The A-level specification builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills gained at GCSE. It constitutes an integrated study with a focus on language, culture and society. It fosters a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity, which are valuable to the individual and society. The content is suitable for students who wish to progress to employment or further study, including a modern languages degree. The specification has been designed to be studied over two years.
The approach is a focus on how French-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. In the first year, aspects of the social context are studied, together with aspects of the artistic life of French-speaking countries. In the second year further aspects of the social background are covered, this time focusing on issues such as life for those on the margins of French-speaking society as well as looking at the positive influences that diversity brings. Students also study aspects of the political landscape in a French-speaking country, looking at immigration from the political perspective and at the way in which political power is expressed through action such as strikes and demonstrations. Teenagers and the extent to which they are politically engaged looks towards the future of political life in French-speaking society.
Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of themes relating to the culture and society of countries where French is spoken, and their language skills. They will do this by using authentic spoken and written sources in French. The choice of works (literary texts and films) offers opportunities to link with the themes.
Methods of Assessment:
• Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing – 50% of A Level: Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes, 100 marks in total
• Paper 2: Writing - 20% of A Level: Written exam: 2 hours, 80 marks in total
• Paper 3: Speaking – 30% of A level: Oral exam: 21–23 minutes (including 5 minutes preparation time) 60 marks in total
A minimum of 5 subjects at A*– B (grade 5 or higher) including a minimum of a Grade 4 in GCSE French.