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French, Spanish & Latin

Mrs J Openshaw - Head of Department

Miss E Ritchie - Assistant Head of Department 

Mr L Crawford

Mr R Godfrey

Miss C Widolf


In the Languages faculty, pupils are given the opportunity to learn either French or Spanish plus Latin.

Lower School

In Year 7, pupils will study either French or Spanish. As pupils are encouraged to see the language as a real form of communication and not just as an abstract concept, considerable emphasis is placed on using the four skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing, as well as building up key vocabulary and acquiring a sound grasp of grammar. In Years 8 and 9, pupils will continue their study of French or Spanish alongside the study of Latin, which will give boys a  look at life during Roman times, as well as a more in depth study of the grammar and vocabulary found both in Latin, and in Latin based languages such as French or Spanish.


At the end of Year 9, pupils make their GCSE choices. In languages, pupils will continue to study the modern language that they have studied in the first 3 years and / or Latin. Those who opt for GCSE French will follow the EDUQAS specification whilst in Spanish pupils will follow the AQA specification. In both these languages, pupils will continue to develop their language capabilities in listening, reading, speaking and writing, and further develop their vocabulary and knowledge of grammar. They will also be encouraged to look at the practices and traditions of countries throughout the world speaking those languages. Pupils who opt for Latin will follow the OCR specification, which will deepen their knowledge of Latin grammar and vocabulary, and of Roman history, mythology and daily life, through the study of Latin literary texts.

Advanced Level

In the Sixth Form, students of French or Spanish develop their language skills and vocabulary to a very advanced so they can comfortably continue the language at university.  The course includes up-to-date topics such as immigration and the changes in the family structure and is designed to develop their ability in the four skills so they become fully operational in the language of their choice. The course also encourages the students to study in much more depth many key aspects of the country’s civilisation, and requires students to produce an Independent Research Project on a topic of their choice which relates to the French or Spanish-speaking world. As at GCSE, students will follow the EDUQAS specification for French and the AQA specification for Spanish. Latin at A Level may also be available, subject to sufficient uptake.

Extra Curricular Activities

Pupils have the opportunity to take part in a variety of trips. At the end of Year 7, all Year 7 pupils, whether studying French or Spanish, will be given the opportunity to take part in a 4 day cultural and cross-curricular trip to Normandy in France where they will have the opportunity to visit the D-Day landing beaches, the world famous Bayeux Tapestry and the magnificent Mont St Michel monument. Sixth Formers studying Spanish are offered a week’s work experience in a range of Spanish companies in Córdoba, whilst those studying French, subject to numbers, may be offered a similar experience in Caen, Normandy. During such visits, the students are accommodated in Spanish or French families, thus providing a real insight into the culture, as well as many opportunities to practise their language. Some of our Sixth Form students often participate in lower school language lessons and intervention classes, in order to help the younger boys to practise and develop their language skills.

Finally, many old Ambrosians have gone on to study languages at University, either as a Single or Dual Honours Languages Degree, or in combination with other subjects such as Business Studies, Law. Mathematics and Sciences.