Talbot Heath

Modern Foreign Languages and Classics

At Talbot Heath we believe that learning a new language is important. It broadens the horizons allowing our pupils to travel further a field in their life after Talbot Heath. 

Young people naturally engage with foreign language in a way that we as adults cannot - they see languages as natural and fun, it is our duty to build and nurture this enthusiasm to further develop our girls' linguistic skills.

Find out more about Languages & Classics




nescire autem quid antequam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum.

"To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child."
Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Classics, the study of the literature, language and culture of ancient Greece and Rome, gives students the opportunity to improve their general linguistic ability as well as their understanding of cultures which have had a significant impact on today’s Western civilisation while around 20 girls in the year group study Classical Civilisation, learning about the culture and literature of ancient Greece and Rome in translation.

All girls study Latin in L4 (year 8). In U4 (year 9) most girls continue their study of Latin, while around 20 girls in the year group study Classical Civilisation, the culture and literature of ancient Greece and Rome in translation.

Having enjoyed their introductory two years students have the opportunity to select GCSE Latin or Classical Civilisation as one of their GCSE options. Students must have completed the first two years of Latin, however no previous study of Classics is required to study GCSE Classical Civilisation. Both  offer students the chance to engage in the literature, culture and society of ancient Greece and Rome.

At A Level, girls have the opportunity to develop their study of Latin. Girls may also opt to choose A Level Classical Civilisation, in which both Literature (in translation) and cultural papers are taught. The study of Classical Civilisation at A Level requires no previous study of Classics. Both Latin and Classical Civilisation A Level combine well with a wide variety of other A Levels.

Students’ study of Latin and Classical Civilisation is enriched by a structured programme of co-curricular events such as scholar talks and trips to ancient sites and museums abroad and in the UK.

The study of Classical subjects leads naturally to a large number of university courses, most commonly Classics or the large range of degrees centred on combinations of Classical Studies, such as Ancient History and Archaeology.

Modern Languages


One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way

Frank Smith

Language competency and intercultural understanding are not optional extras: they are an essential part of being a citizen." In their document "Languages for all: Languages for life" the DfES cite the fundamental beliefs of the modern languages faculty. At Talbot Heath all girls have the opportunity to study at least 2 European languages (French and Spanish) to GCSE and A level all with the Edexcel examination board.

The curriculum places a strong emphasis on oral fluency and written accuracy whilst opening the girls' eyes to cultural differences. To achieve this, we have a full yearly calendar of events ranging from food tasting, Flamenco, films, Spelling Bee and French theatre clubs, theatre visits, cross-curricular painting workshops, a linguists’ Dinner and regular trips to France and Spain.

ICT is used as appropriate to support girls' learning and widen their horizons. We use a wide variety of languages apps to enhance Languages learning and each class has a weekly lesson in the Languages Laboratory to develop their Listening and Speaking skills.

The faculty has strong links with local and international schools and with organisations who offer revision courses.

We are also fortunate to have the services of modern language assistants particularly in the years leading up to public examinations where girls have one to one lessons every week.

We also offer Italian ab initio to 6th form pupils who wish to take an extra GCSE.