One of the stars of the GCSE class is nine-year-old Josie Owens, who has been learning French since she was at nursery school.
Here her mother Maxine explains why she chose the VICI Language Academy and how it benefits her daughter.
“Josie first began learning French at nursery, she was at Acres of Fun in Hermitage and Nathalie was teaching the children on a Tuesday afternoon and she loved it.
“She stayed there until she started primary school and I didn’t feel the language provision was good enough, they were learning German as there was by coincidence a teacher who was German, but we wanted more for her and certainly weren’t interested in German! We knew we had to top up her provision; Josie is a clever bunny and we wanted her to continue learning French – so we took her to VICI.
“While we live in Andover, Newbury is my home town so it was easy to gravitate there and because Josie is young, she is nine now – nearly 10, and we wanted her to learn somewhere she finds fun. We didn’t want her saying ‘oh no, I’ve got to learn French’ and she doesn’t!
“She is actually in the GCSE class and enjoys it. She is clever and has taken on everything that they have thrown at her. They have been fantastic at keeping her interested and they’ve put her in the right group for that. Don’t get me wrong I am not sat here thinking she is some genius, but she definitely has a propensity for languages. “We are not putting Josie through private school, but we do want to supplement her education where it matters and VICI has allowed us to really help her with French.
“Of course she is a child and it is not important for me for her to have a GCSE in French; that means nothing and anybody can be taught to pass an exam in a language and it still doesn’t mean you can speak that language. We want Josie to be comfortable speaking a language and know useful stuff – I can remember ‘the cat sat on the mat’! What use is that? She might end up building a house in France and needs to learn how to really enjoy the language. “My husband Tom and I only speak French we remember from school and when we have been on holiday in France Josie helps out – obviously she doesn’t have the confidence an older child would have, but she understands what is going on and tells us what people are saying and she has the vocabulary to help us be understood.