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Notre Dame High School

Notre Dame
High School


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Many of you will have already been learning and enjoying French for several years now so you will want to continue your French journey at NDHS! You have already learned a great deal of vocabulary and acquired lots of language skills so you have a head start with GCSE French and it is important to remember that speaking a foreign language will give you a real advantage in today’s world, whether you are using it as an employee in the workplace or as a tourist on holiday.

In Year 10 pupils continue to learn through the main skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. You will have the opportunity to develop your knowledge of familiar topics as well as study new ones; media, the environment, the world of work and healthy living are just some of the topics we will be covering throughout the two-year course. You will also have the opportunity to use ICT to help with your language learning, using websites such as and as well as focusing regularly on exam technique and preparation for the final assessments.

But it is not just about French. Learning a language says so much about you: your enthusiasm for different cultures, your dedication to learning new vocabulary, your grammatical skills and your willingness to communicate; so ensure that you have the opportunity to show off your talent and choose to learn more of this beautiful language.

We have successfully led trips to France during the GCSE Course and, depending on the international situation at the time, we hope to offer this excellent opportunity again to practise your language skills and have the opportunity to see more of France.


  Year 10 Year 11
Aut.1 KS3 Revision – Three Tenses, numbers & vocab School and Study in France
Aut.2 Identity and family Jobs and Future Plans
Applying for work experience
Spr.1 Leisure and technology Holidays & Holiday Health 
Spr.2 Festivals and Celebrations Global sustainability 
Sum.1 Where you live /Regional advantages and disadvantages Oral Exams and L, R and W exams and Revision 
Sum.2 Finish Summer 1 
Mock exam planning, feedback and consolidation

How is it assessed?

Pupils sit final exams in listening (25%), reading (25%), speaking (25%) and writing (25%) at the end of Year 11. The department uses the EDUQAS French GCSE course.

Career Pathways

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What does it lead to?

French is an official language of the European Union and so extremely useful in the business world.  Our geographical proximity to France means that many companies have businesses in both countries and therefore need staff who can communicate in both languages. It is a very popular holiday destination too and by no means do all the French speak English! 

French is also spoken in many other countries like Canada, Algeria, Togo, the Caribbean and other parts of Europe. French can open up so many opportunities for jobs later on.

For more information click on our A Level French course

Career Options

You can watch a great series of videos of young people who are working in jobs that use foreign languages on the BBC Bitesize website.

For example careers leading from this subject  click here.

For advice on apprenticeship courses, click here.

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THINK Languages THINK Apprenticeships from Amazing Apprenticeships on Vimeo.

GCSE French FAQs

How many hours of languages will we have a week?

You will have 5 hours of language lessons per fortnight.

Is one bit of the exam more difficult than the others?

You all have your strengths and weaknesses.   Ultimately, which subjects and which sections of the exam you find easy and difficult depend on you.   However, remember that the more effort you put in, the more you get out.   The exam becomes easier the more practice you do!

What grades can I get with each tier?

The Higher tier targets grades 9 through to 4.   The highest grade if you do Foundation tier is a grade 5.

How do I know whether I’ll be doing Foundation or Higher tier?

No decision on your tier of entry will be made now.   You will have mock exams in Years 10 and 11 and these practice papers will help both you and your teacher determine which tier is appropriate.

How is GCSE French different from French in lower school?

You have been studying for French GCSE since you started learning the language in Year 7!    You will continue to be tested on the four skill areas of listening, speaking, reading and writing but there will be a wider content.   Your teacher will also be preparing for exam style questions.

Should I buy a revision guide?   Which one do you recommend?

Although French do not use the EDEXCEL board, we have found these to be the best guides on offer.  They are:

Edexcel French (9-1) French Revision Guide

Edexcel French (9-1) French Revision Workbook

Target Grade 5 Reading / Target Grade 9 Reading

Target Grade 5 Reading / Target Grade 9 Writing

The school generally gets a discounted price and will sell these to you in September.

Can we do double languages? Say for example if we've done French, can we start Spanish?  or, if we have done French can we do Japanese too?

Yes, there is the possibility of doing two languages of all combinations.

The decision whether to run the group will depend on the numbers who choose this as an option.

When second language groups are viable, they tend to be small groups.  This is a huge advantage as it means you get more individual attention and opportunities for feedback as well as increased participation on your part.