The ever-increasing importance of foreign-language study is now widely recognised and reasonable fluency in a modern foreign language is often very useful in various areas of the business world and in many careers.
By the time you have reached GCSE, your language skills are sufficiently developed for you to start tackling a much more advanced content. You will learn a host of new words, idioms and grammar rules which will enable you to develop genuine confidence in the manipulation of the language. You will study a variety of topics related to the culture and society of countries where French is spoken, as well as understand aspects of the political life in a French speaking country.
The study of literary texts and films will also offer great opportunities to link with themes, including the changing nature of family, the ‘cyber society’, the place of voluntary work and many more.
Students are supported by the French Assistant who is a native speaker and, therefore, an expert in teaching the nuances of language. She will enable you to become more confident and fluent in speaking and will help you develop a high level of complexity by the end of the course.
Independent studying, reading newspapers and magazines and watching films in the target language would be essential to consolidate your language skills.
Thanks to our various school links in France, there will be brilliant opportunities for you to carry out some work experience abroad, enabling you to go to wonderful places, as well as develop invaluable skills which will set you for life!
We follow the AQA specification. There is no coursework. Like GCSE, you will be assessed in all four skills under the following format:
*Paper 1: Listening, Reading, Writing
*Paper 2: Writing (on the book and the movie studied)
*Paper 3: Speaking examination (discussion on a stimulus card and a presentation and discussion on an individual research project)
Main differences with GCSE:
-You will be controlling your own audio device for listening, therefore you can listen to the extracts as many times as you like.
- There will be two passages to be translated into French and English
You should take this course if:
You are passionate about language learning, want to immerse yourself in the fascinating French culture and gain insights into various contemporary social issues. A language degree will enable you to acquire a broad range of incredible knowledge and unique skills needed in our current multilingual society and it will open the door to a wide range of exciting career possibilities (in international business, tourism, marketing, sales, airline companies, teaching, translating) or simply complement other fantastic career destinations such as medicine, law, banking, journalism and Politics)
'French was by far the most interesting subject in AS because every lesson was different and enjoyable. There were some challenges in the beginning with the tenses and also with French speaking, however these can easily be overcome with hard work and also attending all speaking lessons! My tips would be work hard all year and don’t leave all the revision till May and use all the material given in class; they’re very useful. Learn your verb endings, learn stock phrases and do a lot of exam practice! I don’t think I would have been as successful as I was in French without the amazing teaching. '
Anzal Shuriye ( Year 12 AS 2014-2015 )
Work Experience abroad!
So far 2013 has definitely been a year of firsts, mainly because I spent the first two months of it at Lycee Saint-Louis Saint-Clement, just south of Paris during which time I was fortunate enough to sit in classes with Premiere and Terminale as well as act as an English language assistant in conversational classes for the entire Lycee. To think, all of this in the hopes of strengthening the French I learnt at UCGS and independently exploring what Paris has to offer.
When I first arrived my host family made me feel right at home. I admit I was nervous but none the less ready to start this new adventure, so I started school the next day. The Lycee was on the same grounds as the college and right next door to the primary school, where I picked up my youngest two hosts every day. Even though at school I always used to long for the weekend’s, in Paris it was kind of the opposite. At the Lycee I was always on an adrenaline high, meeting new people. Paris is the ultimate city to wonder, with its streets making up an endless maze you don’t want to find your way out of and the metro making it oh so easy to find your way around. The monuments, the cuisine, the people and, I must say, “les Soldes” meant I was never at a loss for what to do next. Paris is a mesh of numerous in-depth and varied cultures which I find extremely interesting and amusing and relish the chance to experience, be it historical, the arts, fashion, gastronomy, or simply just experiencing a different way of life. It gave me a whole new perspective on life, like getting a new glasses’ prescription only to see the world come alive before you.
I became confident enough to actually speak French, plus learn some of the confusing slang. I got to experience Paris, probably my favourite city thus far, and best of all I got to meet new and different people. In short, it was very different from being at SGS less than a year ago – going somewhere completely new where you don’t know a soul gives you invaluable independence and experience. The French language and, especially, the Parisian cultures are to me two of the world’s wonders. Plus, if you think this is just an article trying to persuade you to do the same, you should! I have already made plans to go back in May…
Francesca Dier—ex Upton Court Grammar School pupil
Positive feedback from our partner school!
“Mais j'écris surtout pour vous dire le plaisir qui est le nôtre de recevoir Francesca Dier dans notre école. Elle a tout de suite su s'integrer, se faire des amies, se rendre utile aux professeurs, se débrouiller pour avoir un emploi du temps personalisé etc. Elle est souriante, d'attitude agréable autant avec les élèves qu'avec les adultes, et interessante: bravo pour votre part dans son education!! “