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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.


The Department runs an engaging  programme of events including trips and exchanges abroad, day visits, theatre visits and competitions.

Years 7 to 9

German and Spanish are taught as tasters in Year 7 and as an option in Years 8 and 9.  Boys are encouraged to converse in the language from an early stage, covering topics such as holidays, family, personal identification and free time/hobbies.  Attention is given to pronunciation and literacy and writing skills.  About 100 boys go on to study the subjects at GCSE level with about 30 proceeding to A Level in Spanish and 15 in German.  Trips are arranged in Year 10.  There will be homework set on two evenings each week.  The use of ICT both in class and at home is encouraged.

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.

A Level

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 and discussion on independent research project.