English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Chesswood Junior School represents the diverse community that surrounds it and currently, has 35 different languages spoken in school! At Chesswood, we recognise what a valuable part this diversity plays in enriching our school community. We believe that enabling children who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL) to share and celebrate their language and culture within school inspires all children to be proud of our diversity.
Scroll down to see photos of this in action:
Flag procession at Christmas Concert 2019: representing our pupils' links to countries all over the world and some of our choir sharing a Christmas song from the Philippines - with parents joining in!
EAL displays around the school: showing what countries our pupils come from and the languages they speak as well as what festivals are celebrated around the world each month.
Chesswood is a fully inclusive school where every child is encouraged to feel a part of the school community. The school offers a socially and culturally supportive environment where children are proud to be a part of the school they attend. For pupils who are learning English as an additional language, this includes recognising and valuing home language(s) and background. As a school, we are aware that bilingualism is a strength and that pupils with English as an additional language (EAL) have a valuable contribution to make: both to class learning and to the wider school community. Encouraging EAL children to feel that they are valued and integral members of our school inspires self-esteem and motivates children to achieve their full potential.
In line with the whole school curriculum policy, the following drivers and principles underpin everything we do in EAL at Chesswood:
Life Opportunities Creativity Confidence Competence
Real & Relevant
At Chesswood, we believe that all children should have full and equal access to the curriculum. Feeling fully integrated into the school community ensures that children have a sense of security and self-confidence, which, in turn, helps them to progress with their learning. The teaching assistant for EAL provides in-class support where needed as well as planning and running small intervention groups outside of the classroom. These are based on the needs of EAL children within a year group and are planned and delivered in liaison with class teachers and the EAL subject leader. The aim is to enable EAL children to meet their full academic potential so that they can move on to high school feeling confident and motivated for the next stage of their education.
Creativity Confidence Competence
Alongside celebrating children's home language and culture, children at Chesswood are encouraged to be creative in the way they attempt to solve problems or approach tasks. Recognising that children bring diverse life experiences to the classroom and allowing them the opportunity to express these through their learning provides them with the confidence they need to become more competent users of English.
It is essential that EAL children feel part of their class, particularly if they have recently arrived in the school or country. If language support is appropriate, it endeavours to strike a balance between in-class and out of class intervention, so that EAL children do not miss out on key learning in class.
While EAL language support will sometimes need to be ‘stand alone’ (eg for newly-arrived pupils who have gaps in their everyday understanding and proficiency in English), wherever possible, there are links between intervention support and learning that is taking place in the classroom, so that children can practise and build on newly-acquired vocabulary and concepts.
Real & Relevant
New language is always taught in context and is meaningful and purposeful. In this way, EAL pupils are more likely to remember and put into use newly-learned language.
Knowledge and concepts are taught simultaneously and progressively throughout the school: EAL support has a clear learning focus and provides opportunities to build on learning within class and for practice and application.
EAL children are encouraged to complete learning tasks that are commensurate with their cognitive ability, not their proficiency in English.
Wherever possible, all EAL children have access to a full curriculum and to the same learning opportunities as other children in school. Children feel their language and culture is of equal importance to any other language or culture in school.
Chesswood EAL Pathway - linked to NASSEA EAL Assessment Framework