an introduction to modern foreign languages

A brief overview from our Heads of Department

Spanish and French are currently the main languages offered in Senior School, with the opportunity to take one or both at GCSE and beyond to A Level. Teaching and learning addresses all aspects of reading, written and verbal communication, together with learning about the culture of the countries, through using a wide range of interactive teaching strategies, from lively practical applications in role play and language games, to use of e-learning resources; all classes are conducted in the target language and pupils benefit from exposure to native language speakers. Additional advanced language classes are often offered, according to demand, to native speakers/bi-lingual pupils whose skills are beyond those of their peers, with the opportunity to gain an additional early GCSE.


All pupils are encouraged to study at least one foreign language at GCSE level and many pupils choose to study two different languages. The GCSE courses are based on the linked language skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, and these are developed as learners progress through their studies. The syllabus also aims to offer insights into the culture and civilisation of countries where the language is spoken, encouraging positive attitudes towards language learning and towards speakers of foreign languages.

Trips & Events

Regular foreign trips are offered by the department to enrich pupils' language learning. We offer a bi-annual German exchange with a school in Hamburg, as well as residential visits to France and Spain and trips to the Christmas markets in Germany. In addition, our bi-annual Languages Week delivers a whole host of special events, ranging from taster sessions in new languages such as Russian and Japanese to plays, trips and visits. The French Breakfast, Spanish Restaurant and German Café are always popular events, as are our Foreign Language Film Nights.