History or geography could be taught in French at South Hampstead High School

South Hampstead High School. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

South Hampstead High School. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Students at South Hampstead High School could be taught a humanities subject in French from September.

The all-girls school, in Maresfield Gardens, South Hampstead, is considering a trial teaching history or geography lessons in French to one Year 9 class in the new academic year.

The plans were announced last week by the Girls’ Day School Trust, which the school is part of, with the intention of encouraging pupils to speak up in class.

Kevin Stannard, director of innovation and learning at the trust, said: “The curse of the good girl is something we are thinking about a lot. There are a lot of girls who strive for perfection, who have a real fear of looking daft when answering questions and are in danger of underselling themselves through a fear of failure.”

It is hoped that the initiative will afford girls more confidence to succeed in the workplace, as well as during demanding university admissions interviews, having consistently outperformed boys in GCSE and A-level exams.


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Mr Stannard added: “They can see the teacher, who is unfamiliar with the language, taking risks and so they are more prepared to take risks themselves.”

“Along with increasing language confidence comes increasing confidence to take risks to solve problems. We want them not necessarily to aim for perfection but to aim for effectiveness.”

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