The linguistics programme at Surbiton develops a life-long ability to communicate and promotes the love of language. Children can learn much about English by learning about the structure of other languages.
Learning a language keeps the brain sharp and active and gives children a better understanding of how words are derived and the culture behind them.
Girls are taught Spanish from Reception, where they learn the language through stories, songs, games, action chants, art and counting. The emphasis is very much on developing personal confidence in the language and learning about the culture of the country. Girls regularly perform in Spanish at assemblies and productions – a carol sung in Spanish is always a favourite.
French is introduced in Year 3 and the girls enjoy reading and speaking familiar phrases and foster an awareness of cultural diversity. As the girls progress through the School, the focus is on complex linguistic structure. The girls explore French grammar and complete written exercises; new vocabulary is introduced and topic areas are extended. In Year 6, the girls enjoy practising their linguistic skills in France, where they visit the market in Le Touquet and order their camembert and croissant in French.
Mandarin is introduced in Year 4. Chinese is the fastest-growing language in the western world and gives the girls a competitive edge. This exciting addition to our languages programme is provided by specialist primary teachers from ‘Dragons in Europe’. The lessons are fun and interactive and cover all the basic fundamentals of Chinese language and culture.