French is a major language of international communication. It is the second most widely learned language after English and the sixth most widely spoken language in the world.

By studying French at Key Stage 3, pupils will develop an ability to converse at a basic level. The majority of pupils continue with a language at GCSE because they understand the importance of world languages and international relations. French is important for the international job market and is the language of culture. It is fun to learn and will open up the world to you.

Year 7 and Year 8 | core subject

In the first two years, pupils gain a good understanding of basic grammar and core vocabulary which will enable them to communicate in the target language with increasing confidence. We use the Dynamo Pearson textbook with students to prepare them thoroughly for the start of GCSE study in Year 9. During the academic year pupils also study cultural enrichment topics in order to increase their understanding of the Francophone world and use authentic materials in class to help them develop their linguistic competence.

Year 9 | option subject

By the third year French becomes an option subject, giving pupils a further year of studying French language and culture before making a decision about GCSE choices. In this year pupils begin the AQA GCSE course and cover the first two modules of the Scheme of Work. Pupils are introduced to the key skills required in the GCSE exam and continue to work on their acquisition of new vocabulary. Language lessons will also focus on the consolidation of previous and new grammar structures and how to manipulate them accurately in order to achieve the top grades.

Year 10 and 11, GCSE | option subject

For GCSE although French is an option subject, all pupils are strongly encouraged to continue their study of on language.

GCSE French is an opportunity for pupils to further develop their language skills and to stimulate cultural knowledge of Francophone countries. Learning French is enjoyable and rewarding as well as being a useful skill for life. A French GCSE will build on what has been learnt from Year 7. The final examination of the course is divided equally across the four component areas: listening, reading, speaking and writing. Pupils will build an awareness and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken, as well as understanding the language in a variety of contexts.

– A firm grounding in basic grammar and the manipulation of verb tenses is recommended.

– AQA GCSE 8658 French

Sixth Form, A-Level | option subject

This course allows students to develop the language skills acquired at (I)GCSE through the study of a more advanced range of topics, including current trends and issues in French speaking society, alongside developing an understanding of French artistic culture and political life. Assessment tasks will be varied and cover listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

– Grade 7 at (I)GCSE French

– AQA A-Level 7652 French

John Lyon Success

– 100% of A-Level students achieved A*-B grades.
– 38% of GCSE pupils gained 9-7 grades.
– Nanik Nanwani (OL2018) left John Lyon to read French at Queen Mary, University of London.

Outside the Classroom

John Lyon’s extensive list of extra-curricular activities includes many options for pupils who enjoy foreign language and culture, including Book and Film Club, Excellence in French and Model United Nations and International Relations.

Beyond School

A qualification in French is a highly respected academic qualification that is favoured by many Russell Group universities. Pupils will acquire a range of transferable and interpersonal skills that are in high demand by future employers. It complements many areas of study, and Economics or business-related degrees in particular. Students will acquire a range of transferable and interpersonal qualities sought by many employers. Linguists are trained to think structurally, while essay writing gives them good practice in presenting focused arguments. Many language courses involve working cooperatively in groups and making formal presentations to an audience, the sort of teamwork and presentational skills that employers are seeking.

Learning a language is also a skill that allows opportunities to work for international organisations, diplomatic services or European agencies in the sphere of translation and interpreting.