Key Stage 4 - Years 10 - 11

The GCSE qualification in French or Spanish helps students to develop their language skills in a variety of contexts, with a broad understanding of the culture of countries and communities where the language is spoken. It encourages enjoyment of language learning and the recognition that language skills enable students to take their place in a multi-lingual global society. 

This four-unit specification requires students to develop their ability to read, listen, write and speak confidently in the foreign language.  This qualification counts towards the English Baccalaureate.

Students study all of the following themes on which the assessments are based.

Theme 1: Identity and Culture

Theme 2: Local, national and global areas of interest

Theme 3: Current and future study and employment

The GSCE has a Foundation Tier (grades 1–5) and a Higher Tier (grades 4–9). Students must take all four question papers at the same tier. All question papers must be taken in the same series.

Paper 1 Listening: Understanding and responding to different types of spoken language

  •  Written exam: 35 minutes (Foundation Tier), 45 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • 40 marks (Foundation Tier), 50 marks (Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE

Paper 2 Speaking: Communicating and interacting effectively in speech for a variety of purposes

  • Non-exam assessment
  • 7–9 minutes (Foundation Tier) + preparation time
  • 10–12 minutes (Higher Tier) + preparation time
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
  • 25% of GCSE

Paper 3 Reading: Understanding and responding to different types of written language

  • Written exam: 45 minutes (Foundation Tier), 1 hour (Higher Tier)
  • 60 marks (for each of Foundation Tier and Higher Tier)
  •  25% of GCSE

Paper 4 Writing: Communicating effectively in writing for a variety of purposes

  • Written exam: 1 hour (Foundation Tier), 1 hour 15 minutes (Higher Tier)
  • 50 marks at Foundation Tier and 60 marks at Higher Tier
  • 25% of GCSE