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French Language

Head of Languages: 


  • Mrs C. Henry


  • Mrs K. Davis

  • Mr J. Maxwell

  • Mrs H. Miller

French is taught to all pupils in Years 8 -10 and is an option at GCSE Level.


French is taught to all pupils in years 8-10. In years 9 and 10 the top 2 classes also take Spanish as well as French. Pupils may choose to study either or both languages for GCSE at end of year 10.


Topics in junior school include:


Self, Family, Pets, Leisure, School Life, Home town and area, Shopping, Travelling, The wider French and Spanish Speaking worlds, Relationships, Health, Work and Jobs and Daily Routine.


Pupils’ learning is supported by the use of ICT including packages such as Kerboodle and Linguascope. Pupils are taught and assessed in the four skills of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing.  A letter writing programme allows pupils to write to our link school in Montbrison in France and pupils are in contact with our Spanish link school in Andalucia, in Spain via e-mail. 


In Years 11 and 12 French can be chosen as a GCSE option. 

The Exam Board we use for GCSE French is CCEA. Click here to go to the CCEA French site.

Aims and Learning Outcomes

A GCSE specification in French should encourage learners to derive enjoyment and benefit from language learning and be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. Learners should recognise that their linguistic knowledge, understanding and skills help them to take their place in a multilingual global society and also provide them with a suitable basis for further study and practical use of French. GCSE specifications in French should prepare learners to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices.

The candidate is encouraged to:

  • develop understanding of French in a variety of contexts

  • develop knowledge of French and language learning

  • develop the ability to communicate effectively in French

  • develop awareness and understanding of countries and communities where French is spoken.


Subject Content

Contexts and Purposes (Based on students’ own experiences and that of other people who speak French).



  • Healthy and unhealthy lifestyles and their consequences

Relationships and choices

  • Relationships with family and friends

  • Future plans regarding marriage/partnership

  • Social issues and equality.



  • Free time activities

  • Shopping money, fashion and trends

  • Advantages and disadvantages of new technology


  • Plans, preferences, experiences

  • What to see and getting around

Home and Environment


  • Special occasions celebrated in the home

  • Home, town, neighbourhood and region, where it is and what it is like.


  • Current problems facing the planet

  • Being environmentally friendly within the home and local area.

Work and Education


  • School/college and future plans

  • What school/college is like

  • Pressures and problems

  • Current and future jobs

  • Looking for and getting a job

  • Advantages and disadvantages of different jobs.


Scheme of Assessment

Unit 1: Listening – exam worth 20%
Candidates enter at either Foundation or Higher Tier.

Unit 2: Reading – exam worth 20%
Candidates enter at either Foundation or Higher Tier.

Unit 3: Speaking – worth 30%
Controlled assessment – 2 tasks.

Unit 4: Writing – worth 30%
Controlled assessment – 2 tasks.

Candidates will be expected to have acquired some knowledge and understanding of grammar in French, as well as develop communication strategies.

Modern Languages Department Recent Successes

  • 2012 Winner of The British Academy Award for Best Mainstream School in Northern Ireland for Modern Languages. Markethill High School MFL department was also placed in the top 3 in the UK.  The Young Enterprise group were a key component of this success with the development of the ‘Linguature’ business for primary school language learning.


  • 2013 Winner of the UK Euroscola Competition which enabled 8 pupils and 2 staff to travel on an all-expenses paid trip to the European Parliament for young people(Euroscola) in Strasbourg.


  • 2014 Winner of the EA European Studies award for Excellence in Group Collaboration in Leuven in Belgium, given to Mrs Davis and Mrs Henry as school co-ordinators for European Studies in MHS.


  • 2015 Winner of the British Council International School Award. This is a prestigious and much sought-after school award for excellence in the development of an International dimension to school life. The award recognises the work of many international aspects of school and curriculum activities, conducted in different ways and across departments by many staff. Mrs Henry as International Co-ordinator, assisted by Mrs Davis, successfully submitted an application and evaluation for the award, which was described by the British Council as ‘outstanding’.

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