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A language initiative which is being lead by Ryton Comprehensive School involves six of its feeder schools and introduces local primary pupils to French. The lessons are informal and fun, with a lot of songs, rhymes and games, and show that French is not just something we do in school but has relevance in the wider world. For example, comprehensive teacher Hazel Brent invited French Newcastle United players, Laurent Robert and Olivier Bernard, to talk to the children about how useful languages are if people want to travel or work abroad.

What started with informal lunchtime French classes for the younger pupils has become a weekly session in which Hazel works with each Year 6 class for an hour. It is a good way of strengthening ties before the primary-secondary transfer. Visits to the secondary school enable children to see the language laboratories or watch plays in other languages.

Sue Haswell, headteacher, Ryton Community Junior School, Tyne amp; Wear Languages Subject Focus, pages 22-29

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