Mr. Alex Stagogiannis - B.A. Double Hons. (French & German) University of Manchester, PGCE Kings College London.
Mrs. E Ford - B.A. Hons (French) Leeds University, PGCE
French has the reputation of being a "difficult" subject, but our results contradict this common misconception. We of course expect our students to work hard but within a very friendly and relaxed environment. In the Sixth Form the teaching is shared between the two specialists who endeavour to make lessons both stimulating and enjoyable!
We use a wealth of authentic materials, including the Internet, CDs, DVDs, newspapers and magazines, textbooks and worksheets - as well as an excellent online course. We encourage students to do their own research on the Web while giving them a high level of individual support.
Participation in the very successful annual exchange with Lycée Beau-Jardin, Saint-Dié des Vosges is strongly recommended. It is a unique opportunity to sample French culture while developing oral and listening skills.
Why study French?
The French-speaking world is made up of 49 countries scattered across five continents, with a wide variety of geography, climates, political systems, religions and traditions - united through a commitment to French as their official language.
A working knowledge of French thus gives access to many different cultures and provides a better understanding of France, our nearest neighbour on the continent, while developing the communication skills required for study, work or leisure.
Former students - many of whom keep in touch with us over the years and are now engaged in professions such as medicine, law, science and the diplomatic service - testify to the importance of a French qualification in furthering their chosen careers.
Some of our French specialists have chosen interpretation and translation, others have opted for careers in journalism, teaching, international import and export, and even in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
The first leg of the French Exchange was a great success. On October 20th, twenty-one French students and their teachers arrived late but safely, in spite of strikes and fuel shortages on the other side of the Channel. They received a very warm welcome from their host families and soon felt quite at home. The day after their arrival, visits to Saint Mary's, The Mount and the Kindergarten were full of interest for our French guests. The further programme of activities for the week included a tour of Liverpool, conducted by Mr. Magill, and one of Chester, led by a Roman legionaire in full armour. The combined group also enjoyed visits to Port Sunlght and Alton Towers and, on the final day of their stay, a walk through the Formby and Ainsdale nature reserves - very different from their inland mountainous home area. Parties organised in the evenings by various host families were most successful and much appreciated. Many tears were shed at the airport when the time came to say au revoir, but all are looking forward to our visit to the Vosges mountains in February.