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The language of science

Main scale science at Stourport-on-Severn High School Language College

Specialist schools are the story of the week. Alastair Campbell's son goes to one and the Prime Minister's spinner-in-chief is so impressed that he has decided to get rid of the comprehensive system. (Actually, I made that bit up, but the screaming tabloid headlines certainly gave that impression.) So what's it like to work in a specialist school? And do all the lessons have to reflect the specialism? These are questions which might occur to applicants for the science post advertised at Stourport-on-Severn High School - a language college.

"It's much more about joining a school with an international ethos," says head Liz Quinn, dispelling entertaining visions of double chemistry in Germn. "But we run overseas trips and they're not all staffed by language teachers."

Despite the freedom to select which has generated so many column inches, Stourport, like most other specialist schools, does not screen its intake and sees itself as a true community school. It's a 13-18 high school with 900 on roll and 200 in the sixth form.

Stourport rose out of the canal boom of the 1700s. When the time came to link the Severn to the Midlands canal system, the aldermen of Bewdley refused to have anything to do with the newfangled technology. So the navigators took their 'stinking ditch' a few miles downstream and Stourport was the result.

Interested science teachers should contact the school for more details on 01299 872950

Phil Revell

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