A recent survey by Rosetta Stone discovered that although 72% of Brits believe learning another language would be good for them, only 23% have successfully done so. Britain is also by far the worst performer in Europe on measures of second language proficiency.

As a school, we have very high numbers taking GCSE French and our E-Bacc figures – which measure the % of students taking the main 5 academic GCSEs (Ie – English, Maths, Science, History or Geography, and a Foreign Language) – are high compared to national averages with approaching 2.3 of students taking all these subjects.

Even so, we work hard to promote the benefits of a foreign language amongst students and families and as part of this we have been asking our students who speak a different (non-English) language at home to talk about their language skills and how it benefits them.

This half-term, 8 different students have delivered presentations about their home languages across Years 7, 8 and 9, and we will do the same next half term with another set of students. Most recently, a contingent of students who have joined us from Hong Kong, Kary Wong, Greta Tong, and Hazel Cheung, talked about their home language and their experiences of speaking English and living in the UK.

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “We live in a world where cross-national interaction is the norm – whether in business or politics, or social media and gaming – so the ability to communicate in more than one language is an important academic skill but also a reflection of a cultural awareness and appreciation of wider global society. With field trips, rewards, parents’ events, visits, partnerships with overseas universities, and our curriculum, we work hard to ensure that all of our students understand their place in the world and their responsibility to fit in and engage with others from across the planet. An introverted, little Englander perspective is a stance which is in the history books, and for our students being global citizens, whilst also valuing British identity and culture, is the combination we seek to encourage in all our students.”