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English as an Additional Language
Our School Values

Aspire

We believe in all of our children having the highest hopes and ambitions, leading to success in their adult lives. We want all pupils at Meadow View Primary School to leave us with high aspirations for their future. Statistics show that 23% of young people who use EAL and were born outside the UK are not in employment or education at the age of 25 compared to 15% of young people who are monolingual English language users. (UCL Institute of Education, 2021). Our curriculum and personal development strategy is targeted to include all groups of pupils including those who have EAL, leading on to the reality of them fulfilling their dreams and being in employment or education.

Include

We are proud to include all of our children, celebrating the wide range of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. Everyone has the right to feel a sense of belonging at our school. We ensure that the school environment, curriculum and ethos are representative and inclusive of all pupils at Meadow View Primary School. The diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging team ensure that we know each and every pupil as individuals. We know that we have a duty of care to safeguard and protect each child’s and families’ identity. Recognising and valuing a child’s home language is an integral part of this.

Wellness

We strive to ensure that each child has the highest level of wellness, valuing emotional wellness, physical wellness, as well as social wellness. We recognise that it is scary for pupils to start at a new school, sometimes in a country with limited language and therefore it is especially important for children using EAL to feel safe and secure and have a sense of belonging to their school and wider community. This is particularly relevant for children seeking asylum. (McIntyre and Abrams, 2021) In order to ensure that children feel confident and safe in school we ensure the school is a welcoming, calm, orderly, reliable and supportive environment for all pupils and their families. 

Achieve

We strive to instil the skills, effort, resilience and determination in all of our children that is needed to meet their goals. We have high expectations of our pupils with EAL ensuring that pupils get the most out of their school experience, including attaining academically, achieving the personal development drivers of resilience, emotional literacy, communication, teamwork and independence.

Context

We are a 1 form entry school that serves an socio-economic deprived area of Rotherham just outside the town centre. We take from 4 different communities from up to 2 miles away in different directions, all of which have different dynamics. We have high mobility which is linked to the personal circumstances of the families. The number of languages in school fluctuates regularly but usually sits around 20 languages. 

We are proud to celebrate the diverse nature of our school and the community we serve, valuing each family and child within it.

Belonging

Everybody belongs at Meadow View. We foster and nurture a sense of community and teamwork, ensuring that each child is seen, heard, valued, represented and respected.

We have thought very carefully about the ‘user’ experience from the point of admission through to the content of our curriculum, enrichment activities, environment and communication to ensure that our children and their families develop a sense of belonging from the outset.

We have an Assistant Head Teacher for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB). This Assistant Head Teacher leads the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Team who meet each week to ensure that the provision, adaptations and support that is offered to each of our pupils with English as an additional language, is appropriate and ensures that everyone feels like they belong.

We have a staffing structure that intentionally represents our community with staff who have English as an additional language and non-white British heritage.

To develop friendships within social times we focus largely on relationships and relational moments throughout school. These are modelled by staff and instilled in our children. From the early years, we focus on making, keeping and maintaining healthy and respectful relationships. Our curriculum supports and reinforces this.

We adhere to the 5 key principles from the Bell Foundation:

  • Multilingualism as an asset – maintaining and developing the home languages results in greater cognitive flexibility and ultimately stronger academic performance.

  • High expectations with appropriate support – It is vital to bear in mind that the cognitive and academic ability of learners using EAL are separate from their current ability to use English. Like all learners those using EAL will benefit from being motivated and challenged in the classroom.

  • Integrated focus on language and content – EAL learners have a double job to do. They must acquire proficiency in English at the same time as learning curriculum content. Therefore, it is important to provide them with activities which teach and practice language structures through the medium of curriculum subjects.

  • Effective and holistic assessment – In order to be effective assessment needs to be relevant to the learner. Many formal standardised tests designed to assess reading age, verbal reasoning and reading comprehension in English are designed for pupils for whom English is their first language, as such they are of limited use for learners using EAL as they will not on their own give and accurate picture of the progress of a learner using EAL.

  • Social inclusion – Learners using EAL need to feel safe and secure and have a sense of belonging to their school and wider community in order to maximise their opportunities for success. It is important to build and promote and inclusive environment where everybody is a valued contributor to school life.

 

English Language Development

  • Only 31% of pupils who start in reception class with the lowest level of English Language level proficiency progress to competent or fluent in English by the time they leave primary School. (Bell Foundation, 2020) We therefore prioritise the English Language development of our learners.

  • We use the Bell Foundation ‘EAL Assessment Framework’ and the accompanying ‘Classroom Guidance and Strategies to Support EAL Learners’ in order to plan and embed appropriate and effective pedagogies to promote the learning of children who use EAL (English as an Additional Language). This assessment allows us to accurately identify the level of language acquisition for our children, moving on to celebrating progress and highlighting next steps.

  • Carefully planned and sequenced English language teaching (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) enables our children to gain proficiency in the language, moving through the spectrum from a child new to English, to gaining competency and fluency. The Bell Foundation Assessment will allow us to showcase this success.

  • We work closely with our Speech and Language Therapist, allowing us to carry out language assessments in a child’s home language if we feel that they may need support in their development of this.

  • We are a voice 21 school that prioritises language development and oracy skills. All children are taught oracy strategies using Voice 21’s Oracy Framework, which focus on teaching specific skills. These skills are:  physical skills (including how we use our voice and body in communication), linguistic skills (including how we use vocabulary and language), cognitive skills (including how we use content and structure, as well as clarifying and summarising) and finally social and emotional skills (including how we work, listen and respond to others, as well as how we develop confidence and awareness of audience). These skills are taught explicitly to our children throughout school with the aim of equipping them to become confident, resilient, articulate, brave, honest, fair and accomplished speakers.

 

 

Adaptations for Teaching and Learning

Phonics and Reading

All children are assessed on entry into school and are placed into appropriate reading and phonics groups, aimed at ensuring accelerated progress through the phonics scheme.

We provide personalised teaching and interventions in addition to quality first teaching of phonics.

Literacy

We provide a bespoke literacy group, allowing for targeted support to develop a child’s reading and writing development. The highest expectations are in place for accelerated learning. 

Maths

We provide 2 bespoke maths groups, again allowing for targeted support to develop a child’s maths skills, with the highest expectations for rapid catch up.

Relationships

Relational moments are at the center of all that we do and the relationships we create for all our pupils are warm and supportive. Our Behavior and Relationship Policy is guided by the principles of relational approaches to trauma alongside restorative practice. We recognise the difficulties that some of our families may have faced and previous traumatic experiences that they may have undergone. With this in mind, we are a trauma informed school, immersed in trauma informed practice. Regular staff training runs alongside this.

We understand that, for some children, we need to support them through emotional co-regulation to equip them with the skills and emotional states that lead to self-regulation. This means working together with a child to help them to manage their own emotions and behaviours and to help them to begin to make their own decisions based on a good understanding of different situations around them.

For some of our youngest children, we appreciate that PSED is a prime area of focus. We have children who have not experienced life away from their primary care-givers, therefore careful planning and consideration must be given to their early days and weeks in school, focussing on self-regulation, managing themselves and their own needs and building new and happy relationships. In order to support successful transition into school, some of our children initially have short-term, adapted timetables, where appropriate. These allow a child to settle happily into their new school community.

We celebrate the diverse nature of our school and the community we serve through displays that showcase the different countries and heritages that our children and families are from. We also ensure that we are able to say ‘hello’ as a welcome in many languages in our designated parent and family area.

 

Working with Families

Working together with families is vital to the holistic support we provide. We do this in a wide range of ways:

  • We have dedicated admission meetings, with the support of a bilingual/ multilingual member of staff as appropriate.

  • School has an Inclusion and Safeguarding Officer (ISO) whose primary role is to work closely alongside our families, recognising that support for families promotes happier and healthier home lives.

  • We employ bilingual/ multilingual members of staff with proficiency in languages that our school community uses.

  • We translate letters, school reports and other school communications into different languages to support understanding and clarity of information sharing with our families.

  • We have a translate tool on our school website to remove barriers to communication for our families.

  • We use IT translation tools to support in meetings and communication with our families.

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