BOSTON, ST. MARY’S R.C., PRIMARY SCHOOL
Policy on English as an Additional Language (EAL)
We love, we grow, we learn; walking with faith in the light of the Lord.
Within our diverse School community, Religious Education reaches out at all times and in all areas of the curriculum. The Catholic Faith is shared through the experience of living, working and praying together through the Scriptures, the Liturgy and the Doctrine.
Here at Boston St Mary's we celebrate the fact that there are a number of bi-lingual and some multi-lingual children within our school. They are able to participate fully in all areas of the curriculum. However, a number of children join the school from various parts of the world, for a variety of reasons and with a variety of levels of competence in English. These children are assessed upon entry with the help of the NASSEA EAL Assessment tool. We also consider the background information gathered during the initial intake and other important factors that may impact on the pupil’s learning and knowledge; e.g.
· Proficiency and student achievement in first language
· Prior schooling experience
· Trauma due to other factors
· Health, physical and other characteristics that may impact learning
· Involvement of parents and carers
· Family and cultural values
We celebrate the fact that many of our children speak more than one language and acknowledge their ability to use a variety of community languages. In our school the teaching and learning, achievements, attitudes and well-being of all children are important. We encourage all children to achieve the highest possible standards. We do this through taking account of each child’s life experiences and needs.
A number of our children have particular learning and assessment requirements, which are linked to their progress in learning English as an additional language.
Children who are learning English as an additional language have skills and knowledge about language similar to monolingual English-speaking children. Their ability to participate in the full curriculum may be in advance of their communicative skills in English.
Pupil with EAL: is used to refer to any pupil who speaks English as an additional language. It does not assume equal competence in all their languages.
The National Curriculum secures entitlement for all children to a number of areas of learning and gives them the opportunity to develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes that are necessary for their self-fulfilment and development as responsible citizens. We promote the principles of fairness and justice for all through the diverse education that we provide in our school.
The aim of this policy is to help ensure that we meet the full range of needs of those children who are learning English as an additional language. This is in line with the requirements of the Race Relations Act 1976 and Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2001.
At ST Mary’s RC Primary School teachers take action to help children who are learning English as an additional language by various means.
Developing their spoken and written English by:
- ensuring that vocabulary work covers the technical as well as the everyday meaning of key words, metaphors and idioms;
- displaying key vocabulary;
- explaining how speaking and writing in English are structured for different purposes across a range of subjects;
- providing a range of reading materials that highlight the different ways in which English is used;
- ensuring that there are effective opportunities for talking, and that talking is used to support writing;
- encouraging children to transfer their knowledge, skills and understanding of one language to another;
- building on children’s experiences of language at home and in the wider community, so that their developing uses of English and other languages support one another;
Ensuring access to the curriculum and to assessment by:
- using accessible texts and materials that suit children’s ages and levels of learning;
- providing support through ICT, video or audio materials, dictionaries and translators, readers and amanuenses;
- using the home or first language where appropriate;
- setting targets in literacy for targeted children
All children at St Mary’s RC Primary School follow the curricular requirements of the Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum. Children with English as an additional language do not produce separate work, unless within a focused target intervention group.
We do withdraw children from lessons to receive EAL support in order to support those children who are targeted and in need of additional small group work, in addition to those children who are new to English.
In the Foundation Stage we plan opportunities for children to develop their English, and we provide support to help them take part in activities.
The Foundation Stage helps children learning English as an additional language by:
- building on children’s experiences of language at home and in the wider community, so that their developing uses of English and of other languages support one another;
- providing a range of opportunities for children to engage in speaking and listening activities in English with peers and adults;
- providing bilingual support to extend vocabulary;
- providing opportunities for children to hear their home languages as well as English.
Communication with Parents / Carers
As a school community, we pride ourselves on our ability to form relationships with pupils and parents. Our staff are committed to reaching out to all parents, regardless of their background. We do this through a number of ways
- Staff who can translate
- Written translations – i.e. letters
- Video tutorials and images
In supporting our parents/ carers, we have facilitated and encouraged courses through Family Learning. These courses are fully funded and offer a creative approach in developing links with parents and carers, who are then able to support and engage with their child’s education.
We use the NASSEA steps as recommended by the EAL Advisory Team, to measure English language competence for New to English children. These children are targeted on a half termly basis.
We carry out ongoing recording of attainment and progress in line with agreed school procedures for EAL children not New to English, monitoring the progress made at least half termly, then highlighting children in need of targeting for focus support.
The statutory assessment arrangements of the National Curriculum allow us to make special arrangements for children who are learning English as an additional language.
For the science and written mathematics test at Key Stage 2, we can provide verbal translations of words or phrases in the test papers which we think are likely to prove difficult for children in their first year in the English school system. For the mental arithmetic test at Key Stage 2 we can provide a verbal translation of the test to children who have limited English, and who joined the school after 1st September in the year preceding the tests.