English as an additional language (EAL)
Statement of Aims
In Lawn Primary and Nursery School, we value children as individuals and strive to encourage the highest possible attainment in their learning, social development, personal achievements, and well-being. We do this through taking account of each child’s life, experiences and needs.
For those children for whom English is an additional language and for raising the achievement of minority ethnic pupils, the school will identify individual pupil’s needs, recognise the skills they bring to school and ensure equality of access to the curriculum.
We aim to ensure that all EAL pupils are able to:
Use English confidently and competently
Use English as a means of learning across the curriculum
Where appropriate, make use of their knowledge of other languages.
We recognise that children who are learning English as an additional language have skills and knowledge about language similar to monolingual English speaking children and acknowledge their ability to participate in the full curriculum may be in advance of their communication skills in English.
Lawn Primary and Nursery has approximately 490 pupils and can be considered a large school. The vast majority of our pupils come from White British backgrounds. The backgrounds of pupils from minority ethnic groups are varied, but each group is small. Around 21% of our pupils have English as an Additional Language. Approximately twenty-four languages are experienced at school.
The school uses the following key principles for additional language acquisition:
- Language develops best when used in purposeful contexts across the curriculum.
- Effective use of language is crucial to the teaching and learning of every subject.
- The language demands of learning tasks need to be identified and planned for, with attention both to initial access and to extension.
- Access to learning requires attention to words and meanings embodied in each curriculum area. Meanings and understandings cannot always be assumed but need to be explored.
- Teachers have a crucial role in modelling uses of language.
- The focus and use of additional support time are best seen as an integral part of curriculum and lesson planning.
- All pupils have entitlement to the National Curriculum.
- A distinction is made between EAL and Special Educational Needs.
- Language is central to our identity. Therefore, teachers need to be aware of the importance of pupils’ home languages and to build on their existing knowledge and skills.
- Many concepts and skills depend on and benefit from a well-developed home language and literacy in home language, enhances subsequent acquisition of EAL.
- All languages, dialects, accents and cultures are equally valued.
Teaching and Learning
Lawn teachers use a range of strategies to help children who are learning English including building on previous experience. Good teachers will find out a way of identifying what children already know/can do, and will plan learning experiences that extend and develop that learning.