We offer an extensive Mother Tongue programme to pupils whose home language is not English, and who wish to maintain the fluency of their mother tongue while they are in the UK.
Children who have a solid foundation in their Mother Tongue develop stronger literacy abilities in the school language. Research is also very clear about the importance of bilingual children’s Mother Tongue for their overall personal and educational development, as well as maintaining their ability to communicate with friends and family back in their home country.
Mother Tongue Lessons are taught by qualified native speaker teachers in the child’s home language. The lessons mainly focus on the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing, and at a higher level will also include teaching of grammatical structures and literature. Currently we have a team of Mother Tongue teachers for Spanish, French, Italian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Dutch, Polish, Japanese, Mandarin and Arabic, but the languages vary from year to year according to demand and our ability to meet it through available specialists.
Pupils are grouped according to their age (from Reception Class upwards) and language ability and normally have two Mother Tongue lessons per week, often in small groups. Lessons take place during set Mother Tongue lesson time, with English children having English Mother Tongue lessons . Care is taken to ensure that children do not miss out on core subjects, but this is not always possible, and this would be done only with the agreement and understanding of the parents or guardians.