Languages at Garden House

 At Garden House, we consider the learning of languages to be a central and critical part of every child’s education. Learning further languages allows children to broaden their horizons, open their minds and, in due course, embrace a greater variety of opportunities. The learning of languages also offers children a new and challenging academic discipline and improves their understanding of their own language. As Goethe said, “Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.”

All children learn French from the age of 3 when they start in Kindergarten. From a strong oral start, based largely on song and conversation, the children develop their written skills in preparation for Senior Schools. We use a wide variety of resources from Linguascope to Languages-on-Line and follow the Rigolo and Allez schemes. In Year 6, the children go on a week-long trip to northern France which immerses them in French life and culture.

All the children in Year 4 have a ‘taster’ year of Spanish which enables them to appreciate the different language structures and gives them a chance to enjoy savouring the basics of another modern foreign language.

In addition, there are language clubs in the morning and after school, which are tailored to the appropriate levels. The languages offered depend on the demands of each year. French, Spanish and Mandarin are offered every year and others when there is sufficient demand.

The children start learning Latin in Year 3 (boys) and Year 4 (girls). They begin with an introduction to Roman Civilisation and, in particular, to life in England during Roman times. As the children mature, we introduce a more rigorous approach to the study of the language, ensuring the children grasp the mechanics of the grammar thoroughly. We teach them to apply these not only to the study of Latin but to appreciate how they are also relevant to their own and other modern languages. Thus, we aim to promote a passion for the Classics which they will carry with them onto the next stage of their education.