Furthering the gift of languages

21st February 2003 at 00:00
I WAS interested to read your article about fast-tracking linguistsz (TES, January 31). I am a head of languages and in charge of our gifted and talented children. Last summer we entered a large number of Year 9 students for GCSE French. Fifty per cent gained a grade C or above, the others gained Ds and will be re-taking their exam this summer.

Pupils were taught purely in their language lesson times, ie, one hour three times a week. We did not consider extra lessons necessary. We also did not charge them for this opportunity.

Some of the students who gained a grade C started Spanish in Year 10. All pupils in this class will be taking their AS French in Year 11.

We are confident that this will become the "norm" at Longford and, with this in mind, have identified gifted linguists in Years 7 and 8 to take part in more advanced lessons than their peers.

Anne-Marie Ash

Longford community school

Tachbrook Road



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