Mr Oliver Hopwood
Our specialist teachers offer no fewer than nine languages, in both the Upper and Lower Schools, both within and beyond the formal curriculum. Outcomes in the department at (I)GCSE and A Level are outstanding, and many of our pupils choose to pursue their linguistic studies at the most prestigious universities, at home and overseas. Our curricula are rich, culturally embedded, and challenging. We cherish opportunities to take pupils overseas on Expeditions and exchanges and to deliver our programme of study from dedicated, well-resourced facilities on the central school site.
All pupils study French in the Lower School to IGCSE level. From the Lower Shell (Year 10), pupils can pick one from Spanish, German, Russian and Mandarin as a second language. All of these languages are then available for study at A Level.
Which other languages can I study?
The Modern Languages Department is also able to offer Arabic, Japanese, Italian and Modern Greek, taught within the LSA (after-school clubs for Years 9 to 10) and General Options (Sixth Form) programme.
Courses are mainly designed for beginners, although provision can sometimes be offered for those with some knowledge of the language or for advanced learners. It is also an excellent opportunity to develop an understanding of a language that a pupil might wish to study at university. Provision may on some occasions be made for native or near-native speakers of these languages to take a one-year intensive A Level course if there is sufficient demand and capacity.
There is a steady stream of Westminster pupils who go on to read, for example, a Middle Eastern or South East Asian language at a top university, having started the language in the Sixth Form (Year 12).