There are currently over 220 million French speakers worldwide; it is an official language in 29 countries over five continents.

French is one of the working languages of the United Nations, one of the three procedural languages of the European Union, along with English and German, and the sole language used for the deliberations of the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Learning French will develop student’s ability to structure thoughts and develop critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations. Students will have one to one speaking sessions in addition to the five hours of study each week. All students have free access to our vast French film DVD library, French newspapers and magazines, as well as a growing collection of French Literature. Students are encouraged to work independently, but will also be called upon to work collaboratively. France is famed for its fabulous cuisine, fashion industry, cinema, literature and philosophers. Learning French will challenge students to consider issues of importance in contemporary society, while at the same time allowing them to study in some depth the culture of a French speaking country. 

The department consists of six experienced linguists who have all lived, worked and studied abroad. All teachers in the department teach both French and Spanish and some staff are also able to teach Italian, German and even sign language. 

Why Choose French

  • The ability to speak French is a huge advantage on the international job market. France and the French-speaking countries play an active part in the world economy, accounting for some 20% of world trade in goods
  • Languages are in demand in the business community; according to a report by the CBI in 2013, 70% of businesses value language skills in their employees. It is a great advantage to a business to have employees who are able to communicate to customers in their own language
  • Over half of the businesses asked identified French as the most useful language to know
  • The ability to speak a language can also have a positive effect on career progression; the likelihood of securing a role with an international dimension is greatly increased if you can speak a language
  • The study of French enables students to develop many practical and transferrable skills; to engage in oral discussion and debate, to consider ideas objectively, to construct persuasive arguments, to express themselves articulately both in writing and orally.
  • Languages can be studied in combination with anything from Science to Business and Law. Many degree courses provide students with the opportunity of studying and working abroad

Exam Board

Further information on the French A Level can be found on the AQA website.

Course Content

AS Level 

The AS course will cover:

  • Media: TV, advertising and communication technology
  • Popular culture: cinema, music and fashion/trends
  • Healthy living/lifestyle: sport/exercise, health and well-being and holidays
  • Family/relationships: relationships within the family, friendships and marriage/partnerships

A2 Level

The A2 course will cover:

  • Environment: pollution, energy and protecting the planet
  • The multi-cultural society: immigration, integration and racism
  • Contemporary social issues: wealth and poverty, law and order and the impact of scientific and technological progress
  • Cultural topic: French students currently study a Francophone musician (Stromae) and a French author (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)


AS Examinations

Unit 1 – Listening, Reading and Writing - 2 hour written examination

  • 70% of AS Level
  • 35% of A Level

Unit 2 – Speaking Test - 35 minutes speaking test (including 20 minutes preparation)

  • 30% of AS Level

  • 15% of A Level

A2 Examinations

Unit 3 – Listening, Reading and Writing - 2 hours 30 minutes written examination

  • 35% of A Level

Unit 4 – Speaking Test - 35 minutes speaking test (including 20 minutes preparation)

  • 15% of A Level

Trips, Activities and Extension

There are a number of extra-curricular activities held by the Modern Foreign Languages Department, as well as a number of clubs and classes aimed at supporting pupils to progress in the various disciplines that are essential to grasping a language.

French Exchanges

Sixth Form students are given the opportunity to participate in the French Exchange to Lycée Brizeux in Quimper, where they travel to our partner school to stay with their host families. The French students then come to Cokethorpe to visit their exchange partners at a convenient time later in the year. 

Onatti French Theatre Production

The Onatti French Theatre company visit the School to perform plays entirely in their chosen language, giving students the opportunity to listen a performance entirely spoken in French.