ONE hundred different languages are spoken by children at Crawley primary schools.
Some 27 per cent of primary school pupils in Crawley speak English as an additional language.
Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed 100 different mother tongues were represented in Crawley primary schools including Zulu, Icelandic and Krio (West Africa).
Results from the Department of Education school census taken this year showed Urdu as the most spoken dialect with 312 pupils, followed Tamil with 196 and Gujarati with 151.
There has been a steady increase in number of additional languages spoken at primary school from 86 in 2010, 99 in 2011 and now 100 in 2012.
The largest increase in an additional language at Crawley primary school’s is Mauritian/Seychelles Creole which has increased from 10 pupils in 2010 to 72 in 2012.
West Sussex County Council said an additional language was recorded where a child was exposed to a different language during early development and in the home or community.
It said information about a child’s language skills and knowledge helped to build a more complete picture of each individual and enabled schools to make better links between home, school and community.
Four Crawley primary schools had more than 50 per cent of pupils speaking an additional language.
Langley Green Primary School came top out of the 26 primary schools for the highest proportion of pupils speaking an additional language, with 224 pupils out of 355 equating to 63 per cent.
This was followed by Bewbush Community Primary (52 per cent), Northgate Primary (51 per cent) and Seymour (51 per cent).
A statement from Langley Green Primary School said: “Based on our records we actually have 73% of our children speak a different language in the home and 89 per cent are classed as EAL (English as an Additional Language) pupils.
“We have a dedicated EAL teacher who oversees the support required for children speaking English as an Additional Language. She works with small groups of children herself and also co-ordinates groups to work with support staff.
“Many of our support staff speak other languages including Urdu, Gujarati and Tamil and we have access to suitable adults who speak other languages. We also have ‘Language Experts’ who are older children who can help the younger ones within the school. We have produced booklets in eight different languages with lots of pictures to help children understand what they need to do in school. We are very proud of our school being so ethnically diverse and believe it will help our children thrive in an increasingly diverse World. We recognise, respect and celebrate the many different religions followed by children within our school. Our school vision statement is ‘Working Together, Learning Together’ and all adults within the school share and uphold this vision.”