English as an additional Language
Any pupil who speaks another language in addition to English at home falls into the EAL category. This includes children who were born in the UK. At St Edmund’s we believe that speaking more than one language is an asset and should be celebrated. There are over 21 different languages spoken by pupils in our school. It is important to us that children’s home language skills and skills in the curriculum are valued and shared.
Through quality first teaching, all class teachers strive to ensure that their teaching and planning considers the needs of these children, in order to offer them the best support. Class teachers work closely with the EAL co-ordinator to ensure EAL pupils feel welcomed and valued at our school and are making good progress in their acquisition of the English language. Games, songs and practical activities are all used to stimulate pupil’s speaking and listening skills as well as consolidate their learning. Pupils are pre-taught key vocabulary related to their class topic and literacy work to ensure that they feel confident in class and can participate in whole class lessons. We have dual language story books, in a variety of languages, which can be borrowed and taken home so that children can build upon their vocabulary and obtain a greater depth of understanding.
The Young Interpreters are a valued resource at our school. Comprised of a group of students who speak an additional language to English, they help to settle new arrivals by communicating with them in their home language. As the year goes on, they also read with them and then discuss events in their books to ensure a deeper understanding is achieved.
During the spring term we celebrate our diverse community by having a ‘focus language’ of the week. This language is decided upon by our Young Interpreters who take charge of presenting key phrases to the rest of the school at our Whole School assembly on a Monday morning.
We are so lucky to have a strong community who speak a variety of languages. They help and support us throughout the year to celebrate their home cultures and it is this that creates our feeling of belonging.