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We develop a pupil’s natural interest in language early on by introducing French through games, songs and puppets in Nursery, progressing to writing and speaking with spontaneity and independence in Prep 6 (Year 6).  Pupils at Parkgate House embark on an exciting language journey, where their French is developed, honed and maximised year-on-year.  

French is taught in the Early Years through role-play, songs, stories and basic conversation and pronunciation activities using French phonics, which is used as a continued reading and pronunciation tool for pupils as they progress through the school. In Pre-Prep, new skills are introduced and the pupils develop their linguistic abilities through speaking, listening, reading and writing activities on a variety of topics. In the Prep years (Years 3-6), French becomes more advanced and grammatical concepts are taught in greater depth. Their French language is developed with confidence, independence and intercultural understanding. With a specialist French teacher throughout the school, we provide the necessary continuity and opportunities for development up to and including the Prep Department, laying the foundations for pupils’ future study of foreign languages. 

French also provides an opportunity for cultural understanding and our French teaching ensures that the language is brought to life at every opportunity. A penpal exchange is offered to the Upper Prep classes where pupils communicate with children at a primary school in France. In Prep 6 (Year 6), pupils have the opportunity to take part in an inter-school language competition, for which they perform a play in French and other languages, showcasing their talents as they reach their final year at Parkgate. Native French speakers attend French lessons with their peers but their work is differentiated according to their ability with personalised and extended activities provided for each pupil.  


Latin lessons begin in Prep 3 at seven years old, with the excitement of learning the language of the Romans. ‘Minimus’, the course especially written for young children, introduces Latin conversation and simple narrative by means of cartoons and other activities, supplemented by songs, games and playlets. 

Learning Latin enables an understanding of English better than anyone, and ensures that our children have no problem with learning Romance languages which are the descendants of Latin. The subject provides a direct comparison with French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian to support our bilingual pupils, and a growing awareness in the children’s minds of the roots of English words which come from Latin. Pupils also have a lot of fun along the way! 

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