Modern Languages

Head of Department: Andrew Searson


Christopher Filbey, William Flint Cahan, Carl Igolen-Robinson, Claire White, Simon Pinder, Georgina Rowe, Alexandra Smith (Head of Spanish), Charlotte Blake (Head of French), Claudia Schmitz (German IB), Jutta Mueller-Leighton (part-time), Francesca Micheli (Italian assistant), Hélène Pavan (French assistant), Angela Suarez (Spanish assistant) and Bobb Brown (part-time).

Everyone speaks English, don't they? Really? Not in our experience. Whether it's as a tourist or as a business person trying to persuade a reluctant buyer, if you can speak your host's language, surely you stand a better chance of success?

On a deeper level, we should try to speak their language in the other sense: we should try to find out how they tick, the way they think, the way they feel. Brushing against their culture, their history, their heritage, their traditions, their society at a relatively early age is a great preparation. If we could all communicate with each other, we might just end up understanding one another. Not a bad goal in days like these, is it? So, language is a means to an end - buy that meal, close that deal - and much more besides. It is a key to understanding others and, thanks to that, we just might get a glimpse of understanding of ourselves.

There are 10 full-time and four part-time members of the Modern Languages Department at Haileybury. We also have three language assistants (French, Italian and Spanish).

The Modern Languages Department is housed in a state-of-art, purpose-built Modern Languages Centre at the eastern end of campus. It contains brand new classrooms and oral suites, as well as state-of-the-art language learning software (Sony Virtuoso) and hardware (promethean boards in every classroom).

French and Spanish are the principal languages taught at Haileybury, with most pupils studying one, the other or both to GCSE. Some of our pupils continue languages beyond GCSE, following the A Level or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme path. Italian, as well as Spanish, is a beginner's option in Removes. These pupils also have the option to continue studying Italian or Spanish at A Level or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme level. We also offer German for native speakers.

Mandarin is also taught in small numbers and off the curriculum.

The Modern Languages Department offers:

There are cultural societies for French ("Procope"), Spanish and Italian ("i cirnechi"). Each subject society meets once a term. Pupils are given the opportunity to cook and sample delicious dishes and are encouraged to attend the varied range of presentations given by staff and pupils.

"Language is a means to an end - and much more besides."



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