Modern Foreign Languages

From music to literature, from politics to history, Modern Languages engage the mind like no other discipline. At Alleyn’s, pupils embark on a journey that leads to a sophisticated understanding of a language (French, German and/or Spanish), its peoples and its cultures.

This journey begins in Year 7 where pupils discover the essence and power of language via an introduction to linguistics, and a carousel of French, German and Spanish, before they choose two languages to take forward into Year 8. From the outset, we aim to foster an appreciation of the nature of language that is rooted in the practical and the relevant, and explored through a wide range of activities, whether learning to debate, reading abridged literature, listening to authentic, contemporary media or writing in different and appropriate registers. As a department, we are proud of the variety of approach that we offer and that our pupils will have experienced all of this, and more, before they have taken their GCSEs.

Beyond GCSE, our students experience a truly holistic course through both the A level and Pre-U, covering so many rich and varied aspects of literature, film, current affairs and society at large. We instil a love of language that, over the years, has encouraged a large number of our students to continue their language learning at university and beyond.

We also believe wholeheartedly in meeting the needs of each learner, evidence for which you will find in every lesson. For the bilingual or even tri-lingual pupil, we offer an accelerated programme of study which enables these pupils to learn at an individual pace, with the opportunity to take the DELF, DELE or ZDAF examinations as appropriate.

Language learning should not be confined to the classroom and at Alleyn’s we provide an inspiring and ever-evolving enrichment programme to promote independent learning and thought. Annually, pupils might find themselves competing in a spelling bee, entering national competitions such as UKLO or participating in inter-school debates.

To complement our immersive approach in the classroom, we offer a whole host of study and cultural trips abroad. Theatre and cinema outings, alongside workshops and clubs in a range of different languages, ensure that pupils appreciate the vitality of language and communication in performance. Extension days, visiting speakers and external lectures offer key opportunities to engage intellectually with languages in exciting and different ways.

“With languages, you can move from one social situation to another. With languages, you are at home anywhere.”

- Edmund de Waal, artist and author