Education: Schools - Prep school speaks the language of co-operation

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The Independent Online
St Michael's Church of England prep school at Leigh-on-Sea, Essex.

St Michael's has been running small-scale out-of-school languages classes for its own pupils and children from state primaries since 1992. It teaches all pupils French from the age of four and found that some wanted to move on to Spanish or German.

It was common sense, says the headteacher, Sheila Stokes, to accept interested youngsters of the same age from outside the school to keep class numbers at about 10. They pay a small fee, but the school would waive the charge if it thought a child whose parents could not afford it would benefit from the classes.