Languages at Northbourne Park

We are passionate about learning languages at Northbourne Park! Language learning is one of the many strengths of the school and Senior Schools invariably comment on the standard of French and Spanish of Northbourne Park pupils. Indeed many then follow an accelerated programme, taking GCSE languages a year, or even two years, early. For many years we have had close links with families and schools in France and Spain and welcome many bilingual children into the school.

Children learn French from the day that they start with us in the Nursery and learn Spanish from Year 5 (10 years old). Both bilingual and native speakers teach languages.

For our youngest language learners in the Pre-Prep, learning French is all about songs, games, rhymes, stories and activities. They develop a familiarity and ease with hearing and speaking French very quickly indeed. French is fun and is part of everyday life!

As the children progress into the Prep School, written French also becomes important although communication and enjoyment always remains at the heart of language learning. Year 6 children take part in a school exchange programme spending a few days in Lille experiencing life in France and staying with a French family. Later in the year they invite their pen-friend back to stay for a few days in Kent. This all helps to develop the children’s confidence with spoken French.

We also have two year groups of French and Spanish children who join us as part of our Classes Françaises. Much of the chatter in the corridors is in a multitude of languages and the children all get to share experiences of life in England as well as France and Spain.