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Mind your languages

Some blame Brexit for the sharp decline in the uptake of modern foreign languages at GCSE. Others say it’s down to budget cuts and a lack of good-quality teachers. But, despite the obstacles, there are schools aiming high and making impressive gains. Dave Speck finds out how

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When Year 7 pupils at Long Field Academy play badminton, they often keep score in German. That’s because their PE teacher is also their German teacher – and he is keen that the language taught in his lessons is “embedded outside the classroom”.

There’s no denying that German is a popular subject at the co-educational secondary in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. “You’d be surprised how many pupils greet me with a ‘Guten tag ’ and ‘Bonjour ’ as I’m walking around the school,” says PE and German teacher Saj Raithatha, who also teaches French.

The figures back him up. The proportion of pupils ...

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