Celebrating Languages

Back in August, 17 of our students gained additional language qualifications after taking their respective exams – among which this year included Polish, German, Italian and even Japanese! The students had to study for the additional GCSE or A Level qualifications outside of their normal curriculum time so this was a tremendous achievement for them all. Mr Burton invited them and the Modern Foreign Languages department along for a lunchtime celebration event and commend the group for all their efforts.

Every year, Mr Bass (Head of Modern Foreign Languages) sends out a letter to students explaining what the school can offer in support of gaining additional language qualifications and find out if there is any interest. In recent years the response has been huge and this year was no exception. The majority of the students’ study towards the qualification occurs outside of school and the curriculum timetable, but the school does offer a lot of mentoring and support towards achieving their goal.

Speaking during the lunchtime event, Emily shared her experiences from learning Japanese which started in year 10. Despite taking French for GCSE, she always had a natural interest in the language and the country so decided to take it as a subject for her A Levels. Michael, who took Polish for GCSE, has been thinking of taking it for A Level and has come a very long way from having very little fluency in English to today – he feels this qualification has given him a lot more confidence.

Mr Burton asked the group to give a small quote of inspiration and advice to those that want to, or are considering, learning a language and gaining their additional qualification – but to say it in the language they have studied. Nina, in Italian, said: “It will give you more opportunities in the future.” Michael, in Polish, said: “Don’t give up and do what you love.” Linda, in German, said: “It’s good to learn languages so you can travel the world with confidence.” Emily, in Japanese, said: “It can be difficult but it’s extremely fun. Good luck!”

Thanking the group, Mr Burton concluded the event by saying “We are all incredibly proud and you shouldn’t feel shy about your achievement. The languages you have chosen and the ages you have learnt them at is truly remarkable. A big well done!”

Over the past six years, we have supported the study of over 20 different languages including: Portuguese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Arabic, Latin and many more. We regularly receive support from other schools and outside agencies for the oral components to make this all possible. If there’s a language a student wants to learn, we will do all we can to make it happen if the exam is there.