Languages Specialism

Twyford CofE Academies Trust Schools are UNESCO associated and have International School status as approved by the Department for Education and Skills.

William Perkin High School will develop confident linguists through an outstanding curriculum offer and an unrivalled wider learning programme. In Year 7 students study French and Latin with more able linguists offered German as a second modern foreign language from Year 8. The Twyford CofE Academies Trust has developed programmes to support the learning of languages in local primary schools and students from William Perkin will act a Language Ambassadors supporting this programme.

The Language Specialism works in parallel with Twyford CofE High School. Pupils at William Perkin are therefore offered the same language opportunities as students at Twyford. (See diagram attached here). As William Perkin progresses there will be four Languages taught within the curriculum, French, Spanish, German and Latin.

Students are also encouraged to take qualifications in their native language.

Privileged Links with Primary Schools

We have privileged links with three local Primary Schools: Edward Betham, Horsenden and Oldfield. We are currently writing a curriculum, providing training and being involved in the recruitment of their language teachers. In the future, we hope to offer Saturday workshops to William Perkin students who have not yet had the opportunity to study languages in Year 5 or 6. These workshops will prepare students for Year 7.


Year 7
The curriculum opportunities in Languages are second to none at William Perkin High School. The Curriculum is worthy of that of a private school, with all its pupils studying two languages: French and Latin.

Latin in Year 7
In Latin we study the University of Cambridge School of Classics course, where pupils learn about the wonders of Pompeii and translate the fascinating stories of a wealthy family who lived in Pompeii, shortly before the Mount Vesuvius eruption. Having completed textbook 1, pupils will be offered the possibility to take the University of Cambridge Examination in Latin Level 1. A visit to Bath enables students to discover life under the Roman Empire in Britain.

Each year, pupils complete one textbook, with each one taking place in a different part of the Roman Empire. Textbook 2 for example takes place in Bath. At each stage, pupils work toward a Cambridge qualification.

Why Learn Latin? (see presentation attached here)
“vita brevis, ars longa, lingua latina aeterna” Hippocrates (life is short, art is long, but Latin language is eternal).

Latin is said to be a dead language; taught to be read, not spoken. It is taught entirely through its grammatical rules not through its everyday use. As pupils learn Latin they gain an understanding of the structure of language, ahead of any they would gain from the study of a modern tongue. Any other language - not just Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, but also German, Russian and Arabic - becomes easier for a child with a deep understanding of Latin. A student can use Latin to grasp the essence of any language. It is therefore utterly useful and a core language to learn.

Latin is the language of scholars and poets such as Virgil, Pliny and Cicero. Latin offers entry into an astonishing world, a lost world but paradoxically exciting through its literature. Knowledge of the Roman literature offers an inestimable advantage in reading and understanding English language.

Latin at Twyford CofE High School has grown from strength to strength with now 400 pupils studying it as part of the curriculum, 23 of which are GCSE students. Last year, Twyford CofE Academies Trust has been asked to present a workshop at the National Conference for Latin teachers, organised by the University of Cambridge.

French in Year 7
The Twyford Academies Trust philosophy of language learning revolves around the idea that exposure to the Language is essential. The more exposure to a language a pupil has, the more fluent he or she becomes. This exposure happens firstly in the lessons and secondly in the numerous trips and exchanges, which pupils are encouraged to take part in.

The Lessons
The lessons are therefore taught essentially in the target language. There is a great emphasis on listening skills and memorisation. Language lessons follow a rigorous pattern which is in line with Ofsted requirements. A very detailed programme of lessons and assessments has been put into place and parents will be able to access to it via Copia. Pupils are assessed every three weeks so that they are fully informed of their progression in terms of National Curriculum Levels.

The Extra-curricular Offer: See Diagram attached here

In order to develop their exposure to language, pupils are encouraged to take part in a visit or exchange each year.

At Key Stage 3, pupils are given the opportunity to take part in trips to Normandy, Bath, and Paris.

At Key stage 4, pupils take part in an exchange with Collège et Lycée Sainte Marie in Lyon France, Instituto Alfonso X in Toledo, Spain and Gymnasium Odenkirchen Möchengladbach in Germany.

At Key Stage 5 pupils have the opportunity to take part in three programmes:

  • The Immersion/Erasmus Programme: Following the footsteps of the well-established Erasmus university programme, where students spend part of their university year abroad, the immersion programme aims for pupils to spend between one to three weeks in one of our partner schools abroad.
  • The Comenius Programme: This very impressive programme takes French, German and British pupils to the European Parliament in Brussels where they debate European current affairs such a nuclear energy, immigration and unemployment in the target language they are learning.
  • The UNESCO Programme: Links our visit to Mozambique and our exchange with China in Kunming in order to present a debate at the Houses of Parliament at the end of the year.

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