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French: A-level

Qualification: A-level

Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements: Grade 6 or above in GCSE French.

Learn French in a specialist language setting

The Languages Department at Silverdale has a proud history: the school was originally a specialist language college and our outstanding Teaching School runs the only national teacher-training course in modern languages in the UK.

We aim to develop skills and confidence in four key areas: speaking, listening, reading and writing. Teachers are very experienced and enthusiastic, using a wide range of activities and strategies to help students enjoy learning foreign languages. Authentic resources and the use of the foreign language in lessons are considered a vital part of languages teaching at Silverdale. We offer a range of extracurricular activities and some amazing trips abroad to enhance the language learning experience.

The department is based in six classrooms, all of which have interactive whiteboards, and has regular access to a well equipped computer room with individual headphones. We have the latest textbooks, independent study packs and DVDs. In addition, we subscribe to a number of excellent language websites and use a wide range of interactive resources which students can access at home. We also offer a wide selection of magazines and films. 

In 2018 100% of our students achieved A*, A or B grades.

 

The course

Students follow the AQA specification, which covers a wide range of topics, e.g. social issues and trends, aspects of French-speaking society, multiculturalism, political and artistic culture, as well as aspects of political life in the French-speaking world.

In the first year of A-level students will study a film, and in the second year they will also study a book. Students will undertake the listening/writing/reading and speaking exams at the end of the second year. All students will complete an internal transition exam at the end of Year 12.

As part of our enrichment programme, Year 12 students can also sign up for the beginner’s Mandarin Chinese course which they can continue to a GCSE qualification in Year 13.

 

Beyond the classroom

Past activities have included:

  • Year 12 study visit to Nice, France.
  • Visits to local universities.
  • Chinese summer school.
  • Meet penpals from the Lycée Masséna.

 

Progression

The government has recognised that there is a modern languages skills gap. Choosing to study a language at degree level is a way of boosting your employability.

Besides the traditional paths of interpreting, translating and teaching, students with language skills are in demand. These skills can be used in almost any career, particularly in businesses that trade internationally. There are also opportunities to work for the diplomatic service.

There are many degree courses in languages but you could also choose to combine French with a new language or a subject from a different area–such as politics, music or engineering.