We are an enthusiastic and successful department and we pride ourselves on our close links with France, Germany and Spain. There are currently 8 full time members of staff. The department is led by a Head of Languages, who is also Head of Spanish, a Head of French and a Head of German. All staff are able to teach two languages. Staff and students also enjoy the contribution made by our Language Assistants who are normally appointed on a yearly basis. We liaise closely with our Junior Department where currently Spanish is taught in Years 3, 4 & 5 and French in Year 6.
Students learn to communicate effectively in the foreign language, gain an awareness of how the language functions and an insight into the culture and civilisation of the country. Lessons are enjoyable and stimulating: the emphasis from the start is on creating an environment where students are encouraged to use the language as a natural means of communication.
All students study French & Spanish in Year 7. They may also begin German or Latin in Year 8 in addition to or as an alternative to one of the languages they have already studied. All students, therefore, study two languages until the end of Year 9 and some may do three. They may choose any combination from French, Spanish, German and Latin. They must then continue at least one of their MODERN languages up to GCSE (AQA). In practice, many students take two languages at GCSE and some will now have the possibility of doing three.
AS and A2 courses (AQA) are offered in French, German and Spanish.
The department has 6 specialist language rooms all equipped with CD/DVD players plus computer, IWB and Apple TV for use of ipad. A wide range of audio-visual material is used to supplement teaching. Students are encouraged to make full use of the support material available through the Library and suggested online resources some of which are linked to the digital course books which we use.
The Department is committed to the promotion of first-hand knowledge of languages, and runs two exchanges, both joint with the Boys’ Division for French & German. There is the possibility of a Spanish Homestay trip to Cádiz for sixth form students and a Middle School Spanish trip every two years. This year the German department will also be running a Year 8 Rhineland trip. Work experience abroad is also available to sixth form students. Other extra-curricular activities include attendance at lectures and conferences, language weekends and film evenings. Students are also offered the opportunity to take part in debating, film & poetry competitions. A variety of language clubs also serve to promote language learning outside lessons.
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