Languages are part of the cultural richness of our society and the world in which we live and work. Learning languages contributes to mutual understanding, helps us to acquire a sense of global citizenship and helps the student in their personal development. By acquiring languages students learn to appreciate their own culture and other cultures, people and customs of different countries. Understanding and communicating in another language is a skill for life in a world which is increasingly globalised and in which communication skills are of vital importance.
Learning languages also gives pupils the opportunity to improve their ability to listen, speak, read and write and express themselves with greater confidence, independence and creativity. They explore the similarities and differences between other languages and the Castilian language and learn how it can be manipulated and applied in different ways. The development of communication skills together with an understanding of language structures provide the basis for future studies of language and support the development of reading skills in the native language of students.
The National curriculum in English develops the subject through the areas of speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling and handwriting. Children are constantly exposed to good quality books, stories and poems. They also have the opportunity to take part in International exams such Cambridge KET, PET and IGCSE as well as the IB Diploma.
Throughout both primary and secondary school our students have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of BSP English speaking activities with other schools in Lima and Peru. These include spelling bees, debates, drama and short story writing.
The English national literacy strategy forms the basis for much of the English taught in the junior school. It provides a systematic approach to the teaching of reading and writing, drama and speaking and listening.
In the foundation stage and key stage 1 children develop their ability to tell stories and express themselves through structured play. The young reader is given a rich and stimulating selection of reading material to share with the teacher and others. Children have opportunities to write in different forms and for different purposes. These include stories, letters, lists, captions and diaries and the celebration of the written word is found in classroom displays.
The approach at key stage 2 extends the spoken and listening skills of children by their involvement in group and individual presentations and discussions. The range of reading available is progressively wider and includes more challenging material such as autobiographies, letters, aspects of mass media and literature from outside the child’s immediate experience.
The good practice of using the resource centre is extended throughout the primary school as the children become independent readers and researchers.
Secondary school students make extended contributions to group or class discussions and also improvise roles from stories and poems. At IGCSE level they express opinions with increasing sophistication. Topics for discussion vary widely and involve the development of argument and evidence. Activities include formal debate and speaking to a range of audiences.
Reading materials for secondary age students are increasingly diverse and include character descriptions, film scripts and reviews. Students write in a variety of styles for different audiences and purposes. This includes more developed critical and imaginative responses to literature including letter writing, scripts, reports, stories and analysis. Presentation skills, including the use of computer applications, are given a high priority.
The IB language and Literature course exposes the students to a wide range of world literature and requires skills of critical analysis and in-depth understanding of themes, characters and styles. The Language B course focuses more on developing reading, writing and communication skills, using the language in context.
French is taught as from grade 5 until grade 7. After grade 7 French is offered as an option until grade 9 after which students may continue with IB French.
Throughout these years, the students are prepared for and given the opportunity to take national and international exams in collaboration with the Alliance Française. In grade 5, students take the CAF1 exam which is a national exam. In grade 6 they take the DELF Prim A1 and in grade 8 the DELF Junior A2, both International exams which do not expire and are recognised worldwide.
St George’s is part of the Red de excelencia de la Alianza Francesa, which means we work in close collaboration with this institution which makes sure students are offered high quality teaching through regular teacher training workshops and conferences.