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France's riches for everyone

We recently hosted more than 100 children from 13 partner primary schools for a morning at our specialist language college. Primary pupils gave presentations on all things French, and experienced a range of activities laid on by our students as well as by trainee teachers from Durham University.

The event marked the launch of a project to start all the Reception children learning French from the beginning of this year, and continuing throughout primary school.

Year 10 student Katherine Conway is pictured here with four-year-old Declan Taylor from Leadgate Infant School, in an activity where students gave the young children a cheque for two euros, which they took to a "bank" and exchanged for a two-euro coin before spending their money at a "cafe".

Other activities included a video-conference with a French primary school and an all-age choir who sang in French, German and Spanish under the direction of Tony Reather, headteacher of all Saints Primary School, Lanchester.

It was fantastic to see the full age range enjoying all the activities using their language skills. Children in every year group from Reception to sixth form took part and we were happy to bring together all our partners at St Bede's - primary schools, the university, Durham LEA, and the Teacher Training Agency, which is developing a course to equip primary teachers to teach French.

Maureen Bates, headteacher, St Bede's Comprehensive School, Lanchester, Durham

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