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Mandarin is on school syllabus

PUBLISHED: 15:17 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:38 23 August 2010

DEPUTY HEAD: 	Jo-Anne Seymour.

DEPUTY HEAD: Jo-Anne Seymour.

MANDARIN, Japanese and Punjabi are to be taught at a secondary school, which has been awarded language specialist status. Gravesend Grammar School in Church Walk, Gravesend, started operating as a specialist language college on Tuesday. The official lau

MANDARIN, Japanese and Punjabi are to be taught at a secondary school, which has been awarded language specialist status.

Gravesend Grammar School in Church Walk, Gravesend, started operating as a specialist language college on Tuesday.

The official launch on Monday at the school was attended by 150 parents, staff and residents, including the Deputy Mayor of Gravesham, Ken Jones, and representatives from HSBC and Mazda, who spoke about the importance of languages in the business world.

Deputy head Jo-Anne Seymour said: "We are absolutely delighted that the government awarded us this status.

"We are the only school in Gravesham who have language school status and it will have huge benefits for the community.

"Firstly, it broadens the number of languages that we are able to teach at the school and as well as other European languages we will soon be teaching Mandarin, Japanese and Punjabi.

"It will enable us to provide language teaching to primary schools in the area and will provide many opportunities for international visits and exchanges.

"It will also extend the learning of student through special projects, and later this month we will be holding a China Day for 450 students."

The DfES approached the school, who are also specialised in maths and computing, and invited them to put in a bid for a Language Specialism.

Ms Seymour, who put together the successful bid, added: "It is not just the school and its students that will benefit from this, residents of Gravesham will also be able to use the school for language teaching."

Specialist schools are part of the governments plans to raise standards in secondary education.

The Specialist Schools' Programme helps schools, in partnership with private sector sponsors and supported by additional government funding.

Any maintained secondary school in England can apply for specialist status in one of ten specialisms, including art, business and enterprise, engineering, humanities, languages, Maths and computing, music, science and sports and technology.

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