Modern Languages

Exam Board: Pearson AQA
Syllabus Number (French): 8658
Syllabus Number (German): 8668
Syllabus Number (Spanish): 8698

What will I be studying?

The French, German and Spanish GCSE follow the AQA Syllabus. The four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing will be assessed through examinations at the end of Upper Fifth.


To encourage pupils to communicate confidently and coherently in speech and writing. To encourage pupils to express and develop ideas spontaneously and fluently. To deepen pupils’ knowledge about how language works. To develop awareness and understanding of the culture and identity of the country where the language is spoken.

To develop language-learning skills both for immediate use and to prepare pupils for further study.


The content is defined in terms of five common themes and grammar is developed on an ongoing basis. Identity and culture, local area, holiday, travel,  school, future aspirations, study and work, international and global dimension.

How will I be assessed?

The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are assessed through final examinations at the end of Upper Fifth. There are two levels of entry: foundation and higher. 

Paper 1: Listening (Written exam. Foundation – 35 mins, Higher tier – 45 mins. 25%). Understanding of standard spoken language in a range of settings. Response to multiple-response and short answer open response questions.

Paper 2: Speaking (Internally conducted, externally assessed. Foundation – 7-9 mins, Higher 10-12 mins 25%). Communicate in the target language through:

  • A role play
  • Questions based on a picture stimulus
  • Conversation based on two themes

Paper 3: Reading (Foundation 1 hour, Higher – 1 hour 15 mins; Higher 1 hour; 50 marks. 25%). Demonstrate understanding of a text through:

  • Questions in English
  • Questions in the target language
  • Translation

Paper 4: Writing (Foundation 1 hour 10 mins, Higher – 1 hr 20 mins. 25%). Communicate in the written form, express and justify points of view in the target language.

Foundation tier – three extended response questions and one translation into the target language.

Higher tier – two extended response questions and one translation into the target language

Is there anything else I need to know about this subject course?

All components must be entered in the same tier. Entry can vary as appropriate to the candidate’s perceived competence. Grades are awarded using a scale of 1-9. Textbook: Pearson GCSE Course Book

Examination method

100% final examination at the end of Upper Fifth.

Further information
Please contact Clare Winchester-Snell