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Devonport High School for Girls

Head of Department

Mrs V Lethbridge, BA, PGCE

Statement of Intent 

Foreign languages are an important part of cultural and vocational education in Europe and around the world. In the Languages department at DHSG, we aim to provide our students with the skills to communicate effectively in a variety of languages (French, Spanish, German, Mandarin Chinese, Latin) and with a sympathetic attitude to and deeper understanding of the relevant cultures in the language of study. In the teaching of specific languages, we endeavour to foster a language awareness and an improved understanding of English and to develop language learning skills which will serve as a valuable basis for the acquisition of skills in other foreign languages which students may wish to learn later in their careers. 

Language lessons focus on developing students’ ability to engage in spontaneous talk and practise transferable thinking skills. Above all, as committed and enthusiastic language learners ourselves, we wish to pass on a love of languages and encourage students to embrace language learning as a vital life skill. 

“He who knows no foreign language, knows nothing of his own” Goethe 

“ If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head; if you talk to a man in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela. 

Aims of the department: 

  • to produce enthusiastic, competent linguists who are confident of their ability, willing to take risks in less familiar situations;
  • to develop the students’ ability to engage in spontaneous talk, uninhibited by a strive for perfection; 
  • to provide a sense of challenge in the language learning activities and overcome the fear of failure;
  • to encourage students to become adaptable and open to new opportunities; 
  • to help students to develop transferable thinking skills; 
  • to embrace language learning and the ability to use other languages as a life skill; 
  • to encourage a sense of belonging to a global community;
  • to develop a cultural awareness of other nationalities. 

A Level Course Outline

This course aims to give candidates an excellent grounding in all aspects of the French language with the opportunity to develop ability and confidence in the four skill areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Furthermore, the specification aims to stimulate greater cultural awareness of France and the Francophone world.

Higher Education and Career Opportunities

A level French is a valuable asset for a variety of degrees and career areas including Law, Accountancy, Business, Media and Teaching. Most French degrees involve a year abroad in France or a French-speaking country.

Course Content

Examination Board


Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website

French  AS - 7651
 French A - 7652

What is assessed:  Aspects of French-speaking society (current trends) Artistic culture in the French-speaking world

AS Level

Paper 1

Listening, reading and writing
Written exam: 1 hr 45 mins - 90 marks 45% of AS  


Paper 2

Writing (one literary text or film from set list)
Written Exam: 1hr 30 mins - 50 marks 25% of AS


Paper 3

Oral exam: 12–14 minutes - 60 marks 30% of AS

What is assessed: Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends/current Trends.  Artistic culture and aspects of political life in the French-speaking world

A Level

Paper 1

Listening, reading and writing
Written exam: 2 hrs 30 mins - 100 marks 50% of A level


Paper 2

Writing (one literary text and one film or two texts from set list)

Written Exam: 2hrs - 80 marks 20% of A Level


Paper 3

Speaking (including individual research project) Oral exam: 21-23 minutes (+5mins preparation time) - 60 marks 30% of A Level

Curriculum Programmes of Study 


Cycle Content

Year 12

Cycle 1

GCSE grammar recap 

Traditional and Modern Values 

  • Changes in the family 

  • Attitudes towards marriage and divorce 

  • The influence of the Catholic church 

Regional Identity 

  • Prehistoric Spanish civilizations and historic places 

  • Art and architecture 

  • Music and diversity 

Cycle 1 assessment 1- Paper 1 listening and reading  
Cycle 1 assessment 2 – Paper 1 reading and translation

Cycle 2

Film for Paper 2 – ‘Ocho Apellidos Vascos’ 


  • The influence of the internet 

  • Smart phones in society 

  • Social networks 

Equality of the Sexes 

  • Women in the world of work 

  • Chauvinism and feminism 

  • Gay and transgender rights 

Cycle 2 assessment 1 – Paper 1 listening and reading 
Cycle 2 assessment 2 – Paper 1 reading and translation 

Cycle 3

The Influence of Idols 

  • Singers and musicians 

  • TV and cinema stars 

  • Models 

Intro to the book for Paper 2 – ‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’ 

Cycle 3 assessment 1 – Paper 3 photocard and mini-IRP 
Cycle 3 assessment 2 – Paper 1 full paper and Paper 2 writing ‘Ocho Apellidos Vascos’ 

Year 13 


Cycle 1


  • Positives and negatives of immigration 

  • Immigration in the Hispanic World 

  • Illegal immigrants 


  • Racist attitudes 

  • Measures to combat racism 

  • Anti-racist legislation 

‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’ 
Young people of today 

  • Young people’s political attitudes 

  • Youth unemployment 

  • The ideal society 

Cycle 1 assessment 1 – Paper 1 translation 
Cycle 1 assessment 2 – Paper 1 – reading and translation 

Cycle 2


  • Cultural integration 

  • Education 

  • Religions 

Monarchies and Dictatorships 

  • The evolution of the Spanish monarchy 

  • The Franco dictatorship 

  • Latin-American dictators 

Cycle 2 assessment 1 – Mock exams Paper 1 and Paper 2 
Cycle 2 assesment 2 – Paper 3 speaking mock 

Cycle 3

Popular Movements 

  • Effectiveness of strikes 

  • Power of unions 

  • Social protests 

A Level exam