French is taught as an integral part of the curriculum from Year 2 onwards, and this year has been available to Year 1. Reception and Year 1 children also learn some French as an extra activity after school.
The emphasis is on basic vocabulary and the development of oral and reading skills through games, songs and role-play, although in the Upper School the children engage in more written work.
The school offers the opportunity for sixteen Year 5 pupils to visit Melun in a twinning project as representatives of the Borough of Spelthorne. Children also meet and work with children from other European countries, taking part in project and performance work in French.
Years 4 to 6 pupils also have the opportunity of visiting Normandy in July of each year where a programme of cultural and educational activities are on offer.
Year 5 pupils also have the opportunity of attending a lunchtime Spanish Club, where Spanish is introduced through interactive activities, songs and games.
Children in Years 4 and 5 participate in the Eurotalk Junior Challenge each year where we regularly reach the semi-final and on one occasion the final, which takes place at the Languages Show in Olympia. The Languages Challenge provides an excellent opportunity to learn the basics in other languages such as Dutch, Polish, Mandarin and Thai.
Year 6 pupils also undertake a Japanese workshop with 2010 hopefully seeing the introduction of some Mandarin workshops.
At Staines Prep we are very proud and lucky to have pupils that can speak 30 different languages and we encourage an awareness of global languages to prepare them for the 21st Century.