Young children have a natural curiosity and enthusiasm and the ability to pick up languages with relative ease so it is a good time to start teaching them about other cultures and their languages. Children in Key Stage 2 largely lack the self-consciousness of older pupils and so throw themselves into songs and role play with enthusiasm which make language learning exciting and great fun.
Children in Years 3-6 study French and Latin on a weekly basis.
Latin is a wonderful introduction to learning a language as it is so useful when learning modern languages and supports the children's English work. The investigation of word families and derivations undoubtedly enhance the children's spelling and comprehension of English. Latin is taught using the Minimus course, created by a teacher at Clifton High, Mrs Bell, and now widely used throughout the United Kingdom and further afield. It provides a highly entertaining introduction to the Latin language and the history of Ancient Rome.
French is the modern language taught throughout the Junior department. Many of the children are familiar with France and learning French prepares them well for language learning in secondary school. The emphasis is firmly on developing confidence in oral skills. Drama, pair work, mime, songs and games are used to enhance the Pilote syllabus supplemented by extra topics and materials from other courses including Éclair and Passe Partout.
Language teaching enthuses the children; they leave the Lower School confident in their ability to learn other languages and eager to embrace the opportunities to learn new languages that will come their way in secondary education.