The study of Modern Languages is flourishing at Hilden Grange and recently we have been able to expand our teaching to include Spanish in addition to French on the curriculum, which has proved very popular.
The emphasis on learning languages throughout the school is on communication, so that the pupils are able to hold a conversation, albeit at different levels, on the topics they study. As early as Reception, children are encouraged to use different languages for simple greetings and to answer the register. Both French and Spanish are introduced in Years 1 and 2 with games, songs and other fun activities. This theme continues into the Prep school where the focus continues to be on communication and confidence building. Pupils engage in role play, pair work and other practical activities so that vocabulary is built through structured topic settings based on everyday life, for example; family, friends, home, school, food, shopping.
From Year 5 onwards, written work becomes a more focal point of study. Grammar is taught rigorously and with adequate time spent to ensure thorough consolidation of each topic. The key skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are equally weighted in importance and assessment of progress, so that pupils are well prepared for entry to senior school.
Educational visits to France and Spain take place in the summer term for pupils in Years 7 and 8; venues include Provence and the South of France, Normandy and the D Day beaches and Barcelona. These cultural trips offer a wide range of cross-curricular learning opportunities, as well as the chance to speak the language, and they provide a lasting, happy memory for pupils of their time at Hilden Grange.