The ability to communicate in another language will be a key factor for success in the career market of the 21st Century.
We are passionate about giving our students an insight into and an appreciation of the cultures of the countries where their chosen languages are spoken as well as building solid foundations for them to speak and understand these languages.
All students in the First Form (Year 7) study three modern languages, choosing between French, Spanish, German, Mandarin and Latin. One or both of these languages are then carried on into Second Form. One or two languages may then be taken through to GCSEs (IGCSE). All three European languages are offered at A Levels (AQA French, German and Spanish). Italian and Mandarin can be available at different levels depending on numbers and timetable. An Introduction to other languages and cultures are also offered (Japanese for instance). We have a weekly Junior Culture Club with an enviable attendance, a weekly French Lunch and Spanish chat, and we enter students for a variety of Language-related competitions including the French Spelling Bee, the Stephen Spender Poetry Translation Competition and University essay competitions. Examination results over recent years have been excellent, with the majority of A Level students gaining A*s and As and many continuing with a language at university, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Language teaching is carried out for the most part in the target language in all years. Students from Third Form to Upper Sixth Form have regular sessions with our Foreign Language Assistants. There are internal written examinations, aural tests and oral tests on a regular basis.
We see visits abroad as an extension of our classroom work. These visits are arranged for many year groups, whether as work experience, homestays, cultural visits or exchanges. Yearly visits to Spain include a Fourth Form exchange and a Second Form visit to southern Spain; visits to Germany include Berlin and an exchange in Aachen, while visits to France include a Fourth Form exchange with a school near Lille, a First Form residential trip to northern France and where possible a Second Form day trip to our partner school near Lille, combined with letter exchanges throughout the year. Sixth Form students are encouraged to take part in work experience and / or study trips abroad.
Course Summaries and Specifications
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