Peter Symonds College

Study at PSC

This one-year course offers you the opportunity to study the contemporary society and culture of France and French-speaking countries. The practical, applied approach to the study of French at this level means that it is useful to students of the arts and sciences alike. 

Course Content

This AS Level course will enable you to enhance your spoken and written language in French beyond GCSE, whilst developing a range of transferrable skills, valued in many university courses and careers. 

The AS syllabus builds on GCSE content and skills, covering:

  • Social issues and trends and artistic culture, including a film. 
  • Aspects of French-speaking society: current trends: The Changing Family, “Cybersociety” and The Role of Volunteering.
  • Artistic culture in the French speaking world: France and its Cultural Heritage, Cinema: The 7th Art and Contemporary Francophone Music. 

Methods of Teaching

The course will move you on from GCSE covering the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. You will be taught in a French A Level class, covering the same content and skills taught in the full A Level qualification. 

Lessons are taught mainly in French and students will be working individually, in pairs or in small groups on a variety of activities including reading, note-taking, making use of online resources to acquire a wider range of vocabulary. Grammar revision and extension will also be an integral part of daily activities in class. You will engage in many oral activities in class, and also have a weekly session with a French language assistant to further enhance your production of the spoken language. 

Learning through independent active study is crucial to your progress, and carefully monitored programmes will support you in this. 

Methods & Patterns of Assessment

All four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing will be assessed at the end of the course, with cultural content forming a key part of the assessment. 

  • Unit 1 - Listening/reading comprehension and translation into English (45 %)
  • Unit 2 – Writing: including a translation into French and a short essay in response to a question on the film studied (25%)  
  • Unit 3 – Speaking: discussion of two of the themes studied during the year (30%)

Financial Implications

You will have access to an online textbook and resources from our Google site and the Learning Resource Centre. The French department can also loan some materials, but you may need to purchase work booklets.

Film study day in the BFI (£30 approx.): conducted mainly in French, the day is an ideal introduction to the style and themes of the French New Wave and its impact on contemporary French cinema, one of the two themes studied at AS. 

The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Mathematics and English, and grade 6 or above in GCSE French. 

Most Recent Results

Below is a summary of the most recent set of results for this subject:

Grade: A B C D E U Total
Total: 2 2 0 0 0 0 4
Percentage 50.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0