Modern languages

A different language is a different vision of life
Federico Fellini

Communication is the main goal of the ML Dept at OBH and we believe that the ability and confidence to interact in another language is a vital and enjoyable skill for all students – both during their time with us and in their future academic careers. French and Spanish are the modern languages taught with much emphasis placed on developing an understanding of the customs of relevant countries in Europe and South America.

Language studies begin in Lower School primarily through songs, use of the interactive whiteboard and stories, while later year groups broadly follow the Expo series of textbooks for French and the Listos series for Spanish. In Upper School there is a more structured approach towards grammar to provide students with the tools they need to manipulate the languages successfully and develop their creativity. Language-specific software and websites are also used to maximise learning and ‘language challenges’ are often available to extend students’ knowledge and questioning.

Throughout the year the Department is proactive in celebrating language and cultural events such as The European Day of Languages, Chinese New Year and
Bastille Day. The current ML team, established in September 2011, is looking forward to an exciting future developing cross-curricular links across the school,
language trips and links with the wider community.


The main course used from the outset is 4th edition of the Cambridge Latin Course supported by its own E-DvD which is networked throughout the school.

It is usual for all classes to spend one lesson a week in the IT facility using the E-DvD material for guided independent study. While there is a clear similarity
between the grammar, vocabulary and syntax presented by the C.L.C and that required for Common Entrance and Scholarship, additional resources are fed
in to the course to allow students to approach their exams with confidence.

The Cambridge course offers insights into life in Pompeii, Alexandria, Rome and Britain in the late 1st century A.D.. This background allows for study of a moral and cultural background very different from our own.

Students develop general language skills as well as the ability to comprehend and translate to and from the target language clearly.