Our French-English bilingual immersion programme for the Lower Years has been shortlisted for the prestigious TES Independent School Awards in the Strategic Education Initiative of the Year category.
All pupils at Hampton Court House in Years 1 to 4 are taught by native French speaking form tutors. Most of the children who join the school know little or no French, yet they achieve fluency within 12 to 18 months. Around half of the children’s timetable is taught in French, including maths with French text books and resources.
The children’s fluency in both languages was praised by Ofsted in our last inspection: ‘Pupils develop excellent speaking, reading and writing skills in both French and English, owing to the French curriculum and the expert support of multilingual staff.’ As the French website Avenue des Ecoles says, we offer ‘le meilleur des deux mondes’ – the best of both worlds – to our students.
The impact of our bilingual programme in Years 1 to 4 can be seen in the results achieved by pupils in Years 5, 6 and above. These students take advanced ‘Diplôme D’études en Langue Française’ examinations set by the French Government. We are an accredited centre for DELF, the official French-language diploma awarded by France’s Ministry of National Education, with four accredited teachers. Since 2013, 100% of our candidates passed their DELF exams with the vast majority achieving over 80%.
Furthermore, as a result of our French immersion programme, a good number of our non-native French-speaking students have subsequently been accepted at French schools in Munich, Bogota, Dublin, Washington and in France.
Recognition from the French Government
Hampton Court House has been recognised not only with the TES Independent School awards but also by the French Government, being the first school in the UK to obtain the Institut Français accreditation for our excellence teaching French language and culture.