Considerate la vostra semenza: fatti non foste a viver come bruti,ma per seguir virtute e conoscenza.

Consider well the seed that gave you birth: you were not made to live as brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.

Inferno (Hell) Canto V (Ulysses), Dante Alighieri


Italian is a fun filled, highly academic, engaged and expanding subject: an integral part of the varied and stimulating learning environment of our dynamic Modern Languages department. Girls who study Italian discover its fundamental connection with the Italian culture and its place at the heart of Western Civilisation.

At Oxford High, Italian is now an option from Year 8 whilst Year 12 students can start Italian ab initio and achieve their A level in a two year accelerated course.

The key skills of listening, reading, speaking and writing the language are developed from the outset, and much emphasis is placed on active and oral participation in lessons. While studying Italian, students are encouraged to seek and develop interdisciplinary links to other subjects and interests from Music to Art, from English to Science, from Classics to Geography, from History to Religious studies. Their learning process is supported whenever possible through educational visits to galleries, museums, theatres, cinemas and lectures, as well as exchange trips to Italy and social events usually involving pizza!

Italian is taught in most renowned universities across the world. Learning languages requires a variety of skills (logic, creativity, precision, observation, communication) which are highly valued by employers. A number of former students of Italian have used Italian in their professional lives and found that learning a less ‘mainstream’ language gave them the edge in the work place.


Signora Stellardi is Head of the Italian Department. She grew up in Northern Italy, where she started her teaching career. Spent 8 years lecturing on Italian Language and Civilization at the University of Cape Town, before moving to the UK in 1994, where she continued to teach Italian in schools.

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