Where relationships are at the heart of the school and
the school is at the heart of the community


Exam Board: Edexcel


Subject Overview

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`


The aim of learning a language until GCSE is to give all students the skills to cope with any situations in their future life, whether for business or for pleasure. At The Swanage School, students start learning French in Y7 through a variety of class activities and games, role plays and by using interactive software. And from September 2017, students will also enjoy doing a French Project with the PBL (Project Based Learning) teachers, where they will discover many aspects of the French culture, History and Geography to give them a better understanding of why they are learning French.

At The Swanage School, students will get ready for the new style GCSE through the Edexcel syllabus and this starts straight away in year 7 with a variety of activities in and out of the classroom to increase their confidence in writing and speaking in French, but also to equip them with the skills to learn another language easily, later on in life.

For more information on the new GCSE specifications go to:



Summary of the changes for the French GCSE starting in May 2018

The new 9-1 grading system will replace A*-G, and there will no longer be any controlled assessment. All papers will be set and marked by the awarding organisation.

Compulsory topics will be linked to identity and culture; local, national international and global areas of interest; and current and future study and employment.

Papers will be tiered, with 25% assessment weightings per skill. (choice of foundation or higher)

Papers will include:

  • short translations from and into the target language
  • some target-language questions in the reading and listening paper
  • authentic stimuli in the reading paper, including literary texts.

Due to the demands of the new 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 homework, they are welcome to use any of the following links to that effect.

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.co.uk 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 YouTube, ex: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