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The Modern Languages Department firmly believes that learning a language is a core life skill. High quality teaching and learning is enhanced with an international dimension that continuously contextualises students’ learning. All our students have the opportunity to experience other cultures and in this context fulfil their academic, social and personal potential. Pupils learn languages in a creative and stimulating environment in which they feel confident to take risks and succeed. 20-30 boys go on to study A-level French each year. 

Co-Curricular Enrichment 

The Department runs an engaging programme of events including trips and exchanges abroad in Years 9 to 12. The Department also has an evolving ‘Languages online’ package for students to practise their skills online at home.

Years 7 to 9

French is taught as a compulsory subject from Year 7-9, at which point boys can opt to continue to GCSE and also choose German and Spanish. Lessons are taught in the dedicated Languages building by language specialists.  Two homeworks are set per week in Years 7-11 and lessons emphasise good grammar, vocabulary learning, and the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the language.  Trips are arranged in Years 9 and 12.

We concentrate on grammar, vocabulary and linguistic competence. Topics covered include: Personal information and family; school; hobbies; technology, and the international world. We also include the cultural element and cultural affairs wherever possible to enable students to get to know the people and countries connected to each language.


The five themes are:

  • Identity and culture
  • Local area, holiday and travel
  • School
  • Future aspirations, study and work
  • International and global dimension.

All themes and topics are studied in the context of both the students’ home country and that of countries and communities where the language is spoken. Skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing, including translation will be tested.


Students are assessed through 3 papers:

  • Listening, Reading and Translation into English
  • Written Translation into the language and response to a literary text/film
  • Speaking -discussion of a theme and presentation & discussion on independent research project.