World class 'International Languages Centre' opened by Trudy Harrison MP

Keswick School is open to the world. At Keswick School we have broad and expansive horizons, and a track record of success in developing outstanding students who are a credit to themselves and this very special community. As a school, located at the heart of a newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, we are enormously proud to open an International Language Centre to provide world class education for young people across Cumbria. This will initially include French, German, Spanish and Latin but with other languages also a possibility for the future.

Languages at Keswick School has a long history of outstanding success. Led by a highly specialist team of teachers, the subject has been at the leading edge of language innovation through the use of target language over many years. Exchange visits to Germany and France have built incredibly strong ties with international communities. The German exchange with Königslutter recently celebrating its 54th anniversary and the French exchange leading to the creation of a unique and fully funded assistantship opportunity with Lycée Saint Sauveur in Brittany.

In 2018 Keswick School achieved the highest Attainment 8 and EBacc average point score in Cumbria for a non-selective school. Languages played a significant part in this success. In German 95% of students achieved a good pass, with 36% achieving a grade 7 or higher. In French 89% of students achieved a good pass, with 22% achieving a grade 7 of higher. The progress measures of 0.84 and 0.42 for German and French respectively are exceptional.

Being one of the top non-selective schools in the country is not left to chance. In languages this is achieved through a raft of opportunities which generate a great deal of enthusiasm and enjoyment amongst the students. This includes an annual Languages Festival (every class singing a pop song in either French or German!), Kulture, literature and Stammtisch clubs, links with Manchester Metropolitan University, Oxbridge preparation classes and Sixth Form subject mentors to mention just a few.

The importance of languages is also reflected through Keswick's international reputation for excellence. As one of just 38 state boarding schools in the UK we welcome students from across the world to live and study here, walk in the footsteps of literary giants and be inspired by our location, facilities and opportunities. Currently we have students attending from 14 countries in boarding, including almost a dozen students from the EEA. They make an immeasurable contribution to the rich diversity of our community and reflect our values as global citizens. Seeing how students from all backgrounds and nationalities support each other is truly humbling.

The International Languages Centre was designed by Cowan & Co building consultancy and constructed by Thomas Armstrong Ltd. Funding for the project was received from the Department for Education. The state of the art design was based on a vision and ambition to provide world class facilities to inspire our students to become the leaders of the future.

Keswick School is a National Teaching School and lead school in the Western Lakes Teaching School Alliance. We run a well established and highly successful Initial Teacher Training programme. if you are interested in training to teach please contact us:


Simon Jackson (Head teacher) comments:

“This International Languages Centre is a jewel in the crown of language learning in Cumbria. Our vision is to provide world class learning and having a new facility of this calibre is fantastic for our students. We believe languages will give young people a competitive edge in the future and will open the door to some incredible opportunities. We also know that languages are increasingly becoming a requirement for many graduate schemes, so it's important we have the best teachers and the best facilities to help our students to enjoy the subject and achieve their potential."


Trudy Harrison MP (Member of Parliament for Copeland) comments:

“Languages are regarded as a highly valuable skill and can only help to strengthen a young person’s development – opening Keswick School’s new Language Centre is an honour and I would like to applaud all staff for their continuous commitment to our children’s bright futures with the help of these state-of-the-art facilities.

“I would also like to congratulate the school on its recent ranking as the top non-selective school in the county for attainment, percentage of pupils gaining a grade 5 or higher in Maths and English, as well as the English Baccalaureate average score, an absolutely incredible achievement and a true reflection of both the staff and student’s exceptionally hard work.”