Passionate about Languages

Hampton Court House is a profoundly Francophile school which believes in fostering French not just as an academic subject but as a living language through which we teach other subjects. In Early and Lower Years of the school, around half of the lessons are taught in French by native French speakers, thus creating confident, fluent young speakers. Teachers readily help children who need a little translation into English here and there but, all in all, the method is astonishingly successful at creating confident, fluent young French speakers.

In the Middle Years, when teaching in the wider school switches to English, we cater both for children who have developed strong French skills with us and for children who join us with little or no French. The subject is streamed into two sets from Year 7. Our more advanced students can prepare for the DELF examinations (Diplôme d’ Études en Langue Française), which, once they reach the B2 level, offers them the opportunity to study at most French universities should they wish to do so.

French and other modern foreign languages are popular at Hampton Court House. Our aim is to equip each pupil with the linguistic skills that many will need later in their professional lives. In addition, the French department organises trips to France and a French Drama Gala every year. Through the study of literature, French films and music, we are aiming to infuse our pupils with the love of learning a foreign language as well as developing their awareness and understanding of different cultures.

“The limits of my language means the limit of my world.” Wittgenstein

Caroline GéhinBA MA PGCE
  • Head of French


Related: Centre National d’Enseignement à Distance (CNED)

Related News

Nursery Children Enjoy French Songs and Games

The Nursery children had an interesting and fun drama session on Friday 28 April as they learnt a new French song and discovered two new games. They enjoyed singing “Docteur, je suis malade” which can be found online. They also loved taking turns when playing “Little Co-operation” and “Mon premier verger”. These two games require an awful lot of patience and the children did so well.

French Verb Challenge 2017

The Middle and Upper Years worked very hard to prepare for this year’s French Verb Challenge.

The Challenge consisted of three rounds.

During the first round, each set in each class had to learn a list of 20 verbs (belonging to the most used French verbs list). The three students with the best scores... in each set were selected. Some students got very impressive marks – Maria (Year 5), Zoé (Year 7) and Avalon (Year 7) all scored 100%.

During the second round, the selected students competed with the other sets in their year. Once again, the best three students per year were selected. Each team consisted of one native French speaker and two non-native French speakers.

The third round took place during school assembly (Middle and Upper Years). It consisted of three rounds: a conjugation round; a translation round; then the three teams which scored the highest results in the first two rounds faced the spelling challenge.

The last three teams standing were the Year 8, Year 10 and Year 11. The Year 10 team came first at the end of the first two rounds with a score of 100%. During the spelling round, Sorrel put her gymnastic skills to good use and showed she could be the fastest putting her hand up to answer! The results were very tight, but in the end the Year 11 team was victorious. Stephanie, Anaïs and Ava won tickets to watch a French film at Ciné Lumière, London.

See more

French Tourism Topic in Year 8

As a part of a topic on tourism, Year 8 students have presented a monument or a piece of art using the “calligramme” technique in French.

Chandeleur – French Crêpe Day in Year 2

The Year 2 children had a lovely time yesterday baking their own crêpes for French crêpes day. They made the pancake batter in French class and were very proud to cook them by themselves after lunch. The crêpes were delicious!

French poetry: Rêveries

If poetry is a window into the soul, our young CNED poets can certainly look forward to a journey full of magic and wonder. Here is some of their work from this term, we hope you enjoy exploring this collection composed by pupils from Year 2 to Year 10. From imitation to creation, there is but a small... step, and yet it brings with it the birth of one’s own voice.

See more

Students Awarded DELF Diplomas

Axelle Oxborrow, the UK co-ordinator for DELF examinations from the Institut Français, was at school on Wednesday to give out diplomas to our students who passed the DELF exams last June.

There are different levels within DELF (A1, A2, B1, B2) and last year was the first time HCH entered students for... all four exams.

Maria in Year 7 said, “I have my diploma for A1 DELF exams! I was very happy to see that all the work was worth it and I’ve achieved a lot in French. It was great to see my sister, too, receive her diploma, and my parents are very proud of us both!”

Inigo in Year 11 said, “I am so glad I passed my B1 examination as it will open many doors for me in life. I will now be able to use this as a basis for working or studying in France. In addition to this I will be able to enjoy myself in any francophone country/culture or in my year off where I am thinking of working as a ski instructor.”

Alex in Year 7 said, “I am very proud of myself. I hadn’t studied French before I came to HCH. I can’t believe that I got a DELF exam certificate.

His parents added, “we are very proud of Alex. He has done great work in French even though he just started.”

Jay in Year 7 said, “I received a Diplôme for the DELF and was happy. I said a very loud ‘merci’ when I was handed my Diplôme.”

Congratuations to all the students.

Y7: Dorian, Maria, Jay, Alex.

Y8: Amelia, Katie, Sorrel, Daniil, Benny, Polina, Florence.

Y10: Alisa.

Y11: Inigo, AnaÏs, Gerard.

Y12: Chloé, Charles.

See more

Year 2 Advent Calendar

The Year 2 children will have a new “French devinette” to solve everyday. If they solve it, they will be given a word. The final sentence will take them to the treasure of the Elves of Christmas!

Will they find it?