Tomlinscote is an 11 to 18 co-educational school which was opened in 1970 as Surrey's first purpose-built comprehensive. It has 1508 students including 190 in Years 12/13, 100 teaching staff and 35 support staff. Students enter Tomlinscote at the age of 11 years from local Junior, Primary and Independent Preparatory schools. Over subscription is a common feature, resulting in waiting lists for entry.
Tomlinscote Language College
On 1st September 1996 Tomlinscote was formally awarded the status of a Language College. To attain Language College Status the school had to put together a detailed submission including the aims and targets over a three year period. These targets were assessed against strict criteria by the DfES each year. The Language College submission related to aspects of the whole school curriculum as well as specific objectives in Modern Foreign Languages. A successful first three years led to our re-designation for a further three years in 1999 and the school was one of the first Language Colleges to be designated for a further four years in September 2002. Language College status means a considerable enhancement of resources, including accommodation, hardware, software and staffing, along with attendant responsibilities from the school to achieve the stated objectives. As a Language College we are responsible for a wide range of Community Language courses in addition to our work with local schools. Interested parents are welcome to view the submissions.
The main thrust of the original submission was that Tomlinscote does not seek merely to produce excellent Modern Foreign Linguists per se, but rather Scientists, Mathematicians, Technologists, etc., who are internationally comfortable and are capable of working effectively and harmoniously in an overseas context with foreign nationals. Wider opportunities for language learning at school mirror an increasing trend at University level to offer courses combining science/technology/business with a foreign language element. An added advantage will be the improved computing skills gained by students who will make extensive use of Information and Communications Technology, including the Internet, as an integral part of their learning.
The curriculum and, in particular, the National Curriculum, is substantially unaffected by Language College status. There is no significant erosion of other subjects, merely a realignment to ensure that foreign languages and cultures permeate the entire curriculum, giving all students greater access to Modern Foreign Languages, and, where possible, greater choice.
In order to progress effectively in a foreign language, it is clearly desirable that a student be exposed to life in other countries, and it is anticipated that parents will be supportive of opportunities for school day trips abroad, curriculum visits overseas, and foreign exchanges and work experience. In the new millennium it is inconceivable that young people embarking on a career within a European Union/internationally competitive world should leave school without a good working knowledge of at least two languages. Tomlinscote endeavours to provide its students with an 'edge' in this area, and parents will be asked to accept the implications of this ethos before affiliating to the school. Ability is not a consideration, but a commitment to the School and Language College ethos and principles is essential. To this end, parents of children allocated a place at Tomlinscote will be asked to subscribe formally to the Language College concept. Any parents who are unwilling to support the sentiments and aspirations that Language College status implies should seek a different educational establishment for their son/daughter.
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