St Matthews Primary School in Redhill, Surrey may have the dubious distinction of being the school in the UK where the most number of foreign languages are spoken.
Pupils there speak an astonishing 44 languages between them, and 178 out of 477 kids on the school roll do not have English as a first language.
Take a deep breath, and don’t try reciting this after a few beers….Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Arabic, Punjabi, Aramaic, Manadarin, Filipino, Cantonese, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Manding, Russian, Marathi, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Urdu, Russian.
Another deep breath, not finished yet, but almost half way there….Afrikaans, Mauritian, Shona, Swahili, Creole, Ndebele, Wolof, Ga, Kikuya, Kisii, Zulu, Yoruba.
Just Europe to go now. Bulgarian, French, German, Italian, Polish, Slovak, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Romanian, Finnish. And, of course, English.
Hat tip to the Daily Mail for that list.
The school uses a buddy system and individual lessons to teach children who do not speak English at all, no doubt at additional cost from the budget.
And, it should not shock us to learn, school standards are falling thanks to the influx of foreign pupils and the difficulties which that creates in the classroom.
Such huge diversity of languages, and high numbers of pupils who speak English as a second language – or not at all upon arrival – cannot do anything else but cause declining standards, with the indigenous British child learning being especially hard hit.
As diversity increases, standards fall and costs rise. It’s a simple truism that it is impossible to teach where half or more of the pupils all have different mother tongues as effectively as it is to teach a class of native English speakers where perhaps only 1 or 2 of the kids have another tongue as their first language.
This diversity, which we are always encouraged to celebrate, is nothing short of a betrayal of our children’s right to receive the best possible education which we can offer.
It is no wonder that standards are falling. We do not afford our kids good conditions under which to learn, having instead created schools which are a chaos where forty different languages clamour to be heard.