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Modern Foreign Languages - French


GCSE French


Pearson Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE (9-1) in French

Examining Body:

Link to specification from September 2024: GCSE French Specification Issue 1 (

Introduction to the course

The French GCSE is a two-year course and is one of the subjects required for the English Baccalaureate. The course begins in Year 10, during which you will develop your skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, translation and application of grammar. You will also deepen your cultural understanding of French-speaking countries.

What the course involves

As well as building on topic areas already met earlier in Key Stage 3, the course introduces further relevant and interesting subjects, which can be seen in the breakdown below:

Year 10 Year 11
  • Me, my family and friends
  • Travel and Tourism
  • Technology in everyday life
  • My studies
  • Free time activities
  • Life at school/college
  • Customs and festivals
  • Education Post-16
  • Your region
  • Career choices and ambitions
  • Social issues
  • Global issues

How is the course assessed?

You will take four exams at the end of Year 11 in each of the four skills you have worked on during the course. The weightings are as follows:

  • Listening 25%
  • Reading 25%
  • Speaking 25%
  • Writing 25%

Career opportunities

The French GCSE is highly regarded by colleges, universities and employers. Having a GCSE in a foreign language, therefore, can provide a gateway to a wide variety of A-level and degree courses both with and without a language, such as Law, Business, Economics, Travel and Tourism, Education, Translating and Interpreting. Furthermore, employees with a language qualification are more likely to earn a higher salary than those without. A recent survey reported that the UK’s top 300 employers, such as Boots and HSBC, believe a language makes an applicant more employable, with French rated as the second most desirable language.

Post-16 opportunities

The French GCSE will help prepare you for your studies after your GCSEs, no matter what you go on to study. The top three advantages of studying a language are: better decision-making skills, increased attention span and increased ability to multitask.  Furthermore, you will often experience what studying a language at A-Level involves.

Required resources/equipment for the course

You are not required to purchase any materials, as dictionaries and textbooks will be provided in class. You will be set up with a free Pearson Active Learn account, with which you can access homework and resources to practise listening and reading skills. French-English dictionaries and revision guides can be purchased from the college.

For further information contact:

Mr Hepworth-Adcock (Head of Languages) or your French teacher.