Head of French
Grace joined Hurst in 2018, having been Head of Languages at two Brighton secondary schools. She studied French and German at the University of Birmingham and gained her PGCE at the University of Exeter. Grace develops and promotes the use of Kagan structures in language lessons and has a special interest in Franco-African and Franco-Caribbean literature and culture. She is a Sixth Form tutor and also runs the Amnesty International Club.
Head of Spanish
Hannah graduated from King's College London with a first-class honours degree in Spanish and Portuguese in 2012. She has since travelled extensively in Latin Ameria and joined Hurst in 2016 after completing an MSt in Portuguese Renaissance Literature at the University of Oxford. She is passionate about the Spanish-speaking world and, during the school holidays, is usually to be found putting her language skills to good use in South or Central America.
The ability to communicate effectively in a language other than your own is of increasing importance in today’s world. The Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) department helps students to build on, deepen and broaden the knowledge of languages they already have. It also sets out to engender an enthusiasm for language that will encourage students to achieve the highest levels of academic success as well as giving them important skills which they can use outside school and throughout their lives.
Emphasis is on practical communication and we provide a sound base of grammar, an insight into culture and civilisation, an awareness of the structure of the language and, most importantly of all, enjoyment and intellectual stimulation. Teaching is delivered in a lively and communicative way to ensure that pupils can understand spoken and written language and express themselves confidently. Grammar is taught alongside active communication skills so that pupils have the tools to use language creatively and accurately.
Much of the teaching is conducted in the target language and we are fortunate to have native speaking language assistants who help us with preparation for the oral examinations.
In the Sixth Form, we offer French and Spanish A-levels, and follow the AQA specification. Both courses provide an exciting opportunity to study a subject that has relevance stretching far beyond the classroom. Students will gain a high level of fluency, allowing them to communicate in formal and informal situations - from studying literature and film to an in-depth understanding of the country’s politics, values and history.
In addition to traditional text books, considerable use is made of audio and video resources from the internet along with authentic materials from other sources. Our language-based classrooms are all equipped with interactive whiteboards and, in addition, students have access to the Language Lab. Students are also encouraged to make use of new technologies in the production of their work.
The department aims to provide annual visits, homestays and exchanges in order to promote and consolidate language learning along with an insight into culture and history.