English as an additional language
English as an additional language (EAL)
At St. Andrew’s Primary School we have a growing percentage of Ethnic Minority Groups who, between them, speak at least 10 different languages.
Acknowledging and celebrating pupils' culture and religion is important to us and enriches the whole school.
The EAL children have access to a specialist team of staff called the EAL Squad. The squad is led by Rachel Stevens and has an additional two staff members: Mrs. Sharron Lapham and Miss Ewelina Zychlinska, who support the children to develop and enhance their English Language skills.
If needed, the children will have additional support within the classroom, small group activities and 1:1 support.
Here are some of the activities the children are involved in:
- Art and Language Group
- Language link games and activities
- English vocabulary sessions
- Access to ‘Friends of the Earth’ (allotment and outside learning)
- Celebrating Festivals
- Outings to the local community with a language focus
By supporting these children, we aim to help them achieve their full academic potential. Being bilingual is an advantage and maintaining first language skills is vital for cognitive development.
Bespoke Induction Package
Every family with EAL who enters St. Andrew’s gets an individualised induction programme. Families have a full school tour, accompanied by a language ambassador, they meet the Head Teacher (Leanne Arrowsmith) along with the EAL coordinator (Rachel Stevens) and have support all the way with completing school paperwork. Bilingual Support Workers are booked to help translate all the information if necessary. To ensure all the needs of the child are discussed, planned and met, the induction date is carefully thought of and a family background meeting is held by a member of the EAL squad, Sharron Lapham. The ‘Welcome Leaflet’ identifies the child’s class teacher, class buddy, language ambassador and includes important details about the school day to support a smooth and successful transition.
Alongside school assessments, EAL children are regularly assessed using the Proficiency of English Framework. Teachers complete the framework 3 times a year, recording children’s achievements and setting individual learning targets. In addition, every child completes a Language Link assessment. The results help to tailor a unique provision for that child to aid good progress in all areas.
Specific Learning Support
Using the results from all the assessments, the EAL squad are deployed by the EAL co-ordinator Rachel Stevens to support the EAL children across the school. Their focus is to work alongside children in the classroom, support small groups and target individuals. Children will have access to a range of learning support which is individual to what they need. Target teach time is available to all EAL children whether they are ‘new to English’ or ‘fluent’, enabling all children to make good progress.
Art and Language Group
We understand how vital it is for EAL children to speak in their mother tongue and continue to use this skill. Therefore, all children have access to a weekly Art and Language group session. Within this, children are encouraged to speak their home language, communicate with peers and also widen their English vocabulary of everyday items and more topic based words, whilst being creative and imaginative.
Whole school ‘Celebrating Culture and Diversity’
At St Andrew’s we believe it is our responsibility to celebrate diversity in our school and make every single child feel accepted by the school community. The children love to learn about different festivals and religious events, they enjoy cuisine from around the world and particularly like sharing their traditions and beliefs with their classmates.
Inclusive Classroom Environment
We pride ourselves on making every learning environment appealing for all types of learners. EAL children have an indivdualised learning pack which includes a variety of learning resources and prompts to support them. New topics are introduced through visual word mats and topic flash cards and children enjoy using their personal vocabulary sheet where they can record a new word learnt.
St. Andrew’s has a number of junior leadership roles and the Language Ambassador team is just one of them. The children apply each year to be a Language Ambassador and love to use their bilingual skills to support new children, help translate to peers, support playground games and help us to celebrate a wide range of cultures. They can be easily identified and can be seen throughout KS2 wearing a purple tabard.