Modern Languages

Every girl has the opportunity of studying two languages (Spanish, French or Mandarin) from Year 7 to A Level.

Welcome to the Modern Languages Department. We aim to foster proficiency and accuracy and cover a wide range of complex structures. We also work hard on improving the accuracy of pronunciation and intonation. We recycle lots of high frequency language and make it automatic. By tasting this success early on and throughout, girls enjoy learning languages and about the culture where they are spoken.

Learning a foreign language enhances communication, a skill much prized in a wide range of careers, including medicine.

Our modern courses offer opportunities for practice in the four skills of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing.  Lessons are fast-paced and interactive. We are keen to ignite the girls’ intellectual curiosity outside the classroom. To that end, we offer numerous extra-curricular activities.

Every girl has the opportunity of studying two modern languages from Year 7 to A Level. Before joining in September, girls are given the choice of two languages from French, Spanish and Mandarin.

In Years 10 and 11 girls are encouraged to continue studying two languages to GCSE and there are five hour-long lessons per fortnight. Conversation classes with native speakers take place in Years 11, 12 and 13. For GCSE (French, Spanish and Mandarin), we are currently following the AQA GCSE (9-1) syllabus, the new AQA A Level syllabus and Edexcel Chinese.

We subscribe to a number of language websites which provide the girls with additional practice at school and at home. Each language room is equipped with audio-visual facilities and the Department is supported by interactive whiteboards.

Dr Charlotte Lee from Cambridge University gave a talk on Languages at NWC.



We are keen to promote languages outside of the classroom. To that end, we organise numerous extra-curricular activities; including:

  • Overseas trips
  • Theatre productions of foreign-language plays
  • Sixth Form work experience in France and Spain
  • Language Competitions
  • Visiting Theatre Company Productions
  • Our very own Languages Magazine entitled ‘Glowball’
  • External speakers e.g. GCHQ / University of Cambridge
  • Foreign film society
  • Salsa Club
  • Film workshops at the Institut Français and BFI
  • Cinema Evenings with local schools