French A-Level at The Swan

French lessons are taught in a rigorous learning environment and students benefit from clear individual guidance on how to progress.

Lessons are well-structured and carefully-paced, using authentic material such as newspaper articles and video clips, as well as course books.

In addition to timetabled lesson we will look to provide students with one lesson per week of conversation with a native French speaker. This provides students with the opportunity to refine their pronunciation and gain confidence to speak French with fluency.

There will also be opportunities for foreign travel and immersion in French culture and the language team at The Swan will help Year 12 students find a work experience placement in France.

6 in GCSE French and love of French, other cultures and languages in general is also a prerequisite.

AQA A-level French (7652)

An A-Level in French is a highly-regarded addition to a student’s portfolio of qualifications for higher education and is one of the facilitating subjects as defined by the Russell Group of universities.

A-Level French will build on and develop students’ existing knowledge of French to shape them into fluent and competent linguists, able to understand and discuss views on a wide range of contemporary issues. It combines study of language, culture and society, fostering a range of transferable skills including communication, critical thinking, research skills and creativity. 

The course is linear: students sit all their exams in the summer of Year 13. There are three papers:

  • Paper 1 – listening, reading and writing (summary and translation) (2½ hours) – 50% 
  • Paper 2 – essay-writing (2 hours) – 20% 
  • Paper 3 – speaking (between 21-23 minutes including 5 minutes preparation time) – 30% 

The course is divided in four themes:

  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends
  • Artistic culture in the French-speaking world
  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current issues
  • Aspects of political life in the French-speaking world


The approach focuses on how French-speaking society has been shaped, socially and culturally, and how it continues to change. 

Students study technological and social change, looking at diversity and the benefits it brings. They will study highlights of French-speaking artistic culture, including francophone music and cinema, and learn about current political trends in the French-speaking world. Students also explore the influence of the past on present-day French-speaking communities. 

Students will study texts and film and have the opportunity to carry out independent research on an area of their choice.

As an example, we may study the books L’Étranger by Albert Camus or No et moi by Delphine de Vigan, alongside the films La Haine by Mathieu Kassovitz or Au Revoir les Enfants by Louis Malle.