Supervising a primary school class can be stressful time for teachers at the best of times but imagine the difficulties and pressures for those at the Birmingham based English Martyrs’ Catholic School where the 414 pupils speak a mind blowing 31 languages between them.
The children at the school who speak English as their mother language are in a minute minority.
Other languages spoken include Lingala and Yoruba, spoken in parts of Niger and Congo in Western Africa, Mirpuri and Hindko, both from Kashmiri regions in Pakistan, Eastern Europe is well represented along with Sudanese and forms of Bengali.
Most of the children come from a Pakistani background and the most frequent languages spoken are Urdu and Mirpuri.
In order to deal with the range of languages spoken, teachers are all trained to teach English as an additional language.
The school sometimes uses translators, as well as a ‘buddy’ system where new students are paired with one already at the school who has the same mother tongue and can help them to start picking up English words.
Languages spoken at the school are: Afrikaans, Arabic (Iraqi), Arabic (Lingala), Arabic (Sudanese), Arabic (Yemeni), Bengali (Bangla), Bengali (Sylheti), Czech, Dutch, English, Gaelic, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Hindko, Jamaican Patois, Kachi, Lingala, Mirpuri, Nepalese, Pashto, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Sudanese, Swiss French, Tamil, Urdu and Yoruba.
Figures obtained by the Birmingham Mail revealed that more than 120 languages spoken across the city's schools.
Despite being a Catholic school, the majority of pupils at English Martyrs hail from a Pakistani background, with Urdu/Mirpuri the most common dialect spoken by youngsters in the home.
All teaching staff specialise in teaching English as an additional language and the school also uses translators.
Latest Government figures show pupils who speak English as their first language are now in the minority at more than a quarter of Birmingham schools.
Department for Education records showed a majority of students at 117 of the city's 430 primary and secondary schools listed a different language as their mother tongue.
English Martyrs, which recently celebrated its centenary, has changed from having mainly Irish Catholic pupils from the 1950s and 60s to a now majority of pupils from a Pakistani background today.
Only 11 per cent of students are currently Catholic, but new head teacher Evelyn Harper said she expected the number to increase with greater numbers of pupils from Poland, Romania and other eastern European countries.