Founded in 1432, Sevenoaks enjoys a global reputation as a centre of academic excellence and a flagship school for the International Baccalaureate. A co-educational day and boarding school, it offers a stimulating, intellectually demanding and balanced education for pupils from the age of 11 to 18.
In 2013 the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) awarded Sevenoaks School the rare accolade of ‘Exceptional’ for its students’ achievement. In the new style inspection in 2017 pupils’ achievement and personal development were judged excellent, the highest grades. Sevenoaks was also the highest performing fully co-educational school, and the one with the largest cohort, in The Sunday Times Parent Power’s top 50 fee-paying schools for the IB in 2015. In 2017 we were, for the second time in 10 years, awarded The Sunday Times Independent School of the Year for 2018.
The Modern Languages Faculty
The Languages Faculty is large, energetic and ambitious. The Faculty includes major European languages and Additional Languages. The Heads of these languages work together as a team under the leadership of the Head of Faculty. A diverse range of modern languages is taught: French, German, Spanish, Russian and Mandarin are available to (I)GCSE, and comprise part of the IB Diploma programme, where Italian and Mandarin are also offered as language options. There are 25 language teachers and a number of visiting language tutors who offer additional languages teaching to native speakers. There are also several full-time language assistants for French, German, Spanish, Russian and Mandarin.
A modern departmental area was created in September 2000, with 15 classrooms, a language laboratory and a computer suite. All rooms are equipped with computer projectors.
All pupils joining the school in Year 7 take French or Spanish and Latin. In Year 8 a second modern language is offered from a choice of Spanish, Russian, German or Mandarin. A number of pupils choose to take three languages to (I)GCSE, two modern and one classical. All (I)GCSE examinations are completed in Year 11.
In the Sixth Form all students take the International Baccalaureate examinations at either Higher or Standard Level depending on their background; students’ levels range from Ab Initio right up to native speaker standard. A language, modern or classical, is a core requirement within the programme, and the vast majority of our 440 Sixth Formers take a modern language at one of the three levels. The presence of almost 200 students with international backgrounds enriches the student body and develops interest in other countries. There are regular university and Oxbridge successes, and several Sevenoaks modern language debating teams have enjoyed the status of national champions in recent years.
The Language departments run a series of exchanges or study trips in four countries with several partner schools. In addition, a full-time Languages Secretary and Exchange Co-ordinator helps with the administration of the department.
The French Department
The department comprises nine teachers and three language assistants, who play a vital role in contributing to the emphasis on contemporary language and cultural awareness. At present French or Spanish is compulsory in Year 7 to Year 9. The language becomes optional in Year 10, though most choose to continue with it through to IGCSE, which is sat with the CIE examining board. Classes are set according to ability, ranging from beginners in Year 7 and Year 9 through to bilingual students in the Sixth Form. In the Lower and Middle Schools, native speakers are taught separately by one of the French language assistants, and they have the opportunity of taking French IGCSE and the DEFL exam. French is a very popular subject for IB, where it is available at both Higher and Standard level at both Language A (native speaker) and Language B (post-GCSE). The French department runs a series of exchanges with partner schools, especially in Year 9 and the Lower Sixth.
The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic and well-qualified graduate who will contribute to the development of modern languages at Sevenoaks, teaching French across the year groups and ability ranges. A talented linguist, he or she would be comfortable teaching literature to Sixth Form students, as well as potentially working with bilingual pupils throughout the age ranges. The ability to teach a second modern language may be an advantage, but is by no means required. Enthusiasm and team spirit are essential, and the candidate must be willing to organise and accompany trips abroad. We welcome applications from teachers new to the profession as well as those with teaching experience. A commitment to excellent pastoral care, enriching co-curricular and outreach activities is also expected.