A Little "Oohh La La" May Come to Hotham

as Council plans second Anglo-French School for the Borough

Related Articles:
Sign up for our free weekly newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Wandsworth Council, which set up the country's first Anglo-French state primary school at Wix in Battersea in 2006, has announced plans for a second bilingual initiative at Hotham School in Putney.

If the proposals win the backing of governors the school would start by introducing an additional reception class.

The new bilingual stream would operate alongside existing classes. Pupils would move up through the school in the usual way so that eventually there would be an Anglo-French class in each year group. The children in bilingual classes are taught all their subjects in both languages.

Hotham is a popular primary school which is already considering plans to add a further 15 places to its current reception group from September. The starting date for the new bilingual class will depend on progress with building improvements.

Hotham head teacher Pam Young added:

“Although the consultation is in the early stages, the school welcomes the prospect of working with the council to develop this ground breaking initiative which will embrace young children’s enthusiasm for learning and extend their knowledge of other cultures and languages. This would be an exciting opportunity not only for the pupils at our school but also for the local community.”

At Wix, because the building was already shared with a French school the provision is run jointly with the French Government. The new Hotham class will be managed directly by the council and the school.

Executive member for children's services Kathy Tracey said:

"We know from Wix just how successful the bilingual initiative has been in increasing the focus on standards throughout the school. A second language is best learnt when you are young. Just as in Battersea I am sure this new development will capture the imagination of the whole community in Putney.

"There's no reason why we should stop at French. It makes sense to build on the achievements at Wix, but we are actively exploring possibilities for developing similar bilingual provision in other languages.

"We are also looking ahead to when this new generation of bilingual youngsters moves up to secondary school. This group will take French GCSE at least two years early and we will need to develop the curriculum in our secondaries in ways that will stretch pupils and help them prove their all-round linguistic competence."

The council has been expanding the teaching of foreign languages throughout the primary sector. While most teach French, 14 schools now offer Spanish with others also running classes in German, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin.

June 13, 2008