighting Length of time Assessment
Paper 1 40% 2 hours 30 mins Listening, Reading, Translation
Paper 2 30% 2 hours Essays on set film/book(s)
Paper 3 30% 21-23 mins (incl. 5 mins for preparation) Speaking

Grades are awarded from A*-E

Career Opportunities

French is one of the most widely spoken languages globally – by more than 200 million people on four different continents. Studying French will enhance employment prospects in a wide range of sectors, giving you the ‘international edge’, as well as helping you improve your communication and critical thinking skills, thus having a positive impact on your other studies.

Jobs directly related to French include:

  • Interpreter
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Translator

Jobs where a language would be useful include:

  • Broadcast journalist
  • Detective
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • International aid/development worker
  • Logistics and distribution manager
  • Marketing executive
  • Sales executive
  • Tour manager

Students follow a coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course which will provide them with the necessary foundation either to continue with the study of French as a main subject or as a useful adjunct to some other subject at university.