French is studied throughout the Prep School from Years 3-8, and was introduced as part of the Year 1 and 2 curriculum very successfully several years ago. In the first few years it is taught in a variety of ways, using song, finger rhymes and lots of fun. As children move into the Prep department, most lessons are taught in the dedicated classroom which is equipped with an interactive whiteboard which complements an excellent range of resources. Although the emphasis is firmly on listening and speaking, children slowly develop their reading and writing skills too.
For newcomers to the school in Years 6-8 who may not have studied French before, extra support lessons are provided enabling them to catch up with their peers.
A highly successful French trip to Switzerland has been running for many years for Year 7 pupils and continues to take place during each summer term. The children receive three hours of French tuition in the mornings and in the afternoon there are planned visits to local attractions such as a chocolate factory near Evian, a visit to Lausanne, a high ropes adventure and a mountain walk in the Alps.
Learning to speak another language from an early age brings numerous benefits. Children are encouraged to explore the cultures of the French–speaking world and to make links between their native language and French.
For several years, Spanish has also been taught in Year 5. Children enjoy making links with French and English as well as conversing in Spanish and learning about the wonderful culture.