Our languages department covers both modern and ancient languages. We believe ancient languages give a foundation to the modern language and we often find our girls embrace languages through to university and beyond.
In an increasingly globalized world, learning at least one other modern language is an important life skill. Another language increases cultural understanding, gives a competitive edge in the jobs market and makes foreign travel so much more rewarding. That is why languages feature large in our curriculum: all girls choose at least one modern language (French or Spanish) to study at GCSE and we have excellent A level provision for linguists.
Ancient Languages thrive too: Latin is core in Years 7 and 8 and is offered right through to A level. Apart from its inherent intellectual challenge, learning Latin gives an excellent foundation for studying all European languages, even if a pupil decides not to take it beyond Year 8. Ancient Greek enters the scene as an extension subject in Year 8, which enables a GCSE in the subject and an A level for committed classicists.
Languages spring to life when they are tried out on visits to France and Spain or when reading inscriptions along Hadrian’s wall. Our French exchange programme develops pupils’ fluency even further and, through our partnership with Durham University, our pupils can practise conversing with volunteer foreign students.
No-one can remember a year in the last ten when there were not modern and ancient linguists from Durham High at the great universities.