At Warminster School we aim to promote a language-learning culture; to instil a love of language learning in pupils which will inspire many to go on to pursue their languages at tertiary level, and to furnish all with the linguistic and cultural basis to forge their way in an increasingly multi-cultural and competitive work environment. We also aim to foster in pupils those skills inherent in learning a foreign language, which will benefit them throughout their education and in their working life beyond school. It has been established that language learning enhances a wide range of analytical, interpretive, and critical skills, which pupils will require for a wide range of career choices in later life. As such pupils who have a foreign language to offer employers are considered very favourably.
Despite the well-established and documented need for modern foreign language skills throughout the UK economy, the national trend shows a marked decrease in the teaching of modern languages (there has been a decline in Modern Foreign Language GCSE entries over the last decade from 78% in 2001 to 48% in summer 2015). However, at Warminster School, we embrace fully the concept that, wherever possible, all pupils should have the opportunity to study a modern foreign language. Having studied French all the way through the Prep School from Reception, pupils continue to study this as their main foreign language in Year 7. However, they are also given taster sessions in Spanish and German in Year 7 before deciding which of these languages to study in Year 8. The only exceptions being those pupils who require support in other areas of the curriculum, which does not allow time for foreign language study. All pupils continue to study one modern foreign language to GCSE, with approximately 10% of pupils each year taking two languages to GCSE level. Thereafter, pupils have the opportunity to continue their language learning into the Sixth Form, either pursuing the A Level or International Baccalaureate pathway.
The Modern Foreign Languages Department has recently undergone some extensive developments and is housed exclusively within the School House building, providing integrated classroom accommodation, together with an enlarged departmental resources and preparation room. Recently refurbished on the exterior and interior, School House is the oldest building in the School and the site of the original Lord Weymouth School. Investment over the past few years has equipped the Department with the latest interactive whiteboards and wifi connection. A Skype laboratory has recently been installed to aid communication with our partner schools in Cognac, France and Zaragoza, Spain. Plans for further expansion within School House, attest to the strong commitment to languages within the School.
We follow the Edexcel syllabus for IGCSE and the AQA A Level for French and Spanish. For IB subjects we follow the current programmes set by the International Baccalaureate.
- French and Spanish Exchange Programmes with Cognac and Zaragoza
- Language immersion trips
- External Langauge speaking competitions
- External language music video competitions
- Cultural day trips
- Visiting theatre performances
- Pupil-run language clubs in the Prep School
- German culture club
- Spanish and French film clubs
- Foreign language poetry challenge
- Vocabulary Bees
- Foreign language reading challenge
- CAS opportunities for language teaching
- Visiting speakers to promote languages
- Food tasting
- 'This is Language' vocabulary challenge
- Foreign film cinema trips