Tomlinscote School and 6th Form College has been a DCSF designated Specialist Language College since September 1996. As one of earliest schools in the Language College movement, it was one of the first to introduce languages such as Japanese and Mandarin Chinese into the curriculum as well as offering a wide range of European languages, including German, French, Spanish and Italian. For the past decade, Tomlinscote has consistently been at the forefront of curriculum innovation in language teaching. Together with seven other schools nationally, Tomlinscote received funding to participate in the Content and Language Integrated Learning Project (CLIP), which gave our Year 8 and 9 students the opportunity of accessing modules of the Key Stage 3 Geography and History curriculum through the medium of French, German or Spanish. The success and popularity of this approach has given ample proof that British students' enthusiasm and motivation are enhanced when they are presented with more stimulating and challenging content as the context for their language learning. All students at Tomlinscote study at least one foreign language throughout the five years of Key Stages 3 and 4. In Key Stage 3, all students take either French or German as their first foreign language, and every attempt is made to ensure continuity and progression from their Key Stage 2 language learning experience. In Year 8 all students commence the study of Spanish, and the expectation is that a high percentage of students will continue their study of a second foreign language to GCSE or other accreditation in Key Stage 4. There is also a wide programme of extra-curricular language learning on offer, with opportunities for students to take up the study of languages such as Japanese, Mandarin Chinese or Italian to an accredited level via late afternoon and evening courses. In addition, approximately eighty Key Stage 4 students each year take a two-week intensive course in either Japanese or Mandarin Chinese, leading to a double award at entry level with the ABC. During these courses, students receive seventy hours of guided learning in the new language. This can serve as a basis for progression via extra-curricular learning to further accreditation, such as GCSE or GCE qualifications.
Language College status has also brought our students an entitlement to a varied programme of international cultural, educational and exchange visits throughout their years at Tomlinscote. Nearly all Year 7 students participate in our annual "International Week" in France or Germany. We have partner schools in France, Germany, Spain, Japan and Hungary, and our students have exchange opportunities from Year 9 onwards, with a programme of work experience exchanges available for Sixth Form students. There are also regular opportunities for video-conferencing links with students at partner schools. Internationalism is by no means restricted to the Modern Languages curriculum, but is embedded in all curriculum areas. The Creative Arts Area, for example, has strong links with Japan, while the Mathematics Area offers an annual exchange visit to Budapest for its students, who undertake joint Mathematics projects with Hungarian students from a specialist school, where Mathematics is taught in English. Tomlinscote staff from all subject disciplines have also embraced the challenge of internationalism, with, on average, ten staff each year participating in international study visits and exchanges. Tomlinscote School and staff are firmly committed to the education of our students as global citizens of the 21st century.