Bilingual school opens in London

Free bilingual state education in French and English will be available to 56 primary school pupils in the London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham from September this year. The scheme, involving Holy Cross Catholic Primary School and L'école Marie d'Orliac was confirmed by the signing of a formal declaration on 4 March  at L'école Marie d'Orliac.

The declaration was signed by the French Ambassador, HE Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Cllr Stephen Greenhalgh of Hammersmith and Fulham Council, The Most Rev Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols and Simon Guest Esq, Chairman of Governors of Holy Cross School. 

The scheme, only the second bilingual school in England, will provide free bilingual state education for 56 primary age pupils, 28 pupils from each school. Pupils drawn from both schools will be taught together in two classes by teachers from each of the schools using an agreed common curriculum which will meet the statutory requirements of the English and French education systems.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: "I am delighted that the Diocese of Westminster is part of this innovative project. I hope very much that the school will provide new opportunities for the children of Hammersmith and Fulham and enable children of different cultures to be educated together in English and French. Congratulations to the council, the school and L'école Marie d'Orliac pulling together this initiative, we are delighted to be part of it. My warmest blessings and prayers are extended to the staff, students and parents."

Simon Guest, Chair of Governors for Holy Cross School said: "The opening of the bi-lingual school in September this year comes after a great deal of hard work by the staff of both schools, the local authority and the Diocese. The opening of this first joint venture between a faith school and the lycee is a great step forward for education. There is great support from parents locally who wish their children to attend a school where they will learn in two languages and this can be seen by the oversubscription for places for the first academic year."

Source:  Archbishops House

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