French and Spanish
In the Prep School, Years 4 and 5 follow a taster course in Spanish followed by a taster course in French in Year 6. All pupils in Year 7 take French (3 periods) and Spanish (2 periods). They also have a taster course (1 period) in Latin for the year. French and Spanish studies continue throughout Years 8 and 9. In Year 10 pupils can choose French or Spanish, or both, for GCSE. Both French and Spanish are offered at AS and A2 level. Pupils with a previous knowledge of German may be entered for German at GCSE or A level as appropriate.
There are many reasons for learning modern foreign languages, not least of which are that it is fun! We can talk to and understand our friends from France or Spain. We can understand the lyrics of songs, and know something of the sporting heroes from these countries. Language skills are extremely useful. We can help our parents to choose or arrange a holiday in France or Spain – and help to choose food and drink and things from shops!
Learning languages broadens our cultural horizons. It is essential to know something of how our neighbours in Europe think, how they are governed, something of their history, and who is important or famous either now or in the past. Languages are challenging: learning a foreign language shows something about you and your ability to work hard. It demonstrates that you have a good memory and that you can work both independently and with other people. Language qualifications are very worthwhile: employers look favourably on candidates with a language qualification. Having a language at GCSE level will strengthen your application to university, particularly in the arts subjects (including English and History) and in other areas where communication skills are important, such as medicine, law, teaching, business or being a vet.