"With ever-increasing levels of international trade and business, tourism, immigration, and random cross-cultural experiences, chances are you will eventually find yourself face-to-face with someone who doesn’t speak English, at least not up to a level you understand. The reasons to learn a foreign language or two have never been stronger." https://www.gooverseas.com/blog/why-foreign-language-learning-still-important

At The Swanage School, all students learn French from Year 7 to Year 9 all the time increasing their confidence in writing and speaking in French in preparation for taking the subject at GCSE should they choose, but also to equip them with the skills to learn another language easily, later on in life.

Learning a language enhances ability to cope with many situations in future life, whether for business or pleasure. Language skills are in high demand in our extremely competitive jobs market and can help secure an international career. Research shows that learning a language provides invaluable communication skills as well as improving decisiveness, problem-solving ability and negotiation skills! Through learning a language, students can also gain a better understanding of their own language and grammar.

During the course, students will also discover many aspects of French culture, giving them an appreciation of how other countries may differ from the UK.

  1. Year 11 students enjoy making French 'crepes' during their first French lesson
  2. Year 8 students attending a 'most able language day' organised by Southampton University
  3. Year 7 students enjoying a "French Day" with cultural activities and music


Key Stage 3

The introduction to learning French, which many students will not have experienced at primary school, focuses on building vocabulary and an understanding of French grammar and sentence structure, making use of a variety of class activities and games, role plays and by using interactive software. Confidence in speaking and writing in French grows as students learn throughout KS3.

Key Stage 4

For those opting to take French as a GCSE, compulsory topics are linked to:

  • identity and culture
  • local, national, international and global areas of interest
  • current and future study and employment

Learning continues to embrace extended vocabulary and an understanding and practice of  spoken and written French. Exam papers include:

  • listening and understanding in French
  • speaking in French
  • reading and understanding in French
  • writing in French

Further Information

Due to the demands of the GCSE, students are encouraged to do some independent learning, little and often, to be successful in their exam. As well as their school notes and curriculum support activities, the following resources may be helpful:

From Year 7 to Year 11 – (interactive vocabulary and grammar practice)

From Year 9/10:

  • To practise vocabulary, grammar and exam style questions interactively, go to www.pearsonactivelearn.com use your individual username and password.
  • To perfect your listening skills in a fun way, do gap fill of French music on https://lyricstraining.com and listen to French music regularly (try the French music chart on YouTubeeg: “Musique Francaise 2017 | NRJ Hits 2017”)
  • Immerse yourself in authentic French by listening to news clips or by reading articles from www.20minutes.fr or www.1jour1actu.com

Exam Board: Pearson Edexcel

For more information on the GCSE specifications go to: