Originally from France, Philippe Prudhomme is the first Advisory teacher to introduce French to Prince Andrew School’s curriculum, starting with Key Stage Three students this coming school year, and gradually expanding it to the whole school.
Having gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in the UK, Philippe set off to Nairobi to become a linguistic advisor for the French Embassy, developing French in the Nairobi area, and assisting in the training of Kenyan French teachers.
Philippe then progressed to Head of Modern Languages at the International School of South Africa. He moved on to Lagos (Nigeria) where he was part of the Pioneer Senior Management Team (Deputy Head Welfare) to set up the British International School of Lagos, Nigeria. After working on Curriculum Development in the South of Nigeria with the help of the United Nations body, Philippe took a job in Switzerland for three years (2 years as Co-Head of Boarding and 1 year as a French teacher and Discipline Advisor)
Commenting on taking a job on St Helena, Philippe said:
“After a return to Europe (Switzerland), where the standards of French are very high, I wanted to go back to similar work that I conducted in Kenya and South Africa, introducing French to students, to an adult audience unfamiliar with the language and making a positive contribution. St Helena offered this new and exciting opportunity.”
Philippe’s main role here will be to teach French at Prince Andrew School and then commence classes into the wider community, building on Judith Moore’s French adult evening classes.
Director of Education, Colin Moore said:
“The arrival of Philippe Prudhomme, a qualified French teacher, represents a major step forward for education on St Helena. Introducing French to the curriculum will extend opportunity and widen the offer we have available to our young people. Philippe will also be aiming to equip the local business people and the developing tourism industry with the skills to converse in French.
“I would also like to thank the French Consul, Michel Martineau for helping us to establish the basis upon which we could bring the teaching of French to our schools.
“We are all pleased to welcome Philippe to St Helena and wish him well in his new post.”
As this is the first foreign language to be introduced to a young audience on St Helena, Philippe acknowledged the added pressure that students will experience when learning something completely new. Philippe aims to trigger his classes’ interest with a variety of teaching techniques, setting clearly identified objectives, making the students aware of the importance of learning French and incorporating effective methods to help students cope with the stress of learning a foreign language.
“Over time I am confident that many school students and adults will be able to build up a wide range of French vocabulary that will help them in their social or professional life, building up links and facilitating the connection with the global village.”
Following the introduction of French to Key Stage Three students Philippe hopes to reach younger students at Primary School level, allowing them to learn and develop a foreign language, and extend the teaching of the language to a wider adult audience particularly in the field of tourism and commerce.
30 August 2013