At Manor House School we recognise the importance of learning another language and firmly believe that doing so allows our girls to become global citizens. We also celebrate the exciting variety of languages many of our bilingual girls speak at home. Our Languages Department is very successful and we aim not only to provide enjoyment and to foster a love of languages but also to encourage independence of learning and develop a better understanding of the wider world.
The Languages Department offers French, German and Spanish. From Year 7 the girls study two modern foreign languages and can continue to do so through Key Stage 3. At GCSE, girls may opt for one or two languages. Many of our girls go on to study A level languages at their sixth form destinations.
In the modern languages classroom, target language is used consistently and reinforced through the teaching of classroom routines. The department is equipped with an excellent language laboratory and all language groups use this facility regularly to improve their confidence in spoken language.
German Gingerbread market trip for Years 7 and 8.
In December we are traditionally invited to Reeds School to join them for their Christmas Lebkuchen Markt. There is a collection and demonstration of traditional wooden Christmas toys and decorations, and we taste different types of Lebkuchen. There is a quiz, followed by a competition to make the best gingerbread house.
Weihnachtsmarkt Trip to Aachen for Years 9 and 10.
We make a trip to a German Weihnachtsmarkt every two years. Last Christmas we spent a long weekend in Aachen, which was a beautiful, traditional market in lovely surroundings. We stayed in a youth hostel and tried lots of German food. On the way home we stop off at the Ghent Christmas market.
Reed’s School and Manor House School – Iserlohn Exchange for Years 9 – 11
We have an exchange with the Märkisches Gymnasium in Iserlohn, near Düsseldorf – a joint venture with Reed’s School for whom this is a well-established link. Girls in Years 9 and 10 exchange emails and letters with their German partners, then we welcome the German group here at Manor House School and they visit us for a week during April or May. We return in October and all stay in German families, try German food, visit the German school and go on day trips. Iserlohn is an attractive market town in the hills of the Sauerland region. It is within easy visiting reach of Cologne, Munster, Berlin and the Rhine.
Year 7 Language Breakfasts
Each term Year 7 girls are invited to a breakfast at morning break. This is followed by Spanish and German breakfasts in the Spring and Summer terms.
Spanish, French and German Cookery weeks
As a joint venture with Mrs Tercan we organise cookery weeks during which girls research and then make a dish from France, Spain or Germany, using a recipe in the language of course. Last year, Year 9 girls made Apfelkuchen and Bica Gallega.
Films and Theatre
Girls in KS4 are invited in February to watch a performance of a German play. We also enjoy performances by the Onatti visiting Theatre Company. The actors are always native speakers, but the scripts are written so as to be accessible to schools. The plays are funny and engaging and generally require some audience participation!
Spanish Film Night at Manor House is a popular event. Beanbags and tapas make the occasion particularly relaxing after a hard day at school.
The Foreign Language Competition organised by City of London Freeman School is becoming a regular fixture. Girls write and perform their own play to suit the theme of the competition.