About Modern Foreign Languages at Bede's

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One of your first impression of Bede's will likely be that we are an international school.

18% of our pupils come to us from abroad, and any visitor will overhear pupils speaking to one another in French, German, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese and Italian, amongst others. This serves as a daily reminder to our pupils of the importance of modern languages in today's increasingly globalised and inter-connected world.

It is essential for any aspiring professional to possess and master a set of linguistic foreign language skills - to add that human touch to communications in an inter-cultural context, which no software will ever be able to emulate, however sophisticated it might be.

Our successful department consists of enthusiastic staff, both native speakers and British nationals, whose aim it is to endow our young linguists with a passion for language learning.

French, Spanish, German and Mandarin are taught as part of the core curriculum and all First Year pupils are learning at least one of the above languages.

All Lower and Upper Fifth pupils then continue language study at IGCSE/GCSE level in at least one modern foreign language, and budding linguists furthermore acquire the advanced language skills in our AS and A2 classes, which will enable them to successfully complete the A Level course.

We also guide our Cantonese, Mandarin, Russian, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese speaking foreign pupils, who might want to add a native speaker qualification to their portfolio, towards taking the GCSE and A Level exams in their respective languages.

Our lessons focus on the communicative aspects of language in every-day situations, while at the same time they provide our learners with a sound grounding in grammar and lexis.

The building of confidence through interactive language learning activities is as vital as preparing our pupils well for their exams.

Moreover, we lay emphasis on cultural awareness by running cross-curricular and language immersion trips to Germany, France and Spain, by organising international film nights and theatre visits, international celebrations and taster days, well as by utilising the input of our resourceful foreign language assistant.

Language learning is more than a linguistic exercise - it constitutes a widening of one's horizon, an important step towards becoming an open-minded and tolerant human being.

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Pupil Stories

  • Max Mason, First Year

    Bede’s is a school for all types of people, and it helps you to see that you can be anyone and do anything.

    Max Mason, First Year Interviewed in 2016
  • Alice Potter, Upper Fifth

    My best experiences have been here. That's because I feel like I have a real stake in Bede's. It's really helped me grow.

    Alice Potter, Upper Fifth Interviewed in 2014
  • Ivan Friedman, First Year

    My teachers won't let me give up. They always challenge me and will help by giving me extra lessons one-to-one.

    Ivan Friedman, First Year Interviewed in 2012
More Pupil Stories

About Modern Foreign Languages at Bede's staff

When I joined Bede's I instantly felt that I had come to the right place: the linguistic and cultural diversity is so rich within the school community that pupils naturally develop an acute sense of alterity and tolerance.

Annie Bonheur, Teacher of French and Languages Coordinator

I aim to inspire every one of our students and support them to be the best they can be and feel confident participating fully in their lessons.

Veronique Ganivet, Resident Tutor in Dorter House and Teacher of French

I think learning new languages and about different cultures is amongst the most important things a person can do.

Eli Lopez, Teacher of Spanish and Crossways House Tutor

For me, there is nothing to rival the experience of seeing a non-native speaker developing the capacity to truly express themselves using a new language. The process is a joy to be part of.

Mary McKenna, Teacher of Spanish and EAL and Dorms House Tutor

I firmly believe that the building of confidence through interactive learning and a range of dynamic activities is as vital as preparing our students well for their exams.

Lionel Pianet, Deis Housemaster and Teacher of French

If I manage to impart values to my students, over and above obvious linguistic skills, then I may call myself a successful teacher.

Henrik Rohmer, Teacher of German and Dorter House Tutor

Witnessing students become passionate about a country as they delve into its language and culture and revel in their newfound ability to communicate is uniquely rewarding.

Andrew Walker, Teacher of French and Spanish