The start of EAL provision in England can be traced back to 1966, when Section 11 of the Local Government Act made funds available to meet the needs of people of Commonwealth origin. This was known as ‘Section 11 funding’ and was used to support the education of learners who used English as an Additional Language (EAL). In the beginning much of this support took place in separate language centres or through withdrawal of learners using EAL from mainstream classes. In 1986, a Commission for Racial Equality report into provision in Calderdale Local Education Authority found this practice to be discriminatory and this led to the closure of language units. Funding for language support was subsequently used to provide additional specialist staff to work in mainstream classrooms.
How do we support our learners at Penns?
Upon arrival our pupils will complete a 'child-friendly' interview and initial assessment which determines the level of support required. Alongside this, we use an EAL assessment framework from The Bell Foundation (www.bell-foundation.org.uk) which we use due to its classroom-friendly, curriculum-language integrated approach allowing for informal yet more formal summative assessment. Children will also work within a programme called, 'Racing to English' and/or Flash Academy depending on the level of need. We are an inclusive school and feel strongly that pupils who are new to the country are completely immersed within the classroom to enable full exposure to the English language. In most cases, the pupils will receive additional support in order for them to focus on their English language work.
How do we support parents?
Parents are able to access information easily via the translation tool on our classdojo platform and we will happily ensure use of an interpreter if need be. We ensure an open culture so parents feel connected to school and feel a sense of belonging.
Strategies we use:
Barrier games, bilingual books and dictionaries, collaborative activities, flashcards, graphic organisers, modelling scaffolding, i:1 support to name but a few...