In a world where travel and working abroad is becoming more and more popular and accessible, the ability to talk to others in their own language has become more important. Therefore, the study of modern foreign languages forms a significant part of a Shirburnian's education and pupils are encouraged to take their studies beyond GCSE and A Level. Upon arrival at 13+ pupils have the opportunity to study one, two, or even three of French, German and Spanish, and in the Sixth Form, Italian and Russian are also on offer. Mandarin lessons are an optional extra (incurring an additional charge). Pupils who wish to enter untaught for examinations in their own language at GCSE and AS/A2 levels are also fully supported.
The Department, which has excellent multimedia resources, strives to deliver exciting and stimulating lessons. Pupils benefit from conversation classes with native speakers, subscription to authentic newspaper and radio material, and departmental trips (Strasbourg, Nice, Berlin, Madrid, Leon). While we ensure that the appropriate paper qualifications are collected along the way, we never lose sight of our primary objective: to enable students to express themselves effectively in a target language for their desired purpose, be it transactional, philosophical, ideological, diplomatic, emotional or even romantic!
Judy Thurman BA
Head of Modern Languages