Spalding could get bilingual primary school

SPALDING children will be taught in Spanish and English if a new primary school gets the go ahead.

A bilingual primary school offering 250 to 500 places could open in the town by September 2014 with the Department for Education footing the £250,000-plus bill.

The Boston-based Phoenix Federation – which runs Gosberton Primary School – is trying to find a building where a school can be set up and an application is going to the DfE.

The DfE has already agreed to allow Phoenix to open a new primary school in Boston next year.

Steering group chairman and Phoenix chairman of governors Denzil Shepheard said they are looking for a “one form intake” – reception and early years – with places for 250 children, but that number will double if they opt for two forms.

The aim of teaching Spanish alongside English is to give children a better education and job opportunities – and children are expected to be fluent by age 11.

Phoenix principal Carol Clare said: “Speaking more than one language really helps with the acquisition of knowledge generally, with research indicating that bilingual children outperform their non-bilingual peers in many other areas of the curriculum.”

Mr Shepheard said lessons will be taught in English and Spanish with children “functioning in Spanish” for part of each day.

“Spanish is actually a popular language and is increasingly used both in England and across Europe as well,” he said. “Spain is also very easy to get to in terms of employment opportunities and if you want to practice your language skills.”

As well as running Gosberton Primary, Phoenix has Boston’s Park Primary and Fishtoft Primary under its wing.

Free schools do not have to stick to the national curriculum and Mr Shepheard says there are more opportunities for “extended learning and proper learning”.

l Parents who want to register an interest or find out more can contact Kirsty Warsop on 01205 368805, email enquiries@spaldingfreeschool.co.uk or visit www.spaldingfreeschool.co.uk