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Meet our 25 French teachers

Mrs Louise Bergon’s photo

Mrs Louise Bergon

Secondary French

I am privileged to teach at a fabulous secondary school in Preston, Lancashire, where I have taught French and Spanish for over 20 years. Since lockdown, creating engaging on-line lessons has been a tremendous challenge and so I was delighted to be invited to be part of this project and work with such a great team. This year has been a learning roller coaster for us all and the skills we are developing will hopefully support future generations with their studies in a worthwhile and meaningful way.

Joanna Cairns’s photo

Joanna Cairns

Secondary Spanish, French

I am currently Head of the MFL Department of secondary school in Preston with over 15 years experience teaching French and Spanish. Prior to becoming a teacher I worked for a large international pubic relations and advertising agency in London and worked all over the world on marketing campaigns for DuPont Lycra, L’Oreal and Cathay Pacific. I love to travel with my family and explore new places and cultures.

Susan CLARE’s photo


Secondary French

I am about to start as Head of MFL in a large secondary school in West Berks and have been teaching for more years than I want to admit! My love of learning languages started at secondary school when I was a student; I will never forget the buzz and magic I felt from actually being able to communicate in a different language when I took part in my first exchange to France. I want to pass on some of that feeling of success and joy once you start to get it right and be able to communicate in French in a meaningful way. I also love running, chocolate, yoga and, best of all, being a Mum.

Vicky Cooke’s photo

Vicky Cooke

Secondary & Primary French

I have taught languages (English, French, Spanish & German) to all ages - from nursery to retired adults. As well as sharing something I love, it’s hugely satisfying to see learners able to communicate in another language and to imagine where it could take them in the future.

Mme. Kirsty de Groot’s photo

Mme. Kirsty de Groot

Secondary French

Salut à tous! I am a Modern Languages teacher of French (and a bit of Spanish) in Buckinghamshire. I taught for 13 years in a prep school and have just recently moved back to secondary. I am a complete Francophile, love teaching languages with a passion and am very excited to be part of this project! I want every student to have the opportunity to learn a foreign language to maximise their future employability. Outside of school hours, I run, garden, play piano, sing and cook. Not necessarily in that order and definitely not all at the same time!

Tracie Duddridge’s photo

Tracie Duddridge

Secondary French

I am currently a French teacher in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 in a school near London. I enjoy curriculum development and have taken part in a number of special projects over the years. My favourite part of the job is seeing a passion for all things French grow within my students, a number of whom have gone on to be fluent French speakers by one route or another.

Sarah Dugdale’s photo

Sarah Dugdale

Primary French

Bonjour! I started out in a Secondary School teaching French and German and led a department before moving to Primary Education seven years ago. I am currently working in a School near Southampton teaching French and many other subjects too! I am passionate about language learning and love to see the progress children make. Being able to share cultural experiences with them by taking them to local French markets or even to France is a real privilege.

Joe Fincham’s photo

Joe Fincham

Secondary Spanish, French

I have been a language teacher for ten years and thoroughly enjoy every day in the classroom with our students. I am currently working as the Curriculum Team Leader for MFL. We teach French, Spanish, Arabic and Latin. In 2018, we acquired MFL Lead HUB School status and I began working as a Lead Teacher on the MFL HUB scheme. This is something I have found to be immensely rewarding and exciting. Outside of these two roles I also work as a Specialist Leader for Education for MFL. As an SLE I provide CPD training for MFL teachers in the a Teaching School Alliance and neighbouring schools. Further teacher training and development roles I have undertaken include delivering CPD training workshops for MFL teachers of Arabic for the British Council and speaking at the ACFL Convention in Washington DC on behalf of the British Council and QFI on the diverging pedagogical approaches to MFL teaching currently in place in the UK and the USA.

Liz Forssling’s photo

Liz Forssling

Secondary French

I am currently the Curriculum Leader for French at an Upper School in Buckinghamshire where I have worked for nearly twenty years. I am also an Academic Year leader, so in addition to sharing my passion for the French language, I particularly enjoy the pastoral aspects of teaching and helping students to make progress across all subjects.

Elizabeth Franklin’s photo

Elizabeth Franklin

Secondary French

Bonjour tout le monde! Je m’appelle Mademoiselle Franklin. I am a French teacher and Second in MFL at a comprehensive school in the Midlands. I am passionate about sharing my love of languages with my students and inspiring linguists of the future. Learning another language is a fantastic way to broaden your horizons, see the world, meet new people and discover delicious new food! Vive les langues!

Thomas Geary’s photo

Thomas Geary

Secondary German, Spanish, French

Empowering change through language education.

Helen Hedley-Smith’s photo

Helen Hedley-Smith

Secondary French

After completing my degree in French and Spanish at Cardiff University in 2003 I travelled the world and this experience was all the more wonderful as I was able to use my languages to interact with local people, particularly on my eight month stint in South America. After this, I began working for British Airways where again my languages were extremely useful on a day to day basis. I qualified to teach in 2012 as I wanted to share my love of languages and travelling. You never know where you can end up and languages can open up doors to the world!

Alistair Hodgson’s photo

Alistair Hodgson

Secondary French

I have been an MFL Teacher and Middle Leader in secondary schools for 7 years, most recently in Suffolk. My favourite part of the job is interacting with students and seeing those ’lightbulb moments’ where a concept suddenly becomes clear. I also enjoy playing guitar - you may have noticed one or two in the background of some of my lesson videos!

Ellie Johnson’s photo

Ellie Johnson

Secondary French

Hello! I’m Ellie Johnson and I am currently a Secondary MFL (French, Spanish, Italian) teacher in Cambridgeshire. I am originally from Hertfordshire and went to university at Durham and Cambridge. I have taught in Paris and Ecuador and am now enjoying teaching languages back in the UK. In my free time, I love to travel to different countries, play tennis and go running.

Mrs Kingsman’s photo

Mrs Kingsman

Secondary French

I teach French and Spanish at a secondary school in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. My favourite part of my job is building positive relationships with students and seeing them develop into fabulous young people. When I’m not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family and two pet rats, knitting and watching Midsomer Murders!

Christopher Lowe’s photo

Christopher Lowe

Secondary French

I am currently Head of Modern Foreign Languages and this is a role that I have enjoyed. Alongside this I have mentored and continue to mentor NQTs and trainees in MFL. I enjoy teaching languages at all levels in the secondary setting and enjoy bringing cultural elements into the classroom.

Mademoiselle Martin’s photo

Mademoiselle Martin

Secondary French

Salut! I’m Miss Martin, a secondary MFL teacher. After studying at The University of Birmingham and spending an amazing year abroad in Paris, I began my teaching career in 2017. I love sharing my passion for Languages with students and encouraging them to be inspired by learning them, which is why I am super excited to be contributing to the Oak National Academy!

Señora Russ’s photo

Señora Russ

Secondary German, Spanish, French

¡Hola! Hallo! Salut! I’m Mrs Russ and I’ve been teaching Languages to 11-18 year olds in Hertfordshire for the past 18 years. I love inspiring young people to learn and develop a passion for my subjects. After studying Spanish, French and German at Durham University, I used my languages in business before becoming a teacher and Head of Spanish. In my free time I enjoy art, foreign travel, exercising and baking with my children.

Mrs Schmitt’s photo

Mrs Schmitt

Secondary French

Bonjour! I am Mrs Schmitt, 2nd in Department and Language teacher at a school in Devon. I have been teaching French, Spanish and German for 11 years since completing my PGCE at the University of Birmingham. I immensely enjoy working with young people, sharing my passion for languages and my curiosity for the different cultures in the world and I hope to inspire many of you to continue with your language studies, travel and discover new countries like my own - France!

Chloe Sheikh’s photo

Chloe Sheikh

Secondary French

I am the Head of French at a school in West Berkshire. I teach French to Key Stage 3, 4, and 5 students, and I teach German up to Key Stage 4 too. I am passionate about MFL teaching and learning, and love learning languages in my spare time!

Aimée  Simpson’s photo

Aimée Simpson

Secondary Spanish, French

I am a French and Spanish teacher at a secondary school in Buckinghamshire. I was previously a Learning Support Assistant which guided me to begin my teaching career. I love the daily interactions with students and seeing their progression in languages. It is also a privilege to see their individual development.

Isabelle Simpson’s photo

Isabelle Simpson

Secondary Spanish, French

I have been teaching at my current school for 21 years- enjoying the different experiences working with mixed ability children and young adults. I particularly enjoy organising trips abroad and my favourite are the landing beaches and Barcelona. I get huge satisfaction seeing students enjoy speaking a different language and pursuing careers in languages.

Claire Sooden’s photo

Claire Sooden

Secondary French

I am currently a French teacher working in Cambridgeshire. I originally trained to be a teacher in Scotland and I have over 9 years worth of experience of teaching modern languages to secondary pupils. I am passionate about empowering young people with French and Spanish language skills, as these skills broaden horizons and a language is an amazing advantage to have in the world of work. My favourite part of my job is seeing pupils grow in confidence and become more independent, as well as engage with creative language projects in class.

Charlotte Webster’s photo

Charlotte Webster

Secondary French

I am a French teacher and Head of the Languages Department at a secondary school in Devon. I love teaching languages and in particular I love showing young people how speaking another language can open up all sorts of opportunities for them. I speak French fluently and lived in France for a number of years. I speak a bit of Spanish and German too!

Tracy Williams’s photo

Tracy Williams

Secondary French

I am currently the lead MFL teacher for a multi academy trust in the Midlands. I work in 14 schools supporting both primary and secondary teachers to deliver amazing French and Spanish lessons. I also teach French and really enjoy finding ways to make learning French memorable. My favourite part of my job is working with young people, helping them to learn more about France and its language - and teaching French phonics!