Triple specialisms in science, languages and gifted and talented pupils at Littleover Community School
PUPILS at a Derby school could soon be adding Spanish and Mandarin lessons to its curriculum.
Littleover Community, which has been a specialist science and maths school for five years, has been given a language specialism.
INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR: Mitchell Wilkinson, 15, with a French dictionary, and fellow classmates flying the flags of the world, at Littleover Community School
The school's recent "outstanding" inspection by the Office for Standards in Education led to it being designated a high-performing specialist school and offered the chance of an extra specialism.
Head teacher David Nichols said: "We chose languages because it fits in well with national priorities and the fact that they already have a prominent role in the school.
"We will expand our range of languages taught, adding Spanish to the current French, German, Punjabi and Urdu, with possibly Mandarin to follow.
"We will make more use of information technology, including a state-of-the-art multi-media language facility," he added.
The Pastures Hill school will also act as a centre of excellence in the Derby area.
Mr Nichols said: "We have already gone against the local and national trends by ensuring that over 90% of our pupils take a full GCSE course in a language.
"The national uptake, for example, is only about 50%.
"We will help other schools to improve their participation rates.
"All primary schools are now introducing languages and we will support our partner primaries, offering help, training and resources."
Alongside the language specialism, the school is one of the first in the country to be given extra money by the Government to extend its "gifted and talented" programme for more able pupils.
Mr Nichols said: "This has been introduced nationally to ensure that the brightest children don't get bored. We will also be able to continue our work with primary schools, who send selected children to work in our science labs."
Pupils from Dale Primary School, in Porter Road, visit the school each Wednesday to take part in science sessions.
Mr Nichols said: "The gifted and talented programme will enable us to hold events, train teachers and share resources with other schools as well."
The second specialism will bring in extra funding of £130,000 per year.
School language co-ordinator Gillian Cowie said: "Our pupils are already positive about their experiences of foreign languages and this specialism will be a great way to build on this."
Pupils were also excited about more languages.
Danny Tomlinson, 15, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity. New equipment could really help the keen linguists."