Heads of Department
  • Jenny Knowles - Head of Modern Foreign Languages and French
  • Dr Johannes Depnering - Head of German
  • Mrs Francisca Garcia-Ortega - Head of Spanish 
  • Francisca Garcia-Ortega
    MA (Valladolid, Spain)
    Head of Spanish and Teacher of French

    Francisca, a native Spanish speaker, came to Ampleforth in 2005. She holds a MA both in Hispanic Philology and in French Philology. Since arriving in England in 1995 she has taught in both the comprehensive and private sectors and also as a part-time lecturer at the Universities of Durham and Teesside. She is a Sixth Form tutor in St Cuthbert's House and helps in the Theatre, making and mending costumes. 

  • Dr Johannes Depnering
    MA (Tübingen), D.Phil. (Oxford), PGCE (Buckingham)
    Head of German

    Johannes studied in Jena, Zurich and at King’s College, London, before completing his MA degree in Medieval German, German Linguistics and Psychology at the University of Tübingen. For his D.Phil. at St. Edmund Hall, University of Oxford, he was working on late-medieval Latin and German sermon manuscripts. Before joining Ampleforth, Johannes was a Postdoctoral Fellow and Tutor in German at Oriel College, Oxford, and he has published on medieval manuscript culture and mystical writing. He gained his PGCE from the University of Buckingham. Johannes is Housemaster of St Hugh's House. 

  • Jenny Knowles
    BA (Hons) Bath
    Head of Modern Languages and French

    After graduating from Bath University, Jenny obtained her PGCE in Modern Languages from the University of York.  She has over 25 years of teaching experience and is beginning her third year as Head of Modern Foreign Languages here at Ampleforth.  She enjoys working with students at all stages of their language learning - from beginners at SMA through to advanced Sixth Form linguists. She has particular interests in linguistics, and in teaching and learning methodology and practice. She is a Middle School tutor in St Oswald’s House.

  • Anne Le Gall
    MA (MA, ESCAE du Havre, CELTA dip)
    Teacher of French, German and EAL

    Anne currently teaches on the French AS and GCSE courses. Anne has an MA from ESC Le Havre- Business School. She gained her PGCE in Modern Languages from the University of York in 1996 and is a CELTA qualified teacher. Anne has been in the department a PGCE mentor to MFL trainees in partnership with the University of Buckingham. She was previously, for a number of years, Head of EAL and Housemistress of St Aidan's House here at Ampleforth. She is now a Middle School tutor in St Margaret's House. 

  • Sophie Baseley
    MA (de Caen, France)
    Teacher of French, EAL & Spanish

    Sophie, also a native French speaker, currently teaches on the French A2 and GCSE courses, as well as teaching French at all levels to native speaker students here. She has a degree in English as her main foreign language, with subsidiary Spanish and Portuguese. She also holds a Masters in English literature. Sophie spent four years as a teacher of English in France in two Catholic schools before moving to the UK. She then taught at Cardinal Newman School in Brighton for a few years, coming to Ampleforth in 2004, initially to teach French to our native speaker students. Amongst her interests are reading, horse-riding and gardening.

  • Elspeth Grimwood
    BA (Hons) in Modern and Medieval Languages (Cambridge) PGCE (York)
    Joint Head of German and Teacher of French

    Elspeth was brought up in Gateshead in the north-east of England and studied German and French at Newnham College, Cambridge with a year abroad in Frankfurt, Munich and Provence.  She recently completed her PGCE at York University and has started NQT training at Ampleforth College.