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Foreign Languages

French and Spanish

While our students in Year 8 and above all study either French or Spanish, our current Year 7 students are in a two-languages programme that allows them to experience both French and Spanish at Key Stage 3. They will then be able to choose which one the two languages they wish to continue to GCSE, starting in Year 9. Some may choose to study both, and since 2016, students have also had the opportunity to take Latin as their GCSE language (see Latin section below for more details).

The GCSE French and Spanish courses covers four components: Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing. The exams also include translation to and from English, and each component will be separately assessed at the end of Year 11. The exam board we use is Eduqas.

The department gets good results and is very proud of this achievement and it is mainly because languages are taught in a fun and engaging manner by teachers who have excellent subject knowledge. Progress is rapid and sustained as the curriculum is inclusive and supportive with much opportunity to work independently at home to reinforce language skills. During the language journey at Chingford, which they can take all the way to A Level, students can share many new experiences such as Salsa and Flamenco dancing and watching a play entirely in French. There are also yearly trips abroad for our GCSE students, such as to Andalucía in October 2017 and to the Côte d’Azur in October 2018. The department tries to have as much directed fun as possible in a practically textbook free environment. During lessons it is not unusual to watch cartoons and sing – all in French and Spanish of course!


Since September 2016, Latin GCSE has been offered to students as an alternative to the compulsory MFL GCSE. Key Stage 4 starts in Year 9 at Chingford, so students will complete their Latin GCSE in three years. This means that the whole course is fast-paced and presents a stimulating challenge for any student who chooses Latin.

We follow the Eduqas Latin GCSE, which covers three components. Component 1 (50%) is Latin language where students learn to read and understand Latin texts, to translate from Latin to English and to identify English words derived from Latin. They will also become familiar with grammar analysis. In Component 2 (30%), we study a range of sources, including original texts and pictures, on a broad theme. The theme for the 2018-2020 examinations is “A Day at the Races”, which lets students explore the importance of chariot races for entertainment in Rome, while also learning to appreciate Latin literature and drawing parallels between Roman society and ours. Finally, in Component 3 (20%) students study one longer piece of Latin literature. For the 2018-2019 examinations, this will be a section from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, namely the story of Echo and Narcissus.