The Cotswold School has always placed great emphasis on language learning and indeed was a pioneer of “Languages for All” from its inception in 1988. Given our situation in the heart of the Cotswold tourist area it was not difficult to decide to bid for Language College status as many of our young people interact with foreign tourists on a regular basis through their part time jobs in cafes and shops.
We have been a Specialist Language College since September 2002. The funding from the government enabled us to promote the learning of languages, within a broad curriculum. We are delighted that Pulhams Coaches of Bourton-on-the-Water who are very actively involved in all our trips have agreed to be our official Language College sponsors.
We aim to constantly raise achievement in all our languages and across the school generally, introduce different languages to be learnt, use ICT to enhance learning, provide appropriate language opportunities for the community and increase international awareness for our pupils and staff. Our targets are challenging!
We take great pride in promoting our love of languages not only in lessons but through our displays, assemblies and special events. We are always happy to welcome visitors and regularly host pupils from a variety of countries – China, Argentina, Germany and France to name a few.
All Cotswold School pupils study French from Years 7 – 11 and the upper bands have the opportunity to do a second language in Years 8 & 9. Based on which half of the year they are in , second language pupils will do either Spanish or German. We regret that we cannot offer free choice because of timetable restraints and issues of staffing and equality across the two languages. However, we do take into account if there is a very strong reason for doing a particular language (eg property abroad/family abroad/bilingual child). Please let us know before the September entry if this is the case.
We have recently diversified our curriculum and are now offering Level 2 NVQ in Business French which is proving very popular with staff and pupils. At a time when many schools are dropping compulsory languages from Year 10 we are delighted that our second language numbers in Year 10 remain strong and we offer German and Spanish GCSE in the normal curriculum and Russian, Mandarin and Italian as twilight GCSEs. We have also recently taught at AS level Russian and Italian is now formal course on the 6th Form curriculum.
The languages departments have considerable ICT support and its own computer suite.
Further encouragement in languages comes with extra activities such as Languages at Work, inter-house Language Competition, events for Languages Day and International Week, and trips abroad. Language club does a variety of activities including shoeboxes for Romania every year and our Young Language Leaders promote the learning of languages for us at every opportunity. We do cross-curricular projects where we can such as the Chinese New Year, the French Revolution with History and also through debates on international themes which has won us trips to the European Parliament in Strasbourg!
We have promoted the international aspect of our brief with trips to France, Germany, Spain, China and Italy. The French and German exchanges and Spanish and French Work Experience are well established for our senior students. There have been foreign trips from other curriculum areas too – the ski trip to Italy, the History trip to France and Belgium and Berlin/Krakow; the art history trip to Italy, and PE trips to Malta and Barbados. In addition we have links with schools in India and Zambia and many staff have had the opportunity to visit schools abroad through international INSET. The whole school participates in International Week and Fairtrade Week. We have been awarded the full International Schools Award twice.
Our hope is that your child would benefit from some of the many opportunities that Language College offers.