The Modern Languages department is one the largest and most successful in the country with over 30 members of staff teaching a wide range of languages.

French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish are all offered from Year 8 onwards, whilst Hindi, Italian, Dutch and many other languages are taught either in the Sixth Form or outside of the timetable. We are passionate about fostering in our students a love for language and culture, and offer a fantastic array of trips, exchanges and co-curricular activities to supplement what goes on in the classroom.

One of the largest and most successful Modern Languages departments in the country.

Sevenoaks pupils are offered an unprecedented range of languages, and are given a considerable degree of choice to adapt their language combinations to their own interests and needs. Bilingual French pupils are taught separately to develop their mother tongue, and native speakers in other languages are offered support throughout the school.

Year 7 to Year 9

Year 7 pupils choose between French and Spanish as their first Modern Language. In Year 8 and Year 9 they pick a second Modern Language from a choice of French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish.

Years 10 and 11

All Year 10 and 11 students study at least one of their Modern Languages to (I)GCSE, while most choose to continue with two. Much use is made of the target language and activities are varied and fun, whilst still ensuring that the basic grammar and structures of the language are clearly understood.

Sixth Form

All pupils study a Classical or Modern Foreign Language as part of the IB, either at Higher or Standard Level. French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish are all offered, while some students pursue languages such as Hindi or Swedish on a private basis. Subject to availability, native speakers are given the option to study for the Language and Literature course in their mother tongue; this course leads to the achievement of a Bilingual Diploma. In addition, Ab Initio courses are available to beginners in Spanish, Italian and Mandarin. All Sixth Form students are supported by a large team of native foreign language assistants who hold weekly classes for small groups of IB pupils as well as working on oral skills with younger pupils.

Outside the classroom

The Modern Languages department is committed to giving our pupils a real insight into the culture and institutions of a foreign country. We believe this to be an essential complement to a rigorous instruction of the language itself. We organise an extensive range of study trips and exchanges to France, Belgium, China, Germany, Italy, Russia and Spain, while cultural events are regularly organised, such as visits to art exhibitions or dance shows, or to hear distinguished academics speak on literary or cultural topics. Major musical and theatrical productions in French, German and Spanish are staged at the school, either by visiting companies or by Sevenoaks pupils.

Pupils at Sevenoaks enjoy debating in a foreign language, and our debating pairs have won numerous national debating titles in both French and Spanish.

Head of Modern Languages: Miss Catherine