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AQA A-Level French: Challenging Students to Achieve A and A*

Course Code:


This new course is designed for all teachers of AQA A-Level French. The aim of the course is to help teachers fine-tune students’ performances so that they can achieve the highest grades. The course will outline what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this. The course will demonstrate practical teaching and learning ideas and approaches for developing key skills and knowledge through which able students can enhance higher level skills. We will analyse what is expected at the top end of the mark range and explore active strategies to build your teaching practice around this to effectively stretch and challenge students. It will also provide guidance on effective revision strategies and examination techniques through which high achieving students can stand out and ensure that they succeed in the final examinations.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A & A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • Emphasis on teaching approaches which are most effective with able French students
  • Focus on teaching approaches which stretch and challenge beyond A-Level
  • A detailed look at the different demands and types of questions
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the course in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students


Grades A & A*: Key student behaviours

10.00 – 10.45am
  • The structure of the specification and using it to plan for success for the top end students
  • Exam Feedback: what does it tell us about the standards set for the top learners? How can we teach to this effectively?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Key attributes of Grade A & A* French students in the classroom and how to identify these students
  • Which skills are the very hardest in A-Level French? Developing responses in French, noting how grammar must be honed to allow access to the synonym task, e.g. what type of word is needed in this gap: On a — la peine de mort. Similarly, coping with translation: How to translate tricky ideas such as ce qui, ce que or dont.
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A grade?


Morning Break

10.45 – 11.00am

Paper 1: Listening, Reading and Writing – The key challenges for A/A* students

11.00 – 12.00pm
  • Translation – grammar vocabulary, comparing answers – what gets into the top mark band, why, and how to ensure your teaching methods work to this
  • Teaching methods to support students in structuring their answers for full marks on the summary tasks
  • Teaching approaches that create high level thinking to summarise spoken language well.
  • What are the examiners looking for in top level A and A* performance?



12.00 – 1.00pm

Paper 2: Key Challenges For Grade A/A* Students In Writing

1.00 – 2.00pm
  • Developing ideas and strategies to offer relevant and detailed Grades A and A* information with a critical analysis
  • Potential advantages and pitfalls in the use of idioms such as expressions like autant que je sache, pour que je puisse etc, and how this can sometimes detract from a high-level response.
  • Focus on the exact precision and detail that examiners are looking for in top level students in their responses in Paper 2
  • Methods for students use and manipulate grammatical structures and vocabulary at grade A and A* level


Afternoon Break

2.00 – 2.15pm

Paper 3: Speaking: Stretching And Challenging Able Students To A/A*

2.15 – 3.00pm
  • Ways and means to develop and expand the viewpoints of your students
  • Analysis and reference to Francophone countries when discussing topics
  • Making a relevant and personal choice of topic for the Independent Research Project
  • Developing your student’s ability to respond readily and spontaneously to ensure that highest grade criteria are met
  • Making effective use of a wide range of vocabulary and complex structure appropriate to task

Exam Tactics for Reaching the Highest Grades

3.00 – 3.45pm
  • What are the biggest challenges in A-Level French for the A/A* learner?
  • Retention, recall and deployment. Hints for embedding chronology and coverage of key content.
  • Varying skills practice to stretch the most able. Making the link between skills.
  • Revision ideas to help students produce the highest quality responses.


Online | Thursday 08 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.


Stuart Glover is a renowned expert in GCSE and A Level French, he has been head of department and taught till 2020. He has been chief examiner for igcse French, Principal moderator for GCSE French at AQA for 12 years, reviser, presenter, principal examiner for GCSE writing and lead examiner for Gcse French. He has also examined at A Level for many years for the same awarding body. Stuart has written The Pearson Revise books and practice papers for AQA and Edexcel GCSE (new and old spec) as well as the OUP French text book for the new GCSE for AQA and have written the assessment materials for Studio French GCSE for Edexcel and AQA editions of the textbook as well as materials for online testing.


  • Heads of MFL
  • Heads of French
  • All A-level Teachers of French


  • 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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