Heads of Department

Dr Johannes Depnering - Head of German
Mrs Francisca Garcia-Ortega - Head of Spanish and Italian
Mr Stephen Owen - Head of French

  • Stephen Owen
    MA (Cantab)
    Head of French

    After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Stephen obtained his PGCE in Modern Languages from the University of York. He taught in comprehensive and grammar schools in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, before coming to Ampleforth in 2008. He is an experienced Sixth Form tutor and helps to run the RAF section of the CCF.

  • Francisca Garcia-Ortega
    MA (Valladolid, Spain)
    Head of Spanish and Italian, 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. He is also Assistant Housemaster and 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. She was previously for a number of years Head of EAL here at Ampleforth and is now Housemistress of St Aidan’s House. Anne has been in the department a PGCE mentor to MFL trainees in partnership with the University of Buckingham.

  • 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.

  • John Ridge
    MA (Cantab)
    Teacher of French & Spanish

    The former Head of Modern Languages, now Director of Health and Safety and Safeguarding Compliance Coordinator, John Ridge continues to teach the French A2 course. In his previous role, John was secretary of the Independent Schools Modern Languages Association for a time and brings a wealth of experience to the job. He is also an ISI Inspector. 

  • Sandra Normand
    MA, Caen University, France; PGCE, Paisley, U.K.
    Teacher of Spanish & EAL

    Sandra Normand, a native French speaker, obtained her PGCE in Modern Languages from the University of Paisley in 1998 and, after seven years in Scottish state schools, taught for another seven years in language and state schools in Spain as a French and EAL teacher. She became Head of MFL at Kenton College, Nairobi, Kenya in 2012 and finally joined Ampleforth College in 2014, as a teacher of French, Spanish and EAL, now focusing on Spanish and EAL. Sandra is also proud resident Assistant to the boys at St John’s House.

  • Sabrina Anstey
    FLA (French) & PGCE Trainee (French & Spanish)
    Teacher of MFL

    Sabrina Anstey is a native French speaker. She received an English Degree at the University of Lyon Lumière, France, before moving to York to start teaching modern languages.  She obtained her PGCE in Modern Languages from the University of Buckingham in 2017 and teaches French and Spanish, along with being the French Assistant.  Sabrina joined St Margaret’s house in 2014 as a Deputy Housemistress.

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

    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.