Modern Languages at Sir Thomas Rich's School

Languages Studied: Overview, French, German, Spanish, GCSE Italian

The Languages department is a strong and active department within the School. It has a modern suite of language rooms with a high tech computer suite equipped with the latest technological support for language learning. The facilities are enjoyed not only by our pupils but also by the community in the evenings and at weekends.

French, German and Spanish are offered at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 and all pupils study two languages at Key Stage 3. Our pupils benefit from the employment of three language assistants who work mainly with Sixth Form pupils, often on an individual basis. In year 12 pupils also have the opportunity to study Italian to GCSE.

The Languages department offers a range of opportunities for pupils to spend time in the country of the language studied, from short trips at Key Stage 3 to exchange visits at Key Stages 4 and 5. For students of German a work experience placement in year 12 represents an exciting challenge. In addition there are cross-curricular visits abroad e.g. a Language and Geography trip to China, Language and Geography trip to Italy and Language and Geology trip to Spain.

Regular events to promote languages and enhance learning take place throughout the year. e.g. a House Languages competition, foreign language plays, talks on the importance of languages, lectures and career talks. We collaborate with the Routes into Languages team (a consortium of universities in the South West) which promotes language learning in schools and we regularly enter pupils for the regional speaking competition in which the School has enjoyed a number of successes. The department also enjoys links with GCHQ who offer important career guidance. Last year a group of year 9 pupils distinguished themselves by winning the GCHQ Language Challenge for schools. Instrumental in organising languages events are the year 9 Language Ambassadors.

The department values the work in the community carried out by pupils. Sixth form students visit the Children’s Centre at Gloucester hospital to teach the children foreign languages and the Language Ambassadors have linked with local Primary Schools to organise language activities for their pupils.