Hampton’s French Department has a first-class staff of 12 teachers, 2 of whom are native speakers. All of us have studied or worked in France for an extended period. We are also lucky enough to have a full-time French Assistant.
Departmental policy is for teaching in French wherever appropriate to create an authentic language environment in which the boys can practise and develop their skills, knowledge and understanding.
We benefit from a Language Resources room full of authentic materials, magazines and books. Topical materials are often sourced from the internet and the French press for AS and A Level teaching. Lower down the school, classes use a variety of software to support their work.
Boys wishing to read French at university – be it Oxford or Cambridge or elsewhere – are offered additional preparatory lessons in the Sixth Form.
The French Department offers a range of trips and exchanges and every boy is encouraged to participate.
Sixth Formers benefit from the opportunity of a work experience programme based in Lille. Pupils are given a week’s work placement alongside French colleagues, enabling them to practise their language skills while gaining a valuable insight into the professional world in France.
Sixth Formers also participate in short trips to enhance their study of Cultural Topics at A Level. Destinations include the Le Corbusier building l’Unité d’Habitation in Marseille and the La Coupole Museum of the Occupation near St Omer.
For junior boys there is a weekly French Club where they can practise and reinforce their knowledge through fun language games. Older boys see French plays and films in London under the auspices of the school’s European Society. We regularly show films after school, and touring theatre companies sometimes put on plays in French in school.