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Coronavirus Updates

Further information about how our Trust and schools are taking necessary precautions since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, can be found in our Trust’s ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) website section’.

For responses to our National Writing Day #247challenge, please see here.

Students joining us in Year 12 September 2020: please see a page of resources for you here. 

Update 11.06.20: For an update about remote learning, to Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, please see here.

Update 08.06.20: Year 10 and 12 parents and carers, please see the letter that has been sent out with your student’s bubbles. For FAQs, please see here.

Live Learning Timetables: Please see here for live learning timetables for this term for Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12.

For any key worker whose child is not currently using our childcare facility, and who subsequently becomes unable to provide childcare at home –  you must give the school 24 hours’ notice that you need to use this provision so that we can provide appropriate staffing. This means emailing or calling 03333 602130 by 9am the day before. For Monday provision, please ensure that you contact the school by 9am on the preceding Friday.  Students arriving without giving 24 hours’ notice may be turned away if we do not have adequate staffing. To access this provision, you must also have downloaded and completed the form that can be found here and you must bring it with you to the school when you arrive.

You can access Holcombe Grammar School’s COVID-19 latest update and archived letters for the whole school and year groups, including links to resources at


Subject Leader

Miss H Ortega/Mrs G Senges

Advanced Level



Why study French?

The ability to speak other languages opens up countless opportunities in both the fields of leisure and work. There will be a shortage of qualified linguists and your services will be in great demand by industry if Britain is to compete in a business context on a global level. The course encourages a greater appreciation of French language, society and culture, as well as a greater understanding of language in general. It would therefore be of great benefit to English Language and Literature students.

How will you be assessed?

Paper 1: Listening, reading and translation. Written examination: 1 hour and 50 minutes (40% of the qualification     64 marks)

Paper 2: Written response to works and translation. Written examination: 2 hours and 40 minutes (30% of the qualification     48 marks)

Paper 3: Speaking – Internally conducted and externally assessed. Total assessment time: between 21 and 23 minutes, which includes a single period of 5 minutes’ formal preparation time (30% of the qualification     48 marks)

What will you study?  
Paper 1 – draws on vocabulary and structures across all four Themes.

1.     Changes in French society;

2.     Political and artistic cultural in French speaking countries;

3.     Immigration and the French multicultural society;

4.     Occupation and Resistance.

Section A: Listening (24 marks)

A listening assessment based on a recording, featuring male and female French speakers.

Students will respond to comprehension questions based on a variety of contexts and sources.

Section B: Reading (24 marks)

A reading assessment based on a variety of text-types and genres where students will have to respond to comprehension questions.

Section C: Translation into English (16 marks)

Paper 2 – draws on the study of two discrete French works: either two literary texts, or one literary text and one film.


The literary texts listed include a range of classic and contemporary novels, novellas, short stories and plays. All of the films are feature length.


Assessment overview

This paper includes a translation exercise and two essays on either two literary texts, or one literary text and one film (students must not answer questions on two films).

Students are not permitted access to a dictionary or any documentation relating to the works during the examination.

Section A: Translation (16 marks)

Students translate an unseen passage from English into French.

Section B: Written response to works (literary texts) (16 marks)

Section C: Written response to works (films) (16 marks)

Paper 3


Task 1 draws on vocabulary and structures across all four themes.


Task 2 is based on independent research selected and carried out by the student. The research may be based on one of the Themes or on the student’s own subject of interest related to the society and culture of the language studied.

Assessment overview

Students complete two tasks. Task 1 worth 20 marks and Task 2 worth 28 marks.

Task 1 (discussion on a Theme)

Students discuss one Theme from the specification based on a stimulus containing two different statements.

Task 2 (presentation and discussion on independent research)

Students present a summary of the key findings of the written sources they have used for their research and answer questions on this. They then have a wider discussion on their research.

What will French offer you in the future?

Direct use of languages following Higher Education: translating, interpreting, teaching, commerce, tourism and travel. Indirect use of languages for careers: law, accountancy, secretarial skills, export marketing and selling, insurance, hotels, catering, merchant banking, engineering, manufacturing, computing and purchasing.