'Nous parlons français!' ‘¡Se habla español!’
The Paragon is very much a school that looks out to the wider world and one of the ways we do this is through our study of modern languages. All children learn French from Pre-School onwards and the lessons are taught by a native French speaker. Pre-Prep classes have half an hour per week and Prep classes have an hour. As of September 2019, children in Years 5 and 6 will be introduced to Spanish and will receive a French/Spanish lesson on alternate weeks. In the early years the emphasis is on having fun and familiarising children with the new sounds through games, songs and stories while older children develop their speaking, writing, listening and reading skills.
To complement their learning of the language, the pupils also discover various aspects of the culture, geography and history of France, such as traditional playground games, Paris and the Eiffel Tower, Bastille Day, the French revolution and the role of La Résistance during World War 2.
In Year 6, the pupils take part in an exchange with a French school and get to meet their pen pals during a five-day trip to France. This is an ideal opportunity for them to get first-hand experience of the culture and language which they have been learning about throughout their education at The Paragon.
In Year 6, children benefit from the visit of a group of Spanish pupils from a private school near Madrid. Having two foreign languages helps them be prepared for secondary school but also gives them the potential to communicate with 600 million non English-speakers worldwide.