A GROUP of parents and teachers are planning to set up a free school in Greenwich specialising in languages.

Six people have put forward proposals for the International Academy of Greenwich, which they hope to open next year for five to 18 year olds.

The school will initially open for Year 7 pupils and will have a three form entry with 20 students in each class.

A second phase will involve setting up a primary school and creating a sixth form.

Father-of-two Nick Zienau said: “Greenwich should be a beacon and should have a large variety of schools on offer and it should cater for it’s bilingual community.”

He added: “Every child should be able to speak two languages well and be able to read and write in another language.”

The school will offer the International Baccalaureate programme as part of the curriculum for all year groups.

Mr Zienau, whose children aged five and eight speak French and English, said: “There isn’t a non selective free school offering the IB programme to the middle years.

“Our intention is to use the IB as a structure. It’s stress is on language and it encourages children to become very active learners and curious rather than being spoon fed.”

Teacher Semikian Konate, of Congleton Grove, Woolwich, added: “In the future every single child needs the possibility to move around.

“It’s really giving the opportunity for children to go where the job market is.”

The school will offer two languages to its students with French already chosen by perspective parents.

International Academy of Greenwich could be set up under the government’s free schools initiative, which gives parents, teachers, charities and community groups powers to set up new schools.

The group is currently gathering evidence of parental support for the proposal, which they will present to government in June.

For more information and to register your interest, visit internationalacademygreenwich.org.uk or call 07745 128842.

What is the International Baccalaureate?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) middle years programme is for students aged 11 to 16.

Pupils are required to study their mother tongue, a second language, humanities, sciences, mathematics, arts, physical education and technology.

They also undertake a personal project.

There is also an IB diploma for sixth form students and a primary years programme for pupils aged three to 12.