"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
All girls study both French and German throughout S7 to S9 (Years 7 to 9). By learning a language from each of the two main European language families they gain a greater depth and breadth of understanding about grammar and rules of language, which can also serve as a springboard to learning other languages in the future. Girls' linguistic horizons are also broadened through the Language Awareness course which they follow in S9, which uses a wide range of European and Non-European language examples, as well as code-breaking and language puzzles, to help them go deeper into the universal systems behind human languages.
All girls study at least one language to GCSE level, and we encourage girls to continue with both French and German if they would like to keep their options open later in life. We also currently offer a fast-track course in Spanish during after-school activity slots, which covers everything from beginner to GCSE in two years. We can also facilitate requests for girls to take exams in their native languages where English is not their first language. We provide small group conversation sessions with our native-speaker Language Assistants, as well as exam revision and support sessions at lunchtimes. S11 girls also have the opportunity to engage with younger pupils, for example in helping with the thriving Lower School French Club.
We have a strong track record of excellent A Level results, with girls regularly going to study languages at their chosen universities. One of our 2015 linguists gained a place at Cambridge to read French and Italian. College girls have individual conversation sessions each week with our native-speaker Language Assistants, boosting their confidence in speaking the target language, and improving their accent and fluency.
We firmly believe that speaking a foreign language is a practical skill to be used in real life: we want the girls to use their languages to speak to and understand people from different cultures and countries. Our study trips in S7 and S9 (Years 7 to 9), exchanges in S9 to S11 (Years 9 to 11), and cross-curricular trips in Sixth Form College, to both France and Germany, are very popular and play a vital role in allowing girls to do this.