Modern Foreign Languages
At Newlands, we are very proud that all of our students have the opportunity to learn three languages (French, German and Spanish) with courage, commitment and compassion.
- French: spoken by more than 300 million people in francophone communities on five continents. It is the international language of cooking, fashion, international relations, the visual arts and architecture. It is the language of Victor Hugo, Edith Piaf, Marie Curie and Kylian Mbappe.
- German: the most widely-spoken native language in western Europe, spoken not only in Germany but also in Austria and Switzerland. It is the language of Nobel prize winners in physics, medicine, chemistry, literature and academia. Germany is an economic powerhouse and its language is prized by university admissions tutors.
- Spanish: spoken by almost 500 million people throughout Latin America but also in North America as well as, of course, Spain. It is the language of Cervantes, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Eva Peron and Shakira.
Languages are at the heart of our curriculum and, as above, all of our students have the opportunity to learn each of French, German and Spanish, right from the very beginning of their seven-year journey through Newlands Girls’ School. They are highly valued in our school culture as a means of communication. Qualifications will equip our young people for their future and we embrace the English baccalaureate. However, we aim to go beyond the curriculum by instilling a life-long love of languages and a verve for travel among our school body. We celebrate these core European languages alongside the many other languages spoken by pupils and their families outside school among our diverse local community.
Only 17% of the world’s population speaks English and of those people, only 5% are native speakers. With this in mind, our teachers and our directly-employed foreign language assistants are committed to ensuring that our pupils are ready to travel and work with confidence in a global and multilingual environment. We would like every pupil to be able to communicate with courage and without fear of making mistakes, always willing to show at least a degree of spontaneity.
In lessons in our self-contained languages building, we create and foster a learning environment in which children enjoy discovering languages and developing these same communication skills. For our syllabus, we choose topics such as school, local area, environment, hobbies and future plans which are of interest and relevance to a typical young person. These become a means to introduce and embed key vocabulary and to refine the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Our curriculum is thoughtfully sequenced to reinforce these pillars of language learning, while teaching grammar in a way which is accessible to students of all abilities. Whether it be how to use the three noun genders in Key Stage 3 German, how to use le passé composé at Key Stage 4 French or how to use the pluperfect subjunctive at Key Stage 5 Spanish, we want every student to fulfil their potential.
Through languages, pupils at Newlands nurture their curiosity as well as learning tolerance and resilience, stepping outside of their comfort zone. They also gain confidence in talking, listening and writing to others, becoming inter-cultural communicators. We truly believe that languages are the perfect way to emphasise multicultural awareness and understanding, in a world where we can be compassionate towards everyone, regardless of origin or mother tongue.
Courage - Commitment –– Compassion
Courage - Engagement – Compassion
Courage - Engagement –– Verständnis
Coraje - Dedicación - Compasion