Modern Languages

Mr M Koutsakis MA
Head of Modern Languages

“What’s the point in learning a language anyway? Everyone speaks English nowadays.”
Learning a language brings reward: it is revered by universities and employers alike and opens doors to employment and friendship. Whatever your linguistic ability, you will benefit from learning a modern language.

At Colfe’s you will:

  • learn communication and presentation skills;
  • be exposed to European and non-European cultures, customs and traditions;
  • cumulatively build your linguistic knowledge through our novel blend of modern grammar teaching and more traditional methods of learning vocabulary.

Pupils begin their linguistic studies in Year 7 by studying  French, German and Spanish in a carousel. After completing each language carousel, pupils can decide which languages they would like to continue studying in Year 8. GCSE, AS and A-level courses are offered in all three of these languages. A variety of extra-curricular languages, such as Japanese, Russian or Italian are offered as clubs.

All classes are conducted as much as possible in the foreign language and our French, German and Spanish assistants provide regular conversation practice for small groups of pupils. For Years 7-9 there is the European Film Club. Able pupils can gain internationally recognised certificates in French (DELF), German (Goethe-Zertifikat) and Spanish (DELE). At A-level students can take part in work experience programmes and help in the running of the extra-curricular programme offered for pupils at our Junior School.

We have a Stretch and Challenge group, who take part in exciting linguistic activities in and out of class and enter national competitions. We also have KS4 pupils liaising with French and German pen pals, sending and receiving videos.

The Modern Languages department has a dedicated IT computer room and a separate study room for Sixth Form students with computers. There are support clubs for pupils in Years 7-9 who need extra advice or help and GCSE revision clubs for pupils in Years 10-11. At A-level, students’ progress is tracked in each language and we run additional classes in response to their needs.

Whether it’s to be able to purchase gaufres from a stall holder at the Christmas Market in Lille or Aachen, to navigate a water-logged ditch with guidance from the surveillant at the Château de la Baudionnière, to take part in German classes in Bonn or dance salsa with a real Spaniard in Barcelona – what you have learnt in the classroom will help you in the world outside. And when it happens, it’s immensely satisfying! At A-level, too, after your first day’s immersion in the ‘World of Foreign Work’ – perhaps as a journalist’s assistant in Rouen – you may be weary but you will also be delighted with the mind-full of new and old language you have assimilated.

A-level course details:

Art & Photography

The Art & Photography department at Colfe’s is an exciting, creative space that values imagination and intuitive responses, group and individual work.

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The Classics Department provides three ways in to this ancient past. Latin is offered throughout the school for Years 7-13, Classical Greek is an option in Year 9 and off-timetable in Year 10, and Classical Civilisation is available at both GCSE and A-level.

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Computer Science

Computer Science and IT at Colfe’s allows you to learn the principles of information and computation thinking, understand how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through a range of programming languages.

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Design & Technology

Design & Technology at Colfe’s prepares pupils to take part in a rapidly changing world; learning to think creatively, become problem solvers and innovators, and design products to fulfil needs and wants not yet realised.

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Our aim is to help you learn how to express yourself, to explore your unique creativity and ultimately to become a confident performer.

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In Economics and Business the emphasis in the classroom is on developing analytical abilities, encouraging argument from different standpoints and critical examination of data.

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English teaching at Colfe’s is focused on developing pupils’ engagement with literature, introducing them to a range of writers and texts, and encouraging them to become independent, proficient readers.

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Eudaimonia at Colfe’s is the teaching of the activity of wellbeing. Broadly based on the virtue ethics of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, the word Eudaimonia itself is most commonly translated as ‘flourishing’ by practising virtuous behaviour and engaging with what it means to be human.

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Our planet is a dynamic, complex and beautiful place. As far as we know it is unique. Studying Geography can help you to understand it, but studying Geography at Colfe’s can help you thrive in it.

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The History syllabus at Colfe’s studies some of the most significant events and people in British and World History over the past 2,000 years and aims to inspire a passion for the past.

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Learning Support

Learning Support is based in the heart of the Senior School in a well-equipped classroom with computers, ipads, an interactive whiteboard and an abundance of learning resources and educational games.

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The Library is very much at the centre of the school, and is extremely busy at break and lunch times, and before and after the school day.

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Mathematics is the keystone to the modern technological world in which we live. It enables us to understand our physical environment through sophisticated modelling techniques and is the ultimate language of strategical reasoning.

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Media Studies

Media Studies is about understanding how our world is constructed and how we are encouraged to perceive it. If you understand how the media works, you understand how the world works.

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Modern Languages

Our carefully planned Modern Languages programmes of study will lead you to communicate in modern, real-life situations, using real contemporary language.

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The importance of studying music can’t be overstated; it enables pupils to build confidence through performance, nurture creativity through composition and develop critical enquiry through musical appraisal.

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Physical Education

Through the Physical Education and Sport programme, our pupils experience opportunities to develop skills, which enable them to make informed lifestyle choices in adulthood and a lifelong love of sport and physical activity.

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Religion & Philosophy

Giving pupils an opportunity to engage with the rich history of philosophical and theological thought contributes to their personal growth and ethical development.

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The Science facilities at Colfe's include nine dedicated laboratories with access to notebook computers, so that ICT skills can be used to complement learning.

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How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for Colfe's School. Our main entry points are at ages 3, 4, 11 and 16.