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French Gcse Essay School


Examination Board

Edexcel Level 1/Level 2 GCSE

Studying a foreign language helps you to open your mind to other cultures, gaining a better understanding of the contemporary society, cultural background and communities of the language being studied The ability to speak and understand a foreign language is a highly desirable skill, and sought after by future employers in today’s international work market. It is now also possible to combine the study of a foreign language with a multitude of degree courses at university.

Overview of the course:

The course develops all four language skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing) through the study of various topics including: home and abroad, social activities, fitness and health, the modern world and the environment, education and employment and house, home and daily routine.

Oral fluency is emphasised through role plays, conversations, and presentations in French. Pupils are given the grammatical foundations and language structures required for practical tasks such as writing letters and messages.

Course content :

The Edexcel level 1/level 2 GCSE in French is designed as a two-year course.  The content has been structured across 5 themes: identity and culture, holidays and travel, school, study and work, and international and global dimension. Four units cover assessments in Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing skills.

 Unit 1 Listening

Students are assessed on their understanding of standard spoken French by one or more speakers in a range of public and social settings.  Students will respond to multi-response and short answer open response questions based on a recording featuring male and female speakers.

Unit 2: Speaking

Students are assessed on their ability to communicate and interact effectively through speaking in French for different purposes and in different settings. There are 3 tasks.

·         A role play

·         Questions based on a picture

·         Conversation

Unit 3: Reading and understanding in French

Students are assessed on their understanding of written French across a range of different types of texts, including advertisements emails letters and literary texts. Students are required to respond to multiple response and short answer questions based on these texts.

Unit 4: Writing in French

Students are required to produce extended responses of varying lengths and types to express ideas and opinions in French.

Foundation tier: 3 extended questions and 1 translation into French.

Higher tier 2 extended questions and 1 translation into French.


Pupils in Year 10 and 11 have the opportunity to work with the French Assistant to practise conversation topics. They can also take part in projects and competitions, such as the Oxford University’s French film essay competition, with the help of the assistant.

Visits and exchange

An exchange programme with Lycée Gabriel Faure near Lyon has successfully been set up. Our pupils have the opportunity to visit their French pals in Tournon-sur-Rhone, staying with families for a week and experiencing the real French way of life. For the return visit, French students spend seven days with their English families.

How you will be assessed (F=Foundation  H=Higher)


Assessment and duration

Maximum marks

Percentage of overall result

Unit 1 : Listening

Foundation:  40mins

Higher:  50mins

50 F/H


Unit 2 : Speaking in French

Practical speaking exam

internally assessed

Foundation:  7-9 mins

Higher:  10-12 mins

+ 12 mins preparation

60 F/H


Unit 3 : Reading and understanding in French


45 mins (Foundation)

1 hour (Higher)

50 F/H


Unit 4 : Writing in French

F 1hour 10 mins

H 1hour 20 mins

60 F/H


Students who successfully complete this course will be awarded a GCSE graded on a nine point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the best grade.

Post-16 courses available to you:

The ability to speak a modern foreign language is becoming more and more highly regarded by both universities and employers alike. Foreign language skills are a valuable asset for a variety of careers such as business, finance and tourism, air-traffic control, European Union (EU) officials, importer/exporter; interpreter,  translator.

Successful students may move on to study A level French in The Sandon Sixth Form.

(Original post by HankaLangerova)
Hello everyone!

First of all thank you so much for reading. I'm currently starting my AQA GCSE French course and I have to create an Essay about holidays for my Writing Assessment. Can someone who is fluent in French or have experience in this read the essay and see if the sentences make sense? How could I improve? I wrote it at home and feel like it's not all correct. I'm open to all recommendations! (I know it's quite long and a bit to chew through but I'm aiming for an A/A* and would really help me out). THANK YOU!

Essay in English:

"During the summer holidays in July, I visited my family in Vietnam. On Saturday morning we went to the airport by car and soon arrived in Hanoi - the capital city of Vietnam. The flight lasted thirteen hours; despite the fact that the whole trip made us extremely exhausted, I could not control my excitement. Upon arrival, the weather was warm, however, as the day progressed, it became very humid. Firstly, we went shopping in the town centre, it was crowded and filled with tourists but I had the chance to buy some souvenirs. After in the afternoon, I went for a walk in the sunset; I found the area very mesmerising because of the mountains and beautiful beaches. I love swimming because the water is really warm and helps me relax. I also tried wind-surfing which was fun however difficult. Throughout the week, I went shopping and visited different monuments, I really enjoyed seeing different places and trying unique cuisines. I love Vietnamese food because it is totally different compared to what I eat at home.

Next year, I am planning to go to the US. I am very excited as I have never been in America before, I will be staying in the Plaza Hotel in central New York. I love NYC, it has the most iconic skyline and is the home of Broadway. I will be going with my parents, we will be travelling there by plane which will be quite expensive. I cannot wait to see the Central Park as well as the Times Square, which looks amazing! The weather should be warm and I'm sure we'll have fun!"

Essay in French:

"Pendant les vacances d'été en Juillet, je suis allé à ma famille au Vietnam. Le samedi matin, nous sommes allés à l'aéroport en voiture et bientôt arrivés à Hanoi - la capitale du Vietnam. Le vol a duré treize heures; malgré le fait que tout le voyage nous a fait extrêmement épuisé, je ne pouvais pas contrôler mon excitation. À l'arrivée, le temps était chaud, cependant, que la journée avançait, il est devenu très humide. Tout d'abord, nous sommes allés faire du shopping dans le centre-ville, il était bondé et rempli de touristes mais je eu la chance d'acheter quelques souvenirs. Après l'après-midi, je suis allé pour une promenade au coucher du soleil; Je trouve le quartier très envoûtante à cause des montagnes et de belles plages. Je aime nager parce que l'eau est vraiment chaleureux et me permet de relaxer. Je ai également essayé la planche à voile qui était amusant mais difficile. Tout au long de la semaine, je suis allé shopping et visité différents monuments, je vraiment apprécié de voir des endroits différents et essayer cuisines uniques. Je adore la cuisine vietnamienne, car il est totalement différent par rapport à ce que je mange à la maison.

L'année prochaine, je prévois d'aller aux États-Unis. Je suis très heureux que je ne l'ai jamais été en Amérique avant, je vais rester dans l'Hôtel Plaza dans le centre de New York. I love New York, il a l'horizon le plus emblématique et est la maison de Broadway. Je vais aller avec mes parents, nous serons là voyagez par avion, qui sera très coûteux. Je ne peux pas attendre de voir le Central Park ainsi que le Times Square, qui semble incroyable! Le temps doit être chaud et je suis sûr que nous allons avoir du plaisir!"

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