King James' School


What’s it all about? 

By studying French, you’ll stand out from the crowd: 61% of the UK population don’t speak a foreign language! (source: Eurobarometer survey 2012). A language opens opportunities and widens career choices as well as employment prospects: almost 300 of Britain’s top employers believe an additional language boosts employability (source: CILT). Universities too look favourably at language qualifications and some courses even require a language. Many scientists believe that knowledge of another language can boost your brainpower (source: BBC). 

AS - There are four main topic areas: 

Social issues and trends

Artistic culture


Works: literary text or film 

A2 - There are five main topic areas: 

Social issues and trends

Political and artistic culture


Works: either one literary text and a film or 2 texts 

Individual research project

Exam and Assessment Information: 


AS Level - 7651 

This is a linear qualification.  Students will sit all their exams at the end of the year. 

There are three papers: 

Paper 1 -  Listening, reading and writing

Written exam / 1 hour 45 minutes / 90 marks / 45% of AS

Paper 2 - Writing

Written exam / 1 hour 30 minutes / 50 marks / 25% of AS

Paper 3 - Speaking

Oral exam / 12-14 minutes / 60 marks / 30% of AS 

A2 Level - 7652 

This qualification is linear and students will sit all their exams at the end of the year. 

There are three papers: 

Paper 1 - Listening, reading and writing

Written exam / 2 hours 30 minutes / 100 marks  /  50% of A-level

Paper 2 - Writing

Written exam / 2 hours / 80 marks / 20% of A-level

Paper 3 - Speaking

Oral exam  /  21-23 minutes / 60 marks  / 30% of A-level

To get started: 

GCSE grade B in French is required. 

The emphasis is on the culture and society of France or French speaking countries.  A set text or film is now compulsory at AS to encourage critical thinking skills.   An independent research topic at A-level will be assessed through the speaking test (presentation and discussion).  Grammar is key throughout and there are translations into English (AS & A-level) and into French (A-level).  Students are expected to read and listen to French outside lessons on an independent basis.  Weekly timetabled sessions with the French assistant will help to boost speaking skills and support preparation to the exams. Furthermore, students are encouraged to take part in the exchange to Privas (France).

What next? 

Potential careers: international law, journalism, travel & tourism, teaching, working in finance, design, fashion and engineering for those aiming at highly globalised industry, etc.

Our students say … 

“I chose French because I think that it’s really important to be able to communicate with people, especially those who speak a different language and because it was different to the rest of my subjects which are quite ‘mathsy’.  I really enjoy it because the teachers are so supportive and the classes are small so you get lots of focussed teaching.  It’s nice to keep up my essay writing skills exploring the cultural aspect of the course.”  Lois Penney