Subject Intent: Why French?

The French curriculum intends to deepen a curiosity and love of languages and other cultures, as well as develop an advanced understanding of how languages work. Through a focus on both culture and communication, we aim to foster a passion for exploring a foreign language and comparing it to our own. Language learning provides an insight into others’ countries and cultures and thus widens our intellectual horizons and promotes social mobility. We aim to broaden students’ knowledge and skills beyond the subject specification, exposing them to as much authentic material as possible. We aim to challenge our students to achieve a high level of communicative competence, thus not only developing literacy skills but also strengthening students’ resilience and problem-solving skills. Through studying French students will see the benefits of travelling the world and will be offered the opportunity to visit and have first-hand experience of family life in France, therefore ensuring they have the skills to communicate and have meaningful and life changing experience.

What will I study?

In Year 12 and 13, students will study topics from a range of political, social and cultural themes, for example:
  • Music
  • Cinema
  • Immigration
  • Diversity in the French speaking world and a film and a novel
There will also be a study topic of individual choice in Year 13 to prepare for the oral examination.


Please note: Subject videos have been filmed from colleges across our Trust.

What are lessons like in this subject?

French is taught in a well equipped specialist language laboratory meaning students have plenty of IT access to facilitate independently controlled listening practice (as in the A-Level exam) and pairwork speaking practice. Lessons cover the four main language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing and are taught, as far as possible, in the target language. Grammar teaching is also integrated within the teaching of the A-Level topics. In addition to the three lessons, students have a separate speaking session in a pair / individually to enhance fluency and confidence in this skill area. We offer students an opportunity to visit France during their course to further develop their cultural knowledge and linguistic competence. In addition, when French theatre shows or films are available locally, we also offer students the chance to see these opportunities too.

What our


While studying a language may seem dauting, it's by far the most rewarding course I have taken at New College, as you truly never stop learning. The curriculum exposes you to so many diverse areas of French culture and allows you to develop your understanding of French society and culture, all while improving your language skills. The most interesting area of the course, of me, was studying the French film "La Haine", as it presents a new, critical look at French society, whilst giving an introspect into French cinema.

Daisy Williamson, South Axholme Academy

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