This NEW course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in future A-Level French examinations. Led by our highly respected and successful presenter, Karine Harrington, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for both language and literature options which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from 2018’s examinations on the new specifications, the course will outline what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of Grades A & A* and providing materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • A detailed look at the different demands of questions across the papers
  • Mark schemes will be analysed to identify and clarify the requirements of the highest levels
  • Sample answers at Grades A & A* will be discussed and marked
  • Materials will be provided that will allow teachers to cover the content effectively in innovative and student-friendly ways that push the highest ability students
COURSE DATES London Wednesday 13 March 2019
London Tuesday 18 June 2019
  • All Teachers of A Level French
  • Heads of Department for French
  • Heads of Faculty for Languages
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.45am
Grades A & A*: what do they involve?

  • Structure of the new specification A-Level French exams and what they require of the best students
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the 2018 papers and what this tells us about the standards which top students are expected to meet
  • Analysis of mark schemes – what are the examiners looking for?
  • Grades A & A*: what are the differences between these?
  • Key attributes of Grade A & A* French students in the classroom
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a top student their A grade?
  • Planning for success – how to ensure A and A* students make suitable progress throughout the course

10.45 – 11.05am
Discussion: coffee break

11.05 – 11.45am
Teaching language: key challenges for Grade A/A* students

  • Analysing the Unseen: where is an A/A* achieved or lost?
  • Building vocabulary and developing excellent grammatical skills
  • Tackling the toughest sentences: developing the skills needed to unpick hard French
  • Stretching top students with your choice of unseen passages and translation questions
  • Approaches for the unseen: preparing for different topics and question styles
  • Using prose composition and grammatical analysis to stretch able students
  • Revision tips to ensure top level students succeed in the exams

11.45 – 12.30pm
Tackling the Independent Research Project for A and A* Grades

  • Feedback from 2018 on the key skills demonstrated by high ability students
  • Teaching approaches which ensure high level understanding of the IDP for A and A* students
  • Preparing students to deliver authentic responses that reach the top mark bands

12.30 – 1.30pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.20pm
Teaching literature and film: stretching and challenging able students

  • Moving on from GCSE approaches – how to make able students into independent readers
  • Using wider reading to prepare for and complement the set works
  • Deep examination of context – using who?/what?/when?/why? questions to push students
  • Different approaches to discussing and writing about style
  • What makes a strong A-Level essay? How can we build up to this?
  • Developing a unique style by using complex language and grammar

2.20 – 2.35pm
Discussion: afternoon tea

2.35 – 3.35pm
French Listening and Speaking skills at A and A* level

  • The key challenges for high attaining students in achieving A and A* in Listening and Speaking
  • Teaching approaches and tasks that stretch students throughout the course
  • Answering questions in the exams: what are the potential pitfalls?
  • Questioning techniques to extend the most able
  • Working to the standard: reviewing and marking specimen scripts

3.35 – 3.45pm
Final questions and departure

Karine Harrington

Karine is a practising Languages teacher with vast experience as a Head of Department and examiner for GCSE and A Level. She has developed a national reputation of excellence as a conference speaker and she has written KS3 and KS4 publications and she has co-authored the latest Hodder textbook for the new Edexcel A Level specification. Her latest publication will be a revision guide and workbook for Collins as part of the new curriculum. She is an SLE for Modern Languages and Teaching and Learning and is an active member of ALL and executive member of the ALL council.

View all courses led by Karine Harrington >