We believe that pupils at Kenton College should learn Modern Foreign Languages so that they can develop the confidence to communicate effectively with speakers of other tongues with whom they may come into contact. 

 By starting the teaching of a foreign language at an early age, we are able to profit from the pupils' natural enthusiasm for the new and exotic, and their willingness to explore new sounds and patterns unselfconsciously. We want our pupils to above all enjoy their language lessons by creating an atmosphere of positive encouragement in a comfortable environment. Every pupil speaks in the target language every lesson and pupils are able to take part in a wide range of activities. These include language games, singing, watching videos, listening to cassettes, role plays and making class displays, so that, even if they find language learning difficult, they are never bored.

The teaching of French and Spanish at Kenton College follows the requirements of the British National Curriculum for Modern Languages KS 2-3.

As we are resident in Kenya, Kiswahili is introduced in Year 2 and taught in form groups up to Year 8. Pupils begin to study French in Year 4 and continue to do so until Common Entrance. In Year 6 they are given the opportunity to choose an option in addition to their study of French. They may opt to take up Spanish or Latin which are examined at Common Entrance, or they may choose to continue with Kiswahili.


The aims of teaching French, Spanish and Kiswahili at Kenton College are:

  • To ensure that all children have the opportunity to develop at the best of their abilities through a differentiated and centred-pupil approach;

  • To use the language effectively and spontaneously for purposes of practical communication;

  • To develop the 4 skills which will enable pupils to understand the written and spoken language; 

  • To foster interest and awareness in the target countries and their cultural heritage encouraging positive attitudes to the speakers of foreign languages;

  • To provide a basis for continuing study of the language at their next schools;

  • To prepare pupils for Common Entrance and Scholarship Examinations. 


Pupils at Kenton with the curiosity to delve into the Classical world may do so by selecting Latin as their language option in Year 6, thereafter pursuing it all the way to Common Entrance.

The pragmatist may here interject; ‘Why learn a language that no one in the world speaks anymore?’ Well, it is true that Latin is no longer spoken, but the voices, opinions and sentiments of those that did actually speak it remain alive in the copious literature that they left us.In their writings are preserved some of the choicest fruits of human genius, which none who places a value on the cumulative wisdom of mankind can afford to despise.

But to satisfy the pragmatist's quest for the useful and practical, here are some material advantages that this dead language confers upon its votaries:

Latin is the basis of most modern European languages, particularly Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese, so an understanding of Latin will be of great help in learning these others.

Latin has had a huge impact on the development of English, so much so that even a rudimentary knowledge of it proves a great boon to those seeking to understand English grammar, and to make some sense of its unpredictable spelling. Learning Latin involves a detailed understanding of general grammatical concepts, which can be a great benefit in learning languages with no apparent relation to it such as Mandarin or Arabic.

Learning Latin also involves learning about the Romans, and their culture and history. This race, which dominated Europe for a thousand years, left an indelible mark on the continent, linguistically, culturally, politically, religiously, artistically and socially, so no full understanding of modern Europe would be possible without some understanding of Ancient Rome.

At Kenton, we follow the ISEB Latin syllabus. The chief resource that we rely on, is the text book series 'So You Really Want to Learn Latin Prep' by Theo Zinn, which has been specially written for those pursuing Latin at Common Entrance level. Latin being mostly a written language, classwork consists of written exercises and tests.

Great efforts are made both by those who have prepared the syllabus, and the Language Department at Kenton, to make the relevance of Latin clear. The pursuit of this language is an enriching experience; one which, though it fits pupils for no specific calling, grants them the wherewithal to excel in anything they put their minds to, thereby enabling them to play a worthwhile role in society, and to write a beautiful chapter in the history of humanity.


Swahili (or Kiswahili as it is called when one is speaking the language) is the most important and widely studied indigenous language of Africa, the National and official language of Kenya and Tanzania. It is spoken as a native language on the East coast of Africa and the islands adjacent to the coast from Southern Somalia in the north, down through the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts.

Kenton is a school based in Kenya with a good percentage of its pupils born in the country. The domestic and support staff of the expatriate families is largely Kenyan. Based on the above two facts, there is a necessity for Kenton pupils to learn basic Kiswahili, to be able to communicate with the people around them. Moreover, language competence and intercultural understanding are not optional extras, they are an essential part of being a citizen. Language skills are also vital in improving understanding between people here and in the wider world, and in supporting global citizenship by breaking down barriers of ignorance. At Kenton, we believe that learning other languages gives us insight into the people, culture and traditions of other countries, and helps us to understand our own language and culture. It is true that pupils who start language learning earlier are more receptive to learning languages and more motivated. Generally early language learning can reinforce literacy skills and nurture enthusiasm that is carried on into secondary school.

At Kenton, Swahili is taught pupils from Year 2 to Year 5. In Years 6 to 8 it is taught to an optional group. However, the rest of the pupils who do not take Kiswahili as their language option continue to study Swahili as part of Kiswahili and Kenyan History.


Kenton College Preparatory School