Teachers need the commitment of the senior leadership team and
support of members of the languages department in order to
successfully introduce an Applied GCSE French course as there are
some important aspects to consider:
Planning the course - timetabling and
It is essential that the staff selected to
teach the Applied French course fully embrace the fact that the
course is work-related and that this will need a change of approach
if the course is to be successful. Staff need to understand that
the French needs to be taught in the chosen specialist context
(business, media and communication or leisure and
Time will need to be allocated to plan detailed schemes of work to
ensure that there is full coverage of the generic topic areas
within the chosen specialist context.
Language staff need to be trained in how to deliver and assess the
Applied French course so it is important to consider funding for
INSET in the summer term prior to the introduction of the course.
Edexcel offers training courses at different locations around the
country and can also organise bespoke training for individual
schools or groups of schools wishing to begin the course. Ongoing
training will be necessary to ensure that staff are familiar with
the assessment requirements especially for the oral and written
components which are teacher-assessed and externally
ICT staff will need to be familiarised with the requirements for
the on-screen tests. It is important to do this at a early stage to
ensure that that the computer system is appropriate to cope with
the demands of the test and that there are sufficient computers to
enable the students to sit the examinations.
Timetable allocation for the Applied GCSE French is the same as for
the conventional GCSE course. It is desirable for some lessons to
be timetabled in a computer room if possible in order to give
students practice for the on-screen tests. However most lessons
should not need ICT access. A typical model might be one lesson in
every four or five taking place in a computer suite or a short
block of lessons (eg four or five) to complete a particular project
which might be internet based.
Visits, links with companies/tourist attractions and trips abroad
should be planned in order to set the course in an authentic
work-related context. Contacting the local Education Business
Partnership may help with this. If you are unsure of local
contacts, consult the National
Education Business Partnership Network.
Be sure to obtain all available support materials including the
kit (rtf 1.82 MB) to facilitate delivery of the course.
The on-screen tests
Before beginning the
course it is important to consult with ICT staff to familiarise
them with the technical
requirements (pdf 76 KB) to ensure that everything is in place.
The ICT staff should contact Edexcel and may receive specific
training and instructions to suit individual circumstances. The
majority of schools have appropriate equipment to be able to
conduct the tests. Passwords need to be obtained from Edexcel and
it is the responsibility of ICT staff to understand how to do this
in good time.
It is essential to conduct practice tests before undertaking the
real on-screen examination. This will enable any possible
technical problems to be sorted out in advance and should mean that
the real exam will run smoothly. ICT staff should ensure that they
provide full support for the duration of the exam in case of
Schools have devised different methods of ensuring individual
privacy in the on-screen tests. Some have invested in individual
booths so that candidates cannot see other screens. Others
seat pupils well apart to prevent pupils being able to see
neighbouring screens. Some schools seat a pupil entering the
listening examination next to a pupil entering the reading
examination and then let them sit the next examination (either
reading or listening) immediately afterwards. Students will need to
have headphones for the listening examination.
If large numbers of pupils are involved in the on-screen tests,
it may be necessary to hold some pupils in a waiting area if there
are insufficient computers available. As the tests each last only
40 minutes, this should not cause a problem.
Key points about conduct of the spoken
- Samples are supplied by awarding body for all three specialist
contexts - Business
(doc, 632KB), Leisure and
Tourism (doc, 2.11MB), Media and
Communication (doc, 370KB)
- Schools may create their own or adapt the sample interactions
provided by the awarding body
- Stimulus material for the interaction may be in English or
French with visuals, symbols, photographs etc (if the stimulus is
in French, students cannot be rewarded for language lifted from the
- Students have three days in which to prepare for the spoken
- Three spoken interactions must be recorded for each student.
The final one of these must be recorded in a window of time
specified by the awarding body. It is recommended that five are
conducted and the best three are selected from these. Planning will
need to be made in advance as to how these recordings are going to
be achieved at suitable points throughout the course. The support
of senior management is essential for this process to be successful
as time will need to be allocated.
- All three interactions must be marked by the teacher in line
with the assessment criteria. Teachers should fully familiarise
themselves with the assessment criteria well in advance and if
possible attend training on the conduct and marking of the speaking
- The marks for all candidates for their three best interactions
must be submitted to the awarding body
- Recordings of candidates selected by the awarding body must be
sent to the moderator along with the stimulus material used for the
Recording the presentation
In the formally
assessed presentation conducted in the assessment window, students
will not be allowed access to a script although they will be able
to refer to a printout of key bullet points or a 'spider diagram'
(no larger than an A5 piece of paper and containing no more than 30
words). It is important to note that the content of the
presentation should be different to any written coursework.
Most schools record the presentation on the same occasion as the
spoken interaction. It will be necessary to plan appropriate oral
examination time slots to enable the students to carry out the
prepared spoken interaction and the presentation. The presentation
should last 1-2 minutes with 1-2 minutes of follow-up questions.
Therefore the slot required for each candidate including conduct of
the spoken interaction would be around 10 minutes.
The Applied GCSE French microsite
examinations officer will know how to gain access to the Applied
French GCSE microsite and on this site you will be able to obtain
valuable information on the conduct of the examination and how to
enter marks online.
Document for exams
officers on secure online content (pdf 45 KB)
Document for teachers
on secure online content (pdf 44 KB)