The 'Adelante' Spanish language programme is unique to Channing

Launched in 2016, it has quickly become a defining feature of the School and is one of the key benefits of a Channing education, for all pupils aged 4-18.

The programme is designed to inspire and educate both pupils and staff to gain a proficiency in Spanish and an appreciation of the Hispanic cultures. The aim is to ensure that all pupils leave the school with a high degree of competency and fluency in Spanish.

Adelante in the Senior School

Girls in Year 7 concentrate on Spanish, followed by an additional Modern Foreign Language from Year 8 onwards. Senior school pupils are encouraged to immerse themselves in Spanish literature thanks to the recently introduced Adelante Reading Challenge. This is run competitively so that pupils have the chance to win valuable house points in the process. There is now have a dedicated MFL Room in the Library which is proving hugely popular.

Pupils have the opportunity to study the work of Spanish and Latin American artists such as Frida Kahlo and Pablo Picasso, gaining inspiration for their own artwork and Year 8 pupils benefit from an annual trip to Cádiz in Andalusia.

In keeping with the Channing ethos, Year 12 students volunteer at the nursery and Saturday school at Latin American House, a charity supporting London’s Latin American community. They are rewarded by having the chance to practise their Spanish and become familiar with different dialects spoken in Latin America.
Staff also benefit from Adelante via a Spanish Book Club and events such as Spanish Wine Tasting. Adelante is going from strength to strength, with a number of exciting initiatives in the pipeline.

Year 8 trip to Cádiz

Year 8 pupils spend a week in Cádiz at the Spark Spanish Language Centre. Pupils have the opportunity to visit some of Andalusia’s most attractive and memorable sights. They also have Spanish language lessons, the chance to visit a local market, two tapas restaurants, learn how to make an authentic paella and dance Flamenco. The trip is an excellent way for pupils to immerse themselves in language and culture alike, and to embed the skills that they will need going forward. ¡Adelante!

La Casa de Bernarda Alba

As part of the Adelante programme, we hosted the Cervantes Theatre‘s production of La Casa de Bernarda Alba/ The House of Bernarda Alba in the Arundel Centre from 4th – 8th February 2019.

Written in 1936 just before the civil war broke out, the play was first performed in Buenos Aires in 1945. It was banned in Spain until 1963, partly because of its political implications and partly because the behaviour and language of the characters were regarded as shockingly immoral. A small theatre club was allowed to put on a single performance in 1950, but the regime tried to ensure that it would be given no publicity. Federico García Lorca (1898-1936), poet and dramatist, was one of the greatest Spanish writers of the 20th century. He was killed by nationalist troops at the age of 38 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War and two months after completing The House of Bernarda Alba. Ms Catriona Kyle, Assistant Head (Modern Foreign Languages) said: “When I was appointed Leader of the Adelante Strategy, a unique programme to make proficiency in Spanish and the Hispanic Cultures a feature of a Channing education, I knew if we were to achieve our aims, we had to think creatively and approach organisations whose missions are aligned with our own. Our collaboration with the Cervantes Theatre has been a privilege and a pleasure. They are bringing the best Spanish and Latin American theatre to London and to British audiences. Their residency at Channing has seen our school visited by people from Birmingham to Belfast, from Liverpool to Brussels. We hope that this marquee event will herald the start of a longstanding relationship. If anybody reading this feels inspired to support or collaborate with us on future Adelante ventures, I would be delighted to hear from them.”

Mrs Lindsey Hughes, Channing Headmistress, said: ‘In a global economy, we all know how important language skills are for success.  The ability to converse in even the most basic manner in another language is one that will stand our students in good stead for the future, and yet the Adelante programme is so much more than that. The cultural immersion of the Year 8 study visit to Cadiz, and the exciting partnerships and events which take place here at school in London, bring Spanish and Latin American literature, art and street culture to life for our students. The benefits are immeasurable.’