In an ever more international and globalised world, we believe that it is vitally important that we value language learning and inspire our children with the opportunity to learn new languages and about different cultures. After all, today’s children will be the workforce of tomorrow and, with technological developments, they will undoubtedly need to work and collaborate with colleagues in other countries, making an international perspective even more important.  

It is therefore the our aim to make pupils “language curious” - at this young age, they do not know which languages they will need in the future so, by offering the pupils the opportunity to learn different languages throughout their time at All Hallows, we hope that pupils will develop vitally important language acquisition skills which will make learning whatever language they choose to pursue in the future that little bit easier.

our aim is to make pupils 'language curious' ... and develop vitally important language acquisition skills

At All Hallows, pupils learn French and Spanish from Reception through to Year 8, culminating in them taking the Common Entrance exam in both subjects in their final year. French and Spanish are the most commonly-offered languages in senior schools and we are confident that pupils leaving All Hallows will be more than ready to meet the challenges that learning languages from Year 9 onwards brings.

In addition to learning French and Spanish, pupils have the opportunity, should they choose, to develop their language acquisitions skills by learning Latin in Years 7 and 8. Again, pupils will be able to take the Common Entrance exam in Latin in their final year.

'Language of the Term' - a challenge developing higher level thinking skills

The “Language of the Term” programme is an exciting new development at All Hallows School. For a fortnight each term, the teaching of French and Spanish is suspended and pupils in all years learn a completely new and different language from anywhere in the world. Pupils love the challenge that learning a brand-new language brings. Often the language has no relation to the European languages they have been learning and could involve learning about a completely different writing system. Meeting these challenges through perseverance, spotting patterns and problem solving develops higher-level thinking skills which, again, develop language acquisition skills and which, in turn, can be hugely beneficial across all areas of the curriculum.

To enhance the “Language of the Term” experience, we aim to bring native speakers of the language into school and, whatever language we learn, we can of course connect with people worldwide and use the plethora of resources at our disposal online. Pupils also learn about the culture of the region or country where their newly-acquired language is spoken. Furthermore, on one day during the fortnight, the school canteen will offer food from a country where the “Language of the Term” is spoken and pupils practise asking for the food in their new language. The fact that the whole school takes part in Language of the Term brings a community feel to the campus. Outside of lesson time, it is lovely to hear pupils across all age groups practising their new language with each other.

Learning from our colleagues...

One of the Language Department’s main aims is to allow pupils to profit from probably the most amazing resource at their disposal: other pupils! All Hallows welcomes pupils from all over the world. Our Spanish and French boarders are invaluable and help our pupils with pronunciation, role-plays and general conversation. Pupils whose mother tongue is neither French nor Spanish, will be politely asked if they could run a weekly club and we would, in any case, aim to choose that language to be one of our “Languages of the Term”.

Keeping it fun to maximise engagement

The Language Department aims to promote creativity and enjoyment throughout the language learning journey. Pupils play games, take part in role-plays and learn songs in lessons. Outside of lessons, pupils have the opportunity to perform foreign language songs in concerts and there is also the new annual Eurovision Song Contest event in which pupils perform and judge songs in different European languages. We also give our Year 8 pupils and international boarders the chance to run beginners evening classes for All Hallows parents.

Optional trips to France and Spain

Finally, in alternate years, All Hallows runs trips to language immersion centres in France and Spain. At these centres, pupils live and breathe the language while taking part in outward bound, creative and culinary activities and also have the chance to visit local areas of interest and go shopping on market day.

In summary...

Overall, we feel that by allowing the pupils to access a wide range of languages in a variety of ways will stimulate a love for language learning and curiosity for the world around them.