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Christ's College Finchley

EAL

Introduction

Pupils arrive at CCF for a variety of reasons – which include being a refugee or asylum seeker but there is also a significant minority of pupils who are accompanied by family members working on fixed-term contracts with international companies.

Our aim in school is to ensure that all pupils feel safe, settled and valued and a sense of belonging so that they can learn effectively.

Pupils learning English come from a variety of language backgrounds. There are approximately 14 languages. There are many settled bilingual communities in the school who speak a different home language to English. Most of them have acquired English rapidly.

We have an inclusive approach to curriculum and learning whereby we use a ‘Buddy’ system for newly arrived students. We match them with a speaker of their own language who will familiarise them with day to day school life.

On the VLE there is a DVD in 14 languages explaining the British Education System.

While some newly arrived, beginner bilingual pupils will come from a school or country where little or no English is used; others may speak, read or write some English. Children, born in the United Kingdom, may have had limited exposure to English.  When beginner bilinguals have become orally fluent, they may be described as being advanced learners of EAL. They have English skills necessary to operate effectively in spoken English, but may not be proficient in using academic language.

Teachers assessing EAL pupils should:

  • Be sensitive to the pupil’s first language and heritage culture
  • Take account of how long the pupil has been learning English
  • Assess in ways and in contexts which are age and culture appropriate
  • Consider the influence of behaviour, attitude and cultural expectations
  • Be aware that children’s levels in different strands of language acquisition may vary
  • Follow the principles set out in Assessment for Learning

The Process of Assessment for Learning:

  • aims to help pupils to know and recognise the standards they are aiming for
  • promotes the active involvement of pupils in their own learning, through peer and self-assessment
  • involves sharing learning goals with pupils
  • adjusts teaching to take account of the results of assessment
  • provides effective feedback, which leads to pupils recognising their next steps and how to take them
  • involves both teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on assessment data [information]
  • recognises the profound influence assessment has on the motivation and self-esteem of pupils, both of which are crucial influences on learning

Who we are?

Mrs P Pahlan, Head of Department. For more information, please email Mrs Pahlan on pp@ccfplus.com

Aim

AT CCF, we aim to:

  • Make connections with and build on pupils’ experience
  • Creating space to use existing knowledge
  • Giving opportunities to talk around a topic across the curriculum.
  • Encouraging the use of first language
  • Building a framework for organising thinking, using key visuals
  • Using visual clues
  • Providing concrete examples of impersonal and abstract concepts

My aim is to raise attainment and narrow the gap of achievement for EAL students.

It is the school policy that bilingual students should have equal opportunities to access the curriculum – staff in all departments are committed to raising the achievement of bilingual learners.

To help raise awareness of our diverse school community and help boost EAL students confidence, speaking and listening skills I coordinate themed workshops and assemblies on topics such as Black History Month, Refugee Week. EAL students are encouraged to give insight of their background to other students so others can better understand their history. ie. Refugees are asked to tell their stories to we can understand their plight.

Arrange trips to London so EAL students can gain experience of London life and trips to work places for future career prospects. ie. Bank of England. In school workshop given by Bank of England.

In English lessons the specialist EAL teacher works in partnership with the English teacher to plan and deliver lessons and to maximise the support available for students. New arrivals at an early stage of learning English require an intense period of induction. After that they are grouped into classes according to their ability. ‘New arrivals are fast tracked’ if there are indications that they have the ability to progress. When bilingual beginners have become orally fluent and have reached Level 4 Language in Common they are described as being Advanced EAL Learners.