Cheney School

Cheney School


Head of MFL, EAL and Classics Faculty - Miss S Reynes -

Ms S Reynes - Head of Faculty
Dr R Bown - Professional Tutor and Advanced Skills Teacher
Ms N Rappak - Deputy Head of Faculty
Ms C Pearce - Head of Year 8, French/German
Mrs S McIlveen - French/German
Ms A Kirby - French/German
Ms A Castello - Spanish/French
Mr P Barras - Latin
Dr L Robinson - Latin/Classics Civilisation
Mr D Gimson - Classics Civilisation

Our international focus here at Cheney drives our aim to enable all students to study languages in order to broaden their knowledge and help them to communicate in our increasingly global neighbourhood.

We believe that it is important to enable students to have opportunities to use their language skills and learn more about the culture of the country through extra-curricular activities and trips.  These include:

  • Residential trip to Normandy, France Year 8
  • Trips to French restaurant in Oxford Year 10 & 11
  • Masterclass in French literature at Oxford University Year 12
  • French Art at the Ashmolean Museum Year 11
  • French Plays:  Bon Voyage Year 6 and Year 7; Le Café Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11
  • Cinéclub on Fridays
  • German biscuit competition at Radley College – Year 9 & 10
  • Spanish trip to Tarragona – Years 9, 10 & 11
  • Spanish Play Year 9, Year 10 and Year 11
  • Trips to Spanish restaurant in Oxford Years 9, 10 & 11

Key Stage Three

The following areas are studied during Key Stage Three:

Year 8  French

Students will learn more about family and where they live and then jobs and weather.

Topics covered include:  weekend activities, TV programmes, clothes,  shopping, making excuses,  food around the table and at the market, countries, languages, holidays, pocket money,  and technology.

Grammar:  present, perfect tense, future, modal verbs in the present, prepositions, connectives, question words, “il faut” + infinitive.

Year  8 German and Spanish

As beginners students will be learning about phonics and basic German/Spanish grammar which should give them confidence to approach the language.

Topics covered include: numbers 1– 100, days of the week, months, birthdays, family (description of hair, eyes), pets, colours, where people live (description of the house), time, towns, household chores, school life, free time activities and arranging to go out.

Grammar: present tense of regular verbs and “to have” and “to be”, some use of the accusative, use of prepositions and the dative case and plurals.

Year 8 Latin

Beginners Latin students will cover a range of different topics during their first year alongside the Cambridge Latin Course Book 1 to ensure that they have a good knowledge of key grammar as well as knowledge of Roman culture and society.

Topics covered include: houses; food; the role of slaves; the theatre in Roman life; mythology; the underworld and views of life after death; gladiator; public baths; education and Greek influence; history; and politics.

Grammar: present, perfect and imperfect verb tenses; six cases of nouns in three declensions; question words; adjectives; and prepositions.  For more information, visit the Classics page.

Key Stage Four

The following courses are studied at Key Stage Four:

GCSE French, German, Spanish

A three year course, based on 6 hours a fortnight, which will be built on the knowledge and skills learnt from previous work in Years 7 and 8.

Students  will learn how to describe what they think about a variety of topics: holidays, films, TV, personal relationships, school life, the environment, the world of work, future career plans, amongst others.

At the end of the course, students will be assessed on the four skills (Listening/Reading/Speaking/Writing) to check their understanding, interacting, communicating and responding to different types of language. All skills will represent 25% of the GCSE. Examination board AQA.

The ability to speak a foreign language is becoming increasingly sought after, whatever career is chosen. Linguists learn how to communicate effectively both in their writing and speaking.  This makes candidates more desirable to a potential employer or university. 

GCSE Latin

A two year course, timetabled after school on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Students will continue to study the Cambridge Latin Course, books 3 and 4, building on the previous knowledge and skills.  For more information, visit the Classics page.

Key Stage Five

The following course are studied at Key Stage Five:

French and Spanish

During this two year course, students will enhance their linguistic skills, promote and develop their capacity for critical thinking on the basis of their knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and society of the country or countries where the language is spoken.

Students will be assessed on the 4 skills (Listening, Reading, speaking and Writing), including some translation as well as literature work, at the end of the two year course.


We have a programme of exchanges and trips to France, Germany and Spain. Last year, students had the opportunity to go to Normandy and Seville for residential trips. This year, students can go back to Tarragona and Normandy.

Enrichment Opportunities

We encourage students to take part in cinema or other cultural trips such as Spanish and French restaurants. On Wednesdays, Oxford undergraduate students are running some languages classes for students preparing for exams this year or students in a gap year.

The Classics Centre

The presence of the Classics Centre at Cheney School brings a vibrancy, buzz and creative energy to classics with is entirely unique.
The Centre works in close partnership with Cheney School and offers a very broad range of ways for students to interact with and experience classics.
It runs termly projects, events, workshops, shows, activities and stalls run by classicists. Examples include a Roman Medicine Day, a Classical Myth Day, an Ancient Astronomy Day, two Ancient Athens Days and two Return of the Romans Day where re-enactors put on a series of cavalry and weaponry displays for large audiences of Cheney students and local primary school pupils.

We have also run Roman cookery projects, a mosaics projects and a Roman sundial carving project. We run projects each term for a range of ages and across a range of subject areas. We also run regular trips to places like the Ashmolean, Chedworth Roman Villa, Galleries in London and Bath. Every other year, we run a trip to Hadrian’s Wall.

Alongside all this, the Centre houses a library with a large collection of books on every classical topic imaginable, a range of original artefacts, a large costume collection and many other classics-themed games and resources. The Centre has Working Towards Museum Accreditation status through the Arts Council and runs Archaeology clubs and enrichment for Year 7s and feeder primaries.

The Centre brings in visitors from the local community to attend its free evening classes, talks and workshops. Cheney students and parents also attend these after-school courses, talks and other events.