Rydal Penrhos School

Modern Languages

The Modern Languages department at Rydal Penrhos thrives as part of the school’s international community.

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart“ – Nelson Mandela

From Year 7 pupils are encouraged to develop a love of language learning, as well as an appreciation of other cultures. Lessons focus on the progression of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, as well as developing a clear understanding of the application of grammar rules.

The department delivers lessons in French and German throughout the school from Lower School to GCSE, and then at IB in the Sixth form. Spanish is also available as an IB subject at ab initio level.

Why study French?

  • Studying French is a useful investment in the future. It can complement a career in a number of areas, and therefore make you more employable. Also, it is possible to continue French as a subsidiary in a number of different degree subjects, such as Business Studies.
  • It is viewed by universities as adding breadth and contrast to Sixth form studies, and combines constructively with any other subject, as well as being recognised as an academically rigorous subject.
  • It is an opportunity to discover a culture which is quite different from our own, yet is geographically close.

Why study German?

  • German is an important language in business, science and engineering, the armed services and diplomacy, with Germany, Austria and Switzerland sitting at the heart of Europe.
  • German combines well with any other subject, but enjoys particular links with the sciences: many scientific papers are written in the medium of German.
  • German speakers are relatively rare and are therefore sought-after.

Why study Spanish?

  • Spanish is spoken in over 20 countries worldwide and speakers of the language are highly employable.
  • It is very useful for pupils considering studying languages at university to have studied Spanish in addition to French or German.
  • For aspiring foreign language teachers, the knowledge of two or more languages is desirable.

NB Spanish can only be taken in the Sixth form as part of the International Baccalaureate course. Arrangements may be made for those who wish to take the subject as a GCSE or A-level if they already possess the required standard. Welsh is also offered in the form of language and culture lessons. Pupils are able to take exams at GCSE and A-level. Click here for more details.


All pupils study French from Year 7. Currently pupils also study German in Year 8, although this is subject to change. Pupils then decide, at the end of Year 8, which language they would like to continue studying through to GCSE level.

In the Sixth form, pupils may choose to study a language through the IB programme: We currently offer French B, German B, Spanish ab initio and German A, as well as self-study courses for native speakers of other languages where possible.


The department has an extensive collection of books and films for pupils to access, as well as various website subscriptions. We are fortunate to enjoy the services of French, German and Spanish assistants who provide additional support within the department on a full-time basis.

Head of Department
Mr P Lavery BA
Email Mr Lavery

Modern Languages teaching staff
Frau S Boxleitner MA
Mme C Vallée Llce
Mrs S Livingstone BA
Mr R Tickner BA

Site information

Rydal Penrhos School
Pwllycrochan Avenue
Colwyn Bay
LL29 7BT

Tel: +44 (0)1492 530 155 (Senior)
Tel: +44 (0)1492 530 381 (Prep)
Fax: +44 (0)1492 531 872

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