Modern Languages

Recognising that in the modern global world we live in today, the ability to communicate across geographic and cultural boundaries is a huge advantage. Pupils' interest in, and enjoyment of, the country of study and its language is developed. They are engaged through the use of interesting and stimulating material exploring contemporary issues, dealing with topics on current affairs and developing positive attitudes to other languages and cultures.

By developing language skills, pupils benefit enormously from immersing themselves in many different aspects of the language and the country that they are studying. They are provided with first-hand experience by exchange trips, cultural visits and conferences. We encourage pupils to access all the resources available from newspapers and the internet, CDs and DVDs as well as the facilities of the language laboratory for real time role plays and interactive sessions. The cultural side of language is explored through numerous language clubs, foreign language films shows, external presenters, extension activities provided for the most able and cultural events, often based around food!

In the First, Second and Third Forms (Years 7, 8 and 9) all pupils have the opportunity to study French, Spanish and/or German.

All pupils study a modern language at GCSE/IGCSE level in the Fourth and Fifth Forms (Years 10 and 11) as part of the core curriculum. They are prepared for the everyday, authentic situations that may be encountered on a visit to the relevant country. The courses provides breadth, stretch and challenge and enable pupils to show what they know, understand and can do within a clearly defined list of topic areas such as free time, media, holidays, home life, environment and school. The four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing are tested by the examination.

At A Level French or Spanish, the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are further developed whilst building knowledge of the society and culture within the relevant country. Pupils progress linguistically, moving through the descriptive and narrative stage to a critical, evaluative, imaginative and creative use of language.

Modern languages combine well with any other subject, whether the language is the main subject or a supporting one. Mixed degrees with a language and Business Studies or Law, for instance, are popular and many universities offer a language with Science or Engineering degree courses. Specialist linguists can seek employment in a wide range of areas where no specific degree is required but have the additional asset that their linguistic skills will be a useful extra in certain careers, particularly in commerce and industry.