At St Andrew's, all pupils learn three languages – French, German and Latin.
French is taught throughout the School, beginning in the Nursery, German is introduced in Year 7 and Latin is introduced in Year 5.
All lessons are taught by specialist language teachers. Every child is entered for the Common Entrance or a Scholarship exam in French and German at the age of 13.
For the very youngest children, the Modern Languages lessons are fifteen minutes long, with the emphasis very much on having fun. Games, songs and role-play form a large part of the curriculum at this stage.
The length of lessons increases gradually to one lesson of one hour per week in Year 3 onwards, and two lessons of one hour from Year 5 in French. There is one lesson per week of one hour in German in Year 7 and 8.
For French from Year 5 upwards, the ‘Studio’ courses are used, and for German from Year 7, we use the ‘Stimmt!’ courses. In this way a greater balance is achieved between the four language learning skills (Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing). Oral confidence is developed, whilst the importance of grammar and vocabulary is stressed.
A range of media is used, from the traditional textbook and exercise book, through interaction with the teacher and fellow pupils and listening to authentic material from native speakers, to online games and interactive exercises on the Smart Board. We regularly use online courses such as Linguascope and Languagenut to supplement our material.
All pupils in Year 7 spend five days at the end of June on a residential course in Normandy at the Château de la Baudonnière.
In Latin, the ‘Minimus’ course is used, as well as a wide range of other resources.
French and German are important world languages, each with approximately 100 million speakers in central Europe. Whether our pupils will use them for business or pleasure, it is our aim that they will leave St Andrew's enjoying communicating in other languages, and it is always rewarding to hear of their successes in languages at their senior schools and beyond.
ISI Report 2017 “The school meets fully its aim to ensure that the boys and girls leave the School with a zest for learning.”