The GCSE in French consists of four externally examined papers based on the following skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Students are assessed in Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing and each skill counts for 25% of the final grade. Each paper is available at Foundation or Higher tier.
The topics covered include: Identity and Culture (self, family, hobbies, technology, French festivals and customs), Local, National and International Areas (town, social issues, the environment) and Study and Employment (school, plans for the future, jobs).
Paper 1: Listening and understanding in French. Students are assessed on their understanding of standard spoken French by one or more speakers in a range of public and social settings. Students answer questions in both English and French based on what they understand the recorded speakers to have said.
Paper 2: Speaking in French. Students are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively through speaking in French for different purposes and in different settings. There are three tasks – a role play, where students speak as in an authentic situation (in a restaurant, at the cinema etc), a photocard task, where they describe what they can see and respond to questions linked to the image, and finally between 4 and 6 minutes of general conversation questions.
Paper 3: Reading and understanding in French. Students are assessed on their understanding of written French across a range of different types of texts, including adverts, emails, letters, articles and French literary texts, with questions in both English and French. There is also a short translation from French into English.
Paper 4: Writing in French. Students are assessed on their ability to communicate effectively through writing in French for different purposes and audiences. Students are required to express ideas and opinions in French.