French is one of the great world languages, spoken by more than 220 million people. Learning it gives boys access to the glories of French culture and opens up global opportunities in education, trade and diplomacy.
Melodious and rich, French is, with good reason, called the language of love, but it is also vibrant and modern – the chosen medium of many of the cultural and commercial élites of the 21st century. It was for centuries the aristocratic tongue employed in the English and other European courts; French today remains an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts.
France is a key economic partner for the UK: learning French opens doors for job-seekers in France itself and in Switzerland and Belgium, too. Facility in French is an essential skill for pupils interested in studying at leading French universities and business schools, which are ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe. Moreover, the Francophone world extends well beyond the Continent: there are opportunities in Canada, while French is an official language in half of the ten fastest-growing countries in Africa.
All lessons at QE are conducted in French, and it is expected that boys engage with their teachers and peers in the language. French language assistants support lessons at GCSE and A-level. We are especially keen that boys become confident communicators in the spoken language, although we also devote considerable time and effort to ensuring that boys become proficient in writing and can read French well, the better to appreciate the language and culture.
We run a wide range of extended trips, including: the Year 7 Normandy trip; Year 8 French exchange; French work experience in Year 12, and the Paris trip, also for Year 12.