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Modern Foreign Languages Department

Mrs J Jackson, Head of Department

Modern Foreign Languages play an important part within the curriculum at Thorpe House, encouraging an understanding of different cultures and traditions as well as promoting life-long language learning skills.

‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.’

Nelson Mandela

In a world that has become increasingly competitive and international, studying a very widely spoken foreign language such as French or Spanish can make a huge difference to our boys’ future life opportunities.

At Thorpe House we offer boys the opportunity to study French and Spanish beginning in Year 1, ensuring that they develop the appropriate skills at this early and all-important stage.  By the time they reach Year 3, boys take part in an exciting initiative learning Spanish through football as part of a program offered by the Arsenal Double Club Languages scheme. Learning French and Spanish so early on in their studies allows students to see the connections between the different romance languages, identify patterns which are similar in English, exploring basic etymology and developing learning skills proven to support their learning throughout the curriculum. Many boys decide to continue their language study and opt to take GCSE French and/ or Spanish.

We are fortunate at Thorpe House to offer the boys multi-media facilities so they can practise their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. All our classrooms are equipped with interactive Smart Boards and there are a whole range of resources at our disposal for promoting effective teaching and learning. Our small class sizes mean that students receive much greater individual attention from teachers and have far greater and more frequent exposure to their target language.

Communicating with the target language countries is taken seriously as this is an important part of any language student’s experience. We have recently established a pen-pal exchange for our Year 8 boys linking with an independent school in Spain, Escola Garbi in Barcelona. The exchange has proven an enjoyable, educational and informative experience for both schools and is done online. We are also looking forward to opening a similar pen-pal exchange with a French primary school in Saint-Malo for Years 5 – 6 in September. Regular French and Spanish trips provide Senior boys with fantastic opportunities to improve their spoken Spanish and French.

Contact Thorpe House School

If you would like more information about the school, would like a prospectus or would like to arrange a visit, please contact Mrs Tyler, our registrar using the form below.

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