26 May 2016

Languages thrive at Sevenoaks!

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Recent press and education reports have highlighted that Modern Languages are declining in some schools. At Sevenoaks we certainly haven’t seen that. Language learning is thriving, and we have increased the number of language options available to our students in recent years.  In addition, the nature of the IB qualification is such that a language is compulsory, and all our students therefore study a foreign language until the age of 18.

Our main languages studied are French, German, Mandarin, Russian and Spanish and these are taught in huge numbers – before the Sixth Form there are currently 440 pupils studying French, 112 studying German, 70 studying Mandarin, 75 studying Russian and 396 studying Spanish.

We have recently introduced wider choice, and provision for those with a bilingual or near bilingual grasp of French who wish to explore French culture more deeply than is usually possible.

If there is another language a group of students wish to study, we will do our best to provide tuition – in recent years this has included the introduction of Dutch, Hindi, Italian and Polish provision.

All study at least one language, many study two and some choose three up to year 11 – the International nature of the school and the families of the children means that everyone understand the importance of language learning. Over a third of our students study at least two foreign languages.

This importance is emphasised further in the Sixth Form – as well as English Literature & Language – compulsory for all, students choose at least one Language to take up to IB standard. These courses range from ab initio courses aimed at students with no prior experience of the language through to Language A courses which expect speaking, grammar and literature standards effectively to be at University level.

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