Break out of the age prison

6th December 2002 at 00:00
THE Green Paper has hopefully nailed the coffin of compulsory modern foreign languages at key stage 4. Let's be grateful and enter a brave new world of foreign language learning. We need to modernise and regenerate.

To prove the point that learning a foreign language works best from an early age, the profession should take the bull by its horns and unlock the age prison. Don't hang about.

Start children in Year 7 on a GCSE course and aim to finish it by the end of Year 9. Offer AS, GNVQ language options or a GCSE in a second language in Years 10 and 11.

At Dorothy Stringer school in Brighton (TES, October 25) we have started such a programme. Last summer, 55 Year 9 children completed a "fast-track" GCSE course in French. There were two C passes and the rest achieved A*-B grades. A total of 35 are now doing French AS in Year 10.

If we repeat the success next year, we are bound to want to expand the programme.

Simon Sharron

Assistant head

Dorothy Stringer school

Loder Road, Brighton

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