Head of department: Mike Westcombe
We believe that communication in a foreign language is an active process, and we encourage every child to participate in class, and appreciate the value of learning a foreign language in a fun and stimulating environment. Equal emphasis is placed on the four attainment targets of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing, which are eventually tested at Common Entrance or Scholarship level. We expect children to both enjoy and be successful in their language studies, which will provide them with an excellent opportunity to apply their knowledge in a practical way in the future.
Interactive whiteboards, satellite television with Sky+, our ICT facilities, and the use the latest technology with an impressive range of resources, has placed Windlesham’s Languages Department as a “flagship” in Prep School languages teaching.
Area INSET days for prep schools in the use of ICT in language teaching are regularly set up at Windlesham and led by some of the country’s top language experts. The Department has an enviable record of achievement in examinations, with experienced and highly qualified staff including several native language speakers. The Department is a “bain linguistic” where one is immersed in a different culture, surrounded by posters, artifacts and examples of children’s work. French plays are both enacted by children and offered by touring theatre companies in the Malden Family Theatre. All children in Year 6 spend one week in France during the Autumn Term. All children in Year 7 will prepare projects which they will present during our French Culture Week and Repas Bilingues are organised each term for our bi-lingual students, where only French is spoken. As an integral part of the curriculum we offer Spanish taster lessons to children in Years 5 & 6. Currently we also arrange additional language tuition in Mandarin, German, Norwegian and Russian.
We expect high standards from our children, and we have an exceptional record in both Common Entrance exam results, with French regularly being the leading department. We work closely with the Learning Support Department, and provide support and extra lessons for those who find the language more challenging, but we also provide the opportunity for the talented pupils to excel and rise to the challenges set by the very top academic senior schools.
Our annual trip to France to the Château de la Baudonnière in Normandy is one of the highlights for Windlesham children. Communication with the French staff is entirely in the target language. The children enjoy a wide range of activities in the lovely grounds of the Château. Visits to a local market, and to Mont St Michel are also organised.
French Trip Article (26.5 KiB, 56 hits)