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French GCSE Specification

Qualification: GCSE (9-1)

QAN Code: 601/8157/6

Level: 2

Exam Board: AQA

What you learn about:

The new GCSE course covers three distinct themes.

Students are expected to understand and provide  information and opinions about these themes relating to their own experiences and those of  other people,  including people in countries and communities where French is spoken.

 Theme 1: Identity and culture

  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Marriage/partnership
  • Social media
  • Mobile technology
  • Music
  • Cinema and TV
  • Food and eating out
  • Sport
  • Customs and festivals in French-speaking countries

  Theme 2: Local, national, international and global areas of interest

  • Home, town and region
  • Charity/voluntary work
  • Healthy/unhealthy living
  • The environment
  • Poverty/homelessness
  • Travel and tourism

Theme 3: Current and future study  and employment

  • My studies
  • Life at school/college
  • Education post-16
  • Jobs, career choices and ambitions


The new GCSE French has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four exam papers, each worth 25%, at the same tier at the end of Year 11.

Papers 1 + 3 - Listening & Reading: each paper is 35 mins (Foundation), 45 mins (Higher).

Paper 2 - Speaking: Role-play, photo card, conversation 7–9 minutes (Foundation), 10–12 minutes (Higher)

Paper 4 - Writing: Message, short passage, translation, structured task - 60 minutes (Foundation), 75 minutss (Higher).

Other Information

  • Access to a French Assistant for Speaking practice
  • Access to an ICT suite
  • Potential opportunities to visit France
  • Website recommendations for online independent study opportunities
  • Careers advice on how to pursue French at post-16 and beyond

A language is recognised as an important element and contributing subject to the English Baccalaureate and ’Best 8’ achievement measures.