Our aim is to give pupils confidence and structure to communicate in their chosen language. We are not ashamed of focusing on grammar: without it, pupils cannot understand how to create sentences. Pupils respond well to the vibrant classroom atmosphere where they are surrounded by bright, colourful resources and encouraged to interact with the teacher and with each other in the target language as much as possible.
Pupils in Year 9 all participate in a joint French and History Trip to Northern France where they visit the Battlefields of the First World War and take part in language immersion activities. In addition, work experience placements can be found abroad for older pupils: these are particularly helpful for those studying beyond GCSE.
Results at GCSE have been strong for some years, leading to increased take-up at A Level, where pupils are taught in the target language and are inspired to take an active interest in the culture of the countries where their language is spoken.
Mr Williams (Head of Languages – BA Manchester) has almost twenty years’ experience teaching modern and classical languages in leading independent schools. He has lived in France and works as a First World War battlefield guide in his spare time. He is also a Mastermind grand finalist.
Mr Metcalfe (Teacher of Spanish – BA Sheffield) has taught at Kingham Hill since 2010. Before then he lived in Paraguay with his family for many years running an orphanage. He has much experience of teaching Spanish, German and French at all levels in a wide range of schools.
Mrs Hanney (Teacher of French – L-ès-L Besançon) joined the department in 2017. A native French speaker, she has taught in several schools in the Midlands. She comes from the very beautiful region of Franche-Comté in Eastern France.
Classics – Latin & Classical Civilisation
The teaching of Classics has really taken off in recent years. It is a relatively new pursuit here: our first Latin lessons were introduced in 2012 and now there are classes in each year group. Results at GCSE have been very strong and a dedicated few have continued to A Level. Classical Civilisation was introduced as an A Level option in 2017, allowing more pupils to benefit from the richness of Graeco-Roman literature and culture.
Plans are afoot for a trip to Rome and the Bay of Naples for our pupils: a chance to follow in the footsteps of Romans as diverse as Caesar and Caecilius!
The introduction of Classics has had an enriching effect on the academic life of the School: pupils apply in other subjects the grammatical accuracy they have learnt in Latin. Knowledge of ancient history and myth has brought new dimensions to their writing too.
Mrs Berkeley (Teacher of Classics – BA Exeter) has brought the teaching of Latin to life with her enthusiasm and dedication over the last five years. She has a passion for Virgil, academic rigour and tasteful classroom displays.
Mr Williams (Head of Languages – BA Manchester) has taught Latin in some of the leading independent schools in the country. He has a passion for Virgil too, a love-hate relationship with Caesar and an obsession with grammar.