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Aiming for A/A* in Pearson Edexcel A-Level French

Course Code:


This course will demonstrate how to guide your high-performing students from success at GCSE to achieving Grades A/A* in the AQA A-Level French examinations. The course will discuss teaching and learning ideas for both language and literature options to stretch and challenge able students and to develop their higher-level skills. Using feedback from examinations, the course will examine what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build teaching and learning to meet these challenges.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A & A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • Recommendations for moving students on from being GCSE-describers to A-level-analysers
  • Increased awareness of what we should aim for with our top students.
  • Mark schemes and Examiners’ Reports will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the highest levels
  • Sample answers at Grades A & A* will be examined
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the content effectively in innovative and student-friendly way that push the highest ability students

What does an A* candidate look like? How to achieve this.

10.00 – 11.00am
  • Examine the assessment demands of all components for A/A* students
  • Consider the most effective models for delivery of the course to ensure effective assessment practice across two years
  • Review of the characteristics of A/A* level students
  • Feedback of the most recent exams: what examiners look for at the top grades
  • How to support students to move from B to A/A*

Morning Break

11.00 – 11.20am

Achieving A and A* in Listening, Reading and Translation – Paper 1

11.20 – 12.20pm
  • Building vocabulary skills – exploring a range of methods to enhance students’ A/A* vocabulary
  • Increasing confidence in listening – low stakes listening as a precursor to assessment
  • Advice for answering the reading and listening questions – spotting and dealing with distractors and misconceptions
  • Stretching A/A* students with a range of unseen and authentic texts
  • Exploring the most effective resources and ideas for helping students revise for the listening and reading
  • Training students to self-monitor – routines and ideas for creating personal checklists to use in exam conditions
  • Tackling the toughest sentences: developing the skills needed to unpick difficult French sentence structure and grammar to achieve A/A*


12.20 – 1.20pm

Paper 2: How to guide your students to the highest grades.

1.20 – 2.15pm
  • Literature and film – how to guide your students to A/A* grades
  • Moving from description to critical analysis in writing, securing A/A*
  • The five-pronged approach to literary texts and films
  • Translation into French – accuracy of language – what is ‘in tolerance’?
  • Translation into French – appropriate paraphrase

Afternoon Break

2.15 – 2.30pm

The Speaking Exam

2.30 – 3.15pm
  • Teaching the skills to enable the best possible independent research
  • Working backwards from the mark scheme
  • Building in practice and assessing progress
  • Developing A/A* analytical response skills in students
  • The importance of quality of language in achieving A/A*

Review and Depart

3.15 – 3.30pm


London | Thursday 29 February 2024

Please select your preferred date

London | Thursday 29 February 2024

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


Katherine is a former Head of Department and current teacher of MFL of longstanding experience. She has successfully prepared students for GCSE (AQA), A-Level (Edexcel) and Pre-U examinations in French in current and previous iterations of the respective specifications and holds the SSAT Diploma for Innovative Teaching. She currently teaches French and German in mainstream comprehensive education in South Northants and is a marker for both Pearson and AQA. Students in her cohorts have enjoyed the highest percentage of Grades 4-9 in the MFL Department year on year and have gone on to study languages at Oxbridge and other Russell Group institutions. She has both current and historic experience and success in training both new teachers and PGCE students in the skills needed to teach both KS3 and GCSE classes effectively, promoting student uptake and achieving exam success.


  • All teachers or potential teachers of A Level French
  • Heads of Department for French
  • Faculty Leads for Languages


  • A specially prepared folder of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

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