Controlled Assessments

Students at KS4 complete two controlled assessments in writing and two controlled assessments in speaking.  Each controlled assessment accounts for 15% of the final GCSE grade in French.

Details of the topic titles are listed in the KS4 pages.  The controlled assessment ‘windows’ are listed in the school calendar on the school website.

Common Assessments

KS 4

Year 10

Week beginning 30/11/15         

CA 1 writing Education

Week beginning 09/05/16

CA 1 Speaking Media

Year 11

Week beginning 09/11/15

CA 2 writing Holiday

Week beginning 22/02/16

CA 2 speaking Myself


We use AQA GCSE Languages Exam Specifications

Click here for further details:

Here are details of how controlled assessments work, which we share with students.  This explains the ‘window’ in which students have preparation time for their assessment.  It is at the end of this time that students complete their assessment in a single sitting (60 minutes for writing and 4-6 minutes for speaking).

Click here student aqa overview

Here are the success criteria for each skill examined in controlled assessment.

aqa writing assessment criteria

aqa speaking assessment criteria

The writing assessments are externally assessed by AQA and the speaking assessments are internally marked by teachers and ‘moderated’ or ‘checked’ by AQA.

Here is advice we give parents on helping their child prepare for controlled assessments in speaking:

What Technical Help Can Parents Give?

Very little.  The work should be the students’ own.  Their drafts are at school.

Parents should just help students to revise.

If students are constantly stumbling on parts of what they would like to say: cut them.

Parents should not encourage students to research new material.

Parents should encourage students to revise what they feel comfortable with.

Parents could record students and make them listen to and evaluate themselves.

Parents should ask students, ‘What does that mean?’

Google translate can help here, only with a foreign language into English.

Students should be sure of what they’re saying.  If not, they should keep it simple.

Google translate will offer pronunciation of words and phrases: parents can help!

If your child is absent or entitled to extra time during preparation, this is taken into account.


The advice for controlled assessment in writing is very similar – parents can’t do the test for their children, but they can test their children and offer them time and space to revise as well as trying to motivate them and praising effort!  Saying the language students plan to write in their exam is useful, but writing practice on topics and subtopics is useful.

Any help you can give your child is better than no help.